“It started when a friend of mine brought me a Sinatra CD and told me that I could do that too,” said Jeff Grainger, a popular local performer of Frank Sinatra’s work.
Michigan native Grainger touches the soul with his deep, baritone voice. If one closes the eyes and listens, one is captivated and immediately entranced by the rich and resonant sound of his smooth, but scorching voice. It is perfectly Sinatra.
Grainger began singing with a school choir, called Venner, in his hometown of Frankenmuth, MI, a small community of 3,000 population. He learned the rudiments of vocalization there and then went on to play in a rock and roll band for a short while in his teens. He was the band’s drummer.
Different interests led him to Eastern Michigan University where he majored in marketing. But music was to stay with him and resurface later when he caught his first break working for an Italian restaurant in South Carolina.
After moving to Miami in 2006 his breakthrough came when local pro Jack Crooner hired him on to perform with his band as the Dean Martin in his Rat Pack band.
“I like Dean Martin, too. All of the greats — Dean Martin, Tony Bennett,” Grainger said.
He has paid his dues, too. Grainger sang at restaurants by taking a small amplifier and playing the music out of CD’s. Now, he plays with his band called The Hoboken 11. They include artists from the symphony orchestra in Cuba who have come to Miami. He performs regularly at Amici’s on Saturday nights.
He headlined at the New York Marathon last year. He also has organized a tribute to Frank Sinatra called the “Sintennial” last year, for which he gathered a band of 17 players, even including a string section.
He and his band have played at the Hard Rock Hollywood and Seminole Coconut Creek for crowds of thousands.
When asked how he felt about singing in front of so many people, he responded instantly, “I love them.”
He enjoys the music. Anyone who has seen him live can enjoy his spontaneity and energizing manner.
Grainger is a well-rounded individual. He has been a competitive runner and participated in the Corporate Run in Miami where he placed third in 1999. He is a father of two children.
“They go with me to my performances. My daughter is into it, but my son tries to crack me up by making funny faces,” he said.
For more information about him and his work, he can be contacted via his website at www.miamicrooner.com.