It's often been said, that all the talent in the world can’t make up for motivation, dedication and commitment to craft and career. Happily, for acclaimed performer Matt Macis (pronounced May-sis), all the talent in the world comes with a potent work ethic that has begun to earn him a following the old fashioned way: one fan at a time. At 24 years old, Macis is a truly one-of-a-kind performer for his generation and for each one to follow.
“I’ve seen how music can transcend border and boundaries, cultures and creeds,” Matt asserts. “The road is trying at times, but it's shaped me for the better. It’s been an alternative education but, more importantly, it’s been an inspiration.” For his fan following, the feeling is mutual.
Matt continues, “I want to be accessible to my audience,” thus explaining his virtually non-stop touring itinerary over the years. “I’ve performed in everything from small clubs to major concert venues and theaters. I've even had my share of singing on street corners... yes, street corners. Performing for any audience has been a tremendous confidence builder. It gives me a chance to try out new material and find out what works.”
That confidence, in turn, is deeply rooted in a lifelong love of song and dance. A Baltimore native, Matt was introduced to the classics of the American pop canon almost by accident. “I was always drawn to dynamic entertainers, who could physically convey their passion to an audience. I was drawn to the funky stuff from Michael Jackson and James Brown, but at the same time, I was captivated by the dexterity and energy of performers like Gene Kelly, and Dick Van Dyke. Growing up in an Italian family, the great Italian-American singers – like Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Dean Martin – were always present. I was never truly aware of their existence in my life, but at about 19 years old they all fell right into my lap – and thank God they did.”
By the age 16, Matt already had a wealth of experience under his belt and knew exactly where he was heading. He performed in school plays, community events and local theatrical productions. His drive and determination led to his first professional job, when at age 16 (a senior in high school), he was cast in Ken Davenport's Off-Broadway hit The Awesome 80's Prom. Working with a cast and crew of Broadway veterans, he racked up some invaluable chops in learning the ins-and-outs of show business. It would also parlay Matt into his signature tribute to Michael Jackson, which he has since performed for thousands upon thousands worldwide.
By 2008, he had turned his sights into a new project – one that would eventually become titled The Crooner and The Comic, a live stage show that would re-create and re-imagine the musical comedy duo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. At 19 years old, Macis would go onto write, produce, and co-star as the “comic” half of the performing team. Various projects stemmed from two years of building that show from the ground up, but the most thrilling of any development was the discovery of his gift as a concert performer – specializing specifically in the pop standards catalog and American Songbook canon, yet still recognizing the importance of the music made in “his” time. “What I realized is that people don’t really care what category music necessarily fits in,” he asserts. “They’re looking for good songs, sung from the heart. It’s about melodies and lyrics and it just doesn’t matter how traditional or contemporary they are. Those values are timeless.”
“There may be better pop singers and jazz performers, or crooners out there, but what exists inside of me is a passion for the music that I do. I think you can hear that every time I'm out there”, added Macis. As a result, each performance turns into a dazzling tour de force, bringing together an extraordinary musical gift with the hard-won experience that comes from delivering great entertainment night after night, for music lovers anywhere and everywhere. Matt sums everything up with, “I am so ready to get out there again…and again and again. I love what I do. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.”