Ep 84 Interview Zecca Esquibel keyboard player for Sting

In this episode of The Queer Life radio show, Kaiya Kramer interviews Zecca Esquibel who was the keyboard player in the Cherry Vanilla band in early 1977, which also included Sting and Stewart Copeland.

This episode airs live Friday May 6th, 2016 at 6–8pm on KBBF 89.1 FM, replayed on Tuesday night on KBBF 89.1 FM, replayed on Wednesday night at 6–8pm on KWTF 88.1 FM, on KOWS 107.3 FM, and live on YouTube here.


Interview Zecca Esquibel keyboard player for Sting

(Bio taken from http://www.thepolicewiki.org/)

Zecca Esquibel was the keyboard player in the Cherry Vanilla band in early 1977, which also included Sting and Stewart Copeland.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, composer, producer and arranger Zecca Esquibel’s first stage performance as a piano player was at Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore, Maryland at the age of 7. He spent his childhood and teens winning a daunting schedule of classical piano competitions untill he left home at 18 to become a rock musician. At the age of 23, in New York city, he received rave reviews for his performance in the Off-Off-Broadway hit musical “Lovers” in his basement loft on Church St. which became known as The Basement Theater. This was the “rat infested loft on Church St.” where KISS rehearsed that Gene Simmon’s mentions in his autobiography!

Immediately after, he single-handedly founded a 16 floor live-in loft and rehearsal studio complex called The Music Building at 251 W 30th St. in Manhattan’s Garment District (still going strong as The Recording Arts Building). Before the year was out, Zecca was playing his first arena’s and collesseums with a funk artist on RCA he despises so much he refuses to mention him by name. Disgusted, Zecca complained to his best friend, the late Sean Delaney (often called “the fifth KISS’ even by Gene Simmons himself), and Sean arranged an audition with Cherry Vanilla, who at that time still had Kasim (Utopia/Meat Loaf) Sultan on bass. When Cherry’s entire band deserted her to join David (New York Dolls) Johanson, Cherry and Zecca had to form a new, often temporary, band. Miles Copeland saw them in New York and invited Cherry, Zecca, and Cherry’s new love, guitarist Louie Lepore, to come to London offering members of The Police to fill in as the missing musicians. The rest is well covered in Sting’s “Broken Music”.

After 18 months of touring and recording in the US and Europe with Cherry Vanilla (RCA London), Zecca returned to New York and wrote the music for his own band GET WET (Boardwalk Records). Get Wet was born when New Jersey native Sherri Beachfront invited Zecca to watch her singing at a recording session at the legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City’s Greewich Village. They fell in love, and the series of songs which he wrote for her, and became the album “Get Wet”, is a chronical of their relationship. Their single “Just So Lonely” rose to #39 in Billboard’s Pop Chart and Top 10 overseas. You can check out Get Wet’s nearly dozen live videos at the YouTube links listed below. They also have audio tracks at Soundclick.com: 8 songs up, including 2 live cuts and a rare studio outtake.

In the 1990’s, he was musical director for “Brenda Bergman: Her Reality” (T.W.E.E.D. at Westbeth Theater Center), Abba Elethea’s “Sister Songs” (LaMaMa) and Ron (“A Chorus Line”) Dennis’ “Don’t Grab The Gowns Until You See The Gurney” (New York Theater Workshop and Highways, L.A.), and he wrote and performed the scores for Berliner Kunstprise winner Anthony Ingrassia’s “Sweet Dreams” (LaMaMa) and Rosalyn Drexler’s “Pineapple Face” (Theater For The New City). His choral composition “Psalm 130” (mixed choir, trumpets, organ and soloists) was commissioned and performed at Mass with His Eminence the late John J. Cardinal O’Connor for the 150th Anniversary of Most Holy Redeemer Church in New York City. Zecca began his collaboration with “downtown” performance artist John Kelly in 1994’s “Far Cry From Bliss” (Danspace, NY), and he has accompanied Mr. Kelly in several recitals as well as all four of his Joni Mitchell shows touring the US and Europe (“Paved Paradise”, “Shiny Hot Nights”, “Get Up And Jive” and “Paved Paradise Redux”). In a reduced two-man version of “Shiny Hot Nights”, Zecca and John were the opening act for parts of Natalie Merchant’s 1999 Ophelia World Tour. He also played keys for blues legend Garland Jeffreys’ US and Canada tours from 2002 to 2007.

Austin Critics’ Table Award – “Best National Tour 2009/2010 Season” for “Paved Paradise Redux: The Art of Joni Mitchell”

LGBT News and Current Events Discussed on the show

Thanks for listening!

-Kaiya Kramer
Host of The Queer Life Radio Show

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