As On-Stage at Kingsborough continues its November run of diverse and impressive performances, young and popular jazz musician Devin Bing will be next on tap.
Bing’s performance at the Brooklyn school, called “Slightly Standard,” will add a unique twist, both due to its venue, a scenic lighthouse, and the musical style of the star.
The show will display Bing’s take on some of the classic jazz tunes. “I created this artistic niche in how I developed standard songs in a whole new way and nothing is traditional,” said Bing. “It’s a dual show. I perform it with my drummer. It is a stripped-down version but also dynamic.”
Since Bing started performing the standards at age 11, he has honed his craft while finding a way to stand out from other talent. “One of things I do as a songwriter and composer is helping develop those things I started off with. My background is jazz performance and the art of jazz,” he added. “I made this hybrid of songwriter into taking jazz standards and always created a new way of doing them. I developed this aesthetic for it. It has been embraced pretty well so far.”
For most artists, it takes tons of work and inspiration to make one’s labor of love resonate with audiences. For Bing, it’s no different. “I think what inspired me was taking a new age approach to old-style jazz songs. It’s who I am as musician. I identified myself with all types of jazz songs and I asked myself how I can reinvent these for the next generation. I’m not inclined to hear another swing song. I want to make something new.”
So far, he is pleased with the reaction of his growing fan base. “It’s been great and funny,” he said. “Millennials that see my shows think I wrote the songs. They don’t know the songs since they’re part of the new generation. It’s interesting to see a new generation of listeners and exposing them to jazz.”
Bing started pounding the New York pavement five years ago. Before that, he experienced his fair share of success. Touring all over the country in cities such as Miami, he worked with legendary R&B vocalist Lloyd Price known as “Mr. Personality,” after one of his million-selling hits.
When he traveled to New York in 2010, Bing worked the club scene and honed in on the brand of art he was developing. “I kind of went with that then on,” he said. “I think what is unique about what I do is that I’m really touching audiences across the spectrum. Some of these clubs have older clientele. I’m doing songs that fit their aesthetic, but I’m bringing in 25 to 30-year-old kids that are intrigued by it. I’ll play a show and have people from 21 to 61 years of age. It’s amazing watching that range in the same room.”
Due to his diverse fans, Bing has the good problem of trying to figure out his fan base. “It’s harder to really pinpoint what my core demographic is. It allows for so much room to be exposed to these different generations. It’s a great experience having the ability to connect with a wide range.”
Performing at Kingsborough’s historic and modern working lighthouse is an added bonus for the musician who won the Hot House Jazz Vocalist Award in 2014. “I’m always excited to be performing in intimate venues, to have that connectivity with audience and look in their eyes,” he said. “It bring them into music and breaks down that wall between artist and audience which is difficult to do.”
The lighthouse overlooks ocean and has café style seating with round tables.
“Slightly Standard” will be performed on Friday, November 13 at 7 p.m. at On Stage at Kingsborough at the Lighthouse. Ticket prices start at $38. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit www.onstageatkingsborough.org.