The daughter of Italian immigrants, Maria spent time living in both Naples Italy and Miami Florida until she was 18. Maria’s early influences were Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis as well as traditional Neapolitan music she heard at home as a young girl. Maria was drawn to singing at an early age by the desire to convey a songs emotion regardless of genre.In 1978, Maria was approached by a young bass player for a local band who had heard her singing in her car at a gas station. She was asked to join his band thus beginning her performing career. During those early years, she performed with numerous local Miami bands. Maria started making a name in the South Florida area while performing mainly in the rock and roll market. She eventually branched out to sing with bands performing top 40, pop, Jazz, Oldies and R&B. She also entered the studio to record television commercials including one for local cable TV. In 1989, with the resurgence of interest in bands of the 70’s, Maria De Crescenzo was asked by Harry Wayne Casey (KC) to join the newly reformed KC& the Sunshine band. Maria has toured all over the world with KCSB for the last twenty years. Maria has also been featured on the record “Get Down Live” covering Patti Labelle’s hit “New Attitude”. She has worked on studio records with KC as well as performed on Television including a PBS concert special. Maria also appeared with KCSB in the 2003 Feature film “The In-Laws” starring Albert brooks and Michael Douglas. Maria continues to perform with KCSB while producing and writing an upcoming feature musical. Maria also continues to perform as a featured vocalist for local Miami bands when not on the road with KCSB.
As an integral part of KC and the Sunshine Band for over 20 years, Maria is now diversifying and enabling us to experience more of her incredible voice and individuality.
In a recent interview Maria answered some of the questions her fans have been asking.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Q:Tell us how you got started, influences, etc.
A: My house was always filled with music!! On my dad’s side of the family someone almost always was strumming a guitar and singing, sometimes the latest pop tunes, other times old Neapolitan standards; Frank Sinatra (he was royalty in my house!), Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis. You believed every word they sang, and I would sing along, trying to imitate every note, every nuance, every breath.
Q:Tell us a little about what brought you to where you are today.
A: When I was about 19 a young bass player heard me singing in my car and asked if I wanted to join his rock and roll band. I did, and I was hooked! I quickly realized that I loved to sing all kinds of music. There was always an emotion to be conveyed with every song, every genre, and every lyric. I wanted to make people feel what the song was about.
In 1989 I began touring with “KC and the Sunshine Band” when they were just beginning their resurgence. It has been amazing to watch us go from one or two shows a month to the one hundred plus shows a year we do now!!
Q: And from here forward.
A: I’m still on the road with KC, still having way too much fun to stop, but I’ve found that I still enjoy singing the songs I grew up loving. So I’m putting together a project to keep me busy in my time off the road.
Q: Tell us about your project.
A: Without letting the proverbial cat out of the bag, think of all those great songs you haven’t heard in a long, long time.
Well I’m putting some of them together into a show that will take you on a musical journey and bring back a whole lot of fond and fun memories.
I look forward to seeing everyone there!