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Tony DeSare: Radio Days

Where will 10 years of violin lessons, a Sinatra cassette and a business degree get you? For vocalist/pianist Tony DeSare, it was enough to take him to the very top-literally. The violin lessons began when DeSare was 8. He discovered the Sinatra tape, a collection of seminal Capitol hits that opened up a whole new world of music for DeSare, when he was 14. The degree was earned in the mid-’90s at Ithaca College.

Like so many eager twentysomethings armed with a biz diploma, DeSare headed for Manhattan. And, in 1998, he did land on Wall Street, but not as a trader or analyst. Having decided, against the protests of his Ithaca professors, to aim for a career as a crooner and piano player, DeSare found himself an agent and was immediately granted a gig at Windows on the World, high atop the World Trade Center. “It was,” DeSare recalls, “a one-nighter that really didn’t pay anything, but it was my first official New York City appearance and it made me realize what I was up against to try and make a career of this.”

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