Click photo to enlarge
Vocalist Bronte Roman performs throughout the Northeast.

Bronte Roman is a late bloomer in terms of her musical career.

The 47-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. native, who has lived in New Lebanon, N.Y., for the past two years, has always been interested in music, but didn’t really start performing until she was about 32.

A Harvard graduate, she is the vocalist for the Bronte Roman Jazz/Pop Ensemble, a musical group that plays a fusion of several genres, including, as the name indicates, jazz and pop music.

Her saxophonist, Eric Wilentowicz, is also the musical director of the group. Wilentowcz, a native of Warren, Mich. and presently living in Albany, is also a talented solo musician.

Recently, Roman and her group played the Pittsfield Ethnic Fair, but they play throughout the Northeast and have been making a name for themselves.

Q: You got started a little later than most musicians.

A: I played for 15 years with different bands, and it wasn’t untill about three years ago, actually, that I began doing this full-time.

Q:I caught your show at the Ethnic Fair, and it was very enjoyable. How would you describe your music?

A: We call it Latin jazz and pop. We try to play accessible music, but what we try to do is tie the music to whatever event we’re playing. At the Ethnic Fair, we played a little more toward the Latin style.

Q: You were born in Brooklyn. What were your influences growing up?

A: My father, Bernie Roman, was a gospel singer, so we had a lot of gospel music in my house.


Advertisement

My mother Jeannie was a huge fan of classic country music, so we also heard a lot of Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton and Charlie Rich.

Q: As a singer, are there any artists who influence your style?

A: Oh, I think [Frank] Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, to name a few.

Q: What does Bronte Roman listen to when the radio is on?

A: I love what people call the standards, Sinatra again, and the Great American Songbook.

Q:How many gigs do you play annually?

A:Forty-five to 55 annually. More in the summer months. Sometimes two to three a week in the summer.

Q: And obviously, you play gigs beyond the Berkshires.

A: Vermont, Connecticut and downstate New York, including New York City, in addition to the Berkshires.

Q: Any favorite venues in the county?

A:We play the Ethnic Fair, Third Thursdays. Eric has played at more local venues as a a soloist and in a band than I have. He’s played at Blantyre, the Berkshire International Film Festival, the Castle Street Cafe and the Mahaiwe Theater.

Q: And you have been working on a CD, right?

A: Yes. Eric and I have been working on it. It’s called "Latin Jazz Love Songs." I love so many of those Latin love songs, so we decided to come out with a CD of them. We’re hoping to be done by September.

For more information about Bronte Roman, visit
bronteroman.com.