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Joel Fleisher

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Joel Fleisher has literally been singing all his life and is delightedly unable to say what kind of music he most loves, both as a listener and a performer. Classical music and opera were almost Joel's first language, and he drank them thirstily lying atop the stairs of the South Philly home in which his parent's regularly hosted their musical friend's. Singing Do-Wop harmony on the boardwalk of pre-casino Atlantic City, Joel often competed in the talent shows in big hotels offered their summer guests. At the same time he began polishing his jazz chops "fronting" the wedding band of a local ex-"Mambo King" in suburban Philadelphia. Moving to New York to do chorus calls, first step in his planned invasion of Broadway, the Selective Service soon "invited" him to Vietnam, his first stop being Ft. Ord in Monterey, CA, an area he began to love.

After the service, Joel decided to formally study music at Monterey Peninsula College. He started doing musical theater as well as studying classical voice. Moving to San Francisco, Joel continued his studies at San Francisco State University.

Joel started working at The Sea Witch, a Ghirardelli Square showcase cabaret, where he honed his performance chops and audience skills. His stint at The Sea Witch led to Joel's return to Philadelphia where he spent a year singing in the lounge of The Fairmont Hotel.

Returning to the Bay Area, Joel began teaching and continued to perform in musical theater. His performances included a summer run co-starring in "Gypsy" with Yvonne De Carlo at Oakland's Woodminster Amphitheater.

Joel continued to sing with large and small vocal ensembles, these performances leading to solo work that included sharing the lead to "Oh Happy Day" in front of a combined choir of 150 voices.

Having just retired from teaching, Joel rediscovered his joy in singing jazz and has launched himself on the next great segment of his life as a solo jazz vocalist, having come full circle back to his musical roots. Recent performances have included the lounge at Yoshi's, San Francisco and the Berkeley City Club. When you hear Joel you'll be glad he found his way home!

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