Amy Rivard brings Jazz to Georges at Kaufman Astoria Studios

Amy RivardWe spoke with Amy Rivard, a Canadian born actress and singer who regularly brings her own version of classic jazz tunes to Georges at Kaufman Astoria Studios.

This is Astoria: How did you get your start? 

Rivard: When I was younger, I sang in the church choir but the singing/acting bug really hit me when I got the lead in my grade 8 musical. It was a musical made up of a bunch of 50’s tunes and from there, I was hooked.

TIA: Did you start off with acting or singing? and which do you prefer?
Rivard: I would say that I began singing first. I took classical singing lessons every week and trained as a coloratura soprano. I competed in a number of classical competitions and then made my way into the world of musical theatre and got a B.F.A. Honours degree in Musical Theatre from the University of Windsor, in my hometown, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
TIA: Have you always called NY home?
Rivard: Upon graduating, I began touring North America, as a singer with Riverdance and also performed the show on Broadway. From there, I toured with a number of different shows, including the time I toured with a Roy Orbison impersonator. In the show, I sang backing vocals and narrated the show with Roy’s younger brother, Sam Orbison. Next, I did a couple of contracts on a world cruise with SilverSea Cruises and shortly thereafter, moved to London, England where I did cabaret performances. Things then brought me home to Canada and I shot some commercials and indie film while there, but then I packed my bags again to move to Tokyo, Japan, where I performed at Tokyo Disney for over a year. After my Tokyo Disney contract finished, I flew home to Canada for 3 days and was back on a plane heading to Ireland to begin rehearsals for Celtic Woman. I spent a year and a half touring the world with Celtic Woman and performed on a couple of their DVD specials for PBS. After a lot of hard work & very expensive lawyer fees, I finally got my green card and moved to NYC.
TIA: Who inspires you?
Rivard: There are a great number of musicians who inspire me, but some big influences on me include Joni Mitchell, Sarah Mclachlan, John Mayer,  and Ingrid Michaelson.
TIA: Is jazz music your favorite genre?
Rivard: I have to say that I can’t really pick a favorite genre, as I sing in a number of different styles, but I guess my favorite genre is singing my own music. LOL, I’m really into bluegrass these days though!

TIA: Any new projects coming up?  
Rivard: I’m hoping to begin a crowdfunding campaign soon so that I can record more of my original music. I also just released a 360-degree music video for my song, “When We Come Together”. The song promotes unity and features my hometown of Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit. One of my favorite parts of the video would have to be the jets at the end, as they fly up the Detroit River and the hundreds of Canadian Geese and their goslings. I had to dodge a lot of gosling poop during that video shoot! In order to experience the 360 degrees, you must watch it on the youtube app and then point the phone/iPad in the direction you want to see. If watching on your computer, you use the arrows in the top left corner to scroll around!

Amy will be at George’s for a special Halloween performance on October 31st. She will be performing her newest song, “The Three Divas” which is largely inspired by the ghostly apparitions that have visited George’s in the past. Stay tuned for more information about the Halloween festivities at George’s!
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