L.A.-based award-winning singer Dessy Di Lauro delivers a unique flavor of original music best described as ''Feathered Frohawk Futuristic Art Deco Centric Harlem Renaissance Hep Music'' with a live show incorporating elements from the ''Speak Easy Era'' with garters, feathered head pieces and paper boy caps.
HER STORY: OVERCOMING ADVERSITY
Dessy Di Lauro’s (pronounced D'Laro) life story has always been about overcoming adversity. From being bullied as a child in Montreal, Canada’s rough east-end neighborhood due to her inter-racial background of Cuban, Brazilian, Italian descent, to surviving domestic abuse in her adulthood. Today Miss Di Lauro is happily married with her writing partner, Ric’key Pageot, with whom she has architected a fresh new sound they labeled as Neo-Ragtime.
At the tender age of 4, Dessy was already borrowing her parents records such as Sara Vaughn, Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, and Luther Vandross to sing along with. It didn’t take long for her parents to notice her love for singing, thus enrolling her in Gospel choirs. Despite Dessy’s shyness, this would become a great outlet for her to express herself in front of an audience.
As a young adult, she became the go-to session singer being featured in Canadian platinum selling albums such as pop/r&b band Sky's ''Paradise'', and Dubmatique's ''La Force De Comprendre'', which became the first French-Canadian rap album certified with platinum sales.
Her voice and name got back to the Cirque du Soleil scouting department leading to an invitation to audition for their new show La Nouba. Her jazzy soulful laid-back style was exactly what Cirque was looking for, for their feature role. In the fall of ’98, she packed her bags and moved to Orlando, FL to begin creation rehearsals for the show.
The next three years would prove to be challenging times as she dealt with domestic abuse from her ex-boyfirend. Miss Di Lauro turned to music for sanity, having purchased a studio microphone, a keyboard, and a computer embedded with a music production software, as she locked herself in her bedroom to create music like she never did before. Dessy penned heartfelt songs such as My Inspiration; Dear Mama, the un-mailed letter to her mother; and Shout Out, the women empowerment anthem.
After finally having enough courage to leave her abusive relationship and moving back to Montreal in 2002, she would later release these songs on her first solo EP, ‘A Study of A Woman’s Soul’ (CrazyglueMusic, 2004) with the help of a musician/producer and McGill University Jazz Performance graduate, Ric’key Pageot. This EP was critically acclaimed by critics in Canada, Europe and the U.S., notably by Chris Wells, chief-editor of Echoes Magazine who wrote: ‘Her interesting heritage shines through the rhythms and arrangements, putting Dessy on soul’s jazzier side – just where I like it?
In 2008, after another stint with Cirque du Soleil, this time with Ric’key Pageot as musical director for ‘Deliriium’, an arena-touring show across the US and Europe, the now-married couple moved to Los Angeles, CA for bigger career opportunities. Not too long after that move, Ric’key embarked on an almost two year world tour with the queen of pop, Madonna (Sticky and Sweet Tour), all the while Dessy was performing around Los Angeles to help broaden her fan base. By this time in her career, she had performed with Patti Labelle, The Neville Brothers, Deborah Cox, and most recently, punk/rock pioneer band, Social Distortion.
Upon Pageot’s return from tour, the couple would immediately begin working on new music. Di Lauro and Pageot architected a brand new sub-genre of music they named ‘neo-ragtime’ by fusing the musical language of ragtime/stride piano of the 1920-30’s with the contemporary R&B sounds of today.
In 2010, the power-couple released their first neo-ragtime single and music video, Why U Raggin’ which won two Hollywood Music in Media Awards, including Best R&B/Soul Song of the Year. The following year, Dessy was nominated by the highly respected Soultracks.com Readers’ Choice Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year, and also selected by the staff at Amoeba Record Store in Hollywood as the ‘Homegrown Talent’ (Nov. ’11). Dessy showcased her repertoire in clubs across the US, notably at the Blue Note in NYC, and the House of Blues in Hollywood, Las Vegas and Houston, TX.
Miss Di Lauro released her sophomore full-length album, ‘This Is Neo-Ragtime’ in February 2013, for Black History Month. The Revivalist/Okayplayer, an online journal for the burgeoning jazz community, wrote: ‘Integrating Pageot’s stride piano mentality of Fats Waller and Cab Calloway with the very modern vocal stylings of Di Lauro has proven to bring an incredible homage to the greats while still moving the music forward and bringing in new fans.
Her first single/music video, ‘Jump ‘N’ Jivin’ was quickly selected by the giant sports TV network ESPN to be featured throughout the 2013 women’s NCAA basketball Final Four championships. This isn’t the first time Miss Di Lauro is involved with pro-basketball. In 2010, her and Ric’key flew to Turkey to perform for the live broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the FIBA World Championships.
With the help of her undeniable determination, Miss Di Lauro is certainly on her way to soon making her mark in the music industry.
For a more detailed information on Dessy's career, please visit the BIO page at www.DessyDiLauro.com