Marti Gould Cummings makes his debut appearance at the stages of 54 Below in April to perform a celebration of nineties rock. He and his band, Marti and the Cummers, will sings songs from Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Green Day, and Rod Stewart. They will also throw in a number or two from Peter, Paul & Mary, Pat Benatar and Elvis. Eric Miranda, a frequent collaborator of Robert Plant’s and Led Zeppelin’s, will lead the band consisting of Brad Proctor, Yuka Tadano and Barry Nagel with Andre Jordan and Kristina Nicole Miller singing back-up. Special guest performers will include Tony Award winner Cady Huffman and stage stars Hernando Umana (from Kinky Boots) and Michelle Dowdy (from Hairspray).
“I grew up listening to classic rock with my dad in the car,” remembers Marti Gould Cummings. “The first concert I ever went to was Eric Clapton when I was 8. That same year, my Dad took me to see Fleetwood Mac.”
The downtown star counts himself a fan of David Bowie, explaining that Bowie’s free spirit and gender fluidity inspired him as a child and influences him today as an artist. “Like Bowie, although I often dress in women’s clothing, I do not consider myself a drag queen,” says Cummings. “I am a performer who simply bends the rules a little.”
Since making his debut in 2005 at The Duplex in New York’s Greenwich Village, Marti Gould Cummings has been a Manhattan staple in the cabaret world, performing Broadway standards at many of the cities most popular hotspots including current shows at The Ritz, XL Nightclub, New World Stages, Barracuda and Industry Bar.
“Rock classics are completely new territory for me,” he admits. “But as an artist, it’s important to try new things out of your comfort zone.”
Cummings is getting support from some of his friends in the theatre community. Cady Huffman, a Tony Award winner for her role as Ulla in The Producers, will sing “Stairway To Heaven” with him at the 54 Below concert. “She directed me in The Life and Death of Kenyon Phillips at Webster Hall and has become a mentor to me,” he says.
Hernando Umana and Michelle Dowdy will join him on a Stevie Nicks number. “Each song in the set list has a special meaning to me,” continues Cummings. He grew up on a farm in Maryland, a flamboyant boy belting out music at the top of his lungs. He didn’t have many real friends so he often performed in front of invisible crowds at pretend stadiums.
“It’s so nice to have real people to sing to today,” he says. “I sure hope some of them will come the show and take the journey through nineties rock with me.”
Marti Gould Cummings and his band Marti and the Cummers perform 54 Below on April 1. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/marti.g.cummings.