John Margolis is a New York based singer, lyricist/composer & arranger
As a singer/songwriter he’s known for his debut CD “Christine’s Refrigerator”, co-produced and co-written with Don Rosler. The international songwriting association (the largest song competition in the US) “Just Plain Folks” awarded the song “Christine’s Refrigerator” “Song of the Year” award (103,000 songs entered), and the CD won “CD of the Year”.
“Tanta Belleza”, a song from the album, is featured in it’s entirety in the award winning documentary film by writer/directors Karin Hayes and Victoria Bruce; “The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betencourt”; Ingrid risked her life by denouncing Colombian politicians linked to drug cartels. She was kidnapped in 2002. It’s a beautiful documentary of courage, heartbreak, and hope.
John played all of the male lead roles for Percy Adlon and Bob Telson in the showcase for the Broadway musical adaptation of “Bagdad Café”, from the Oscar nominated movie of the same name. His performances secured a European premier in Barcelona in 2004, where he, Jevetta Steele, and the show received formidable reviews. John toured with the show in Europe in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
2010 marked John’s first collaboration as composer, singer in character for Lee Breuer’s production of Tennessee Williams, “Streetcar Named Desire”, at the legendary Comédie-Française in Paris for 2011. In addition to writing the lyrics and music, including songs in French, John wrote the orchestrations. John is honored to have conducted the music in character.
In 2010 John and Lee Breuer begin collaborating on “La Divina Caricatura”, Lee’s magnum opus, that enlists actors, singers, two choirs and Bunraku style puppetry. Sections of the piece have played in New York in June, August 2011, January and September in 2012 and April of 2013 at Mabou Mines, and St. Ann’s Warehouse. John plays and sings in the title male role, and wrote music and lyrics for his character. In November and December of 2013 at La Mama in New York, the entire piece will be performed. A French version in Paris starring the award winning Gregory Gadebois. slated to open in New York in 2014. John will provide new music and lyrics in French for Gregory’s one-man performance.
John was featured vocalist on Bob Telson and Lee Breuer‘s song, “Show Me Your Face”, recorded with Wynton Marsalis. It’s featured on Bob and Lee’s newest CD. Bob’s voice and accordion playing make a cameo appearance on the “Refrigerator” CD.
John recorded a duet with the legendary “Girl from Ipanema”, Astrud Gilberto, for her latest release, “Jungle” and played a leading role in composer Mikel Rouses’ Lincoln Center Premiere of “Dennis Cleveland”. He originated the role in this modern opera for its premiere at The Kitchen in NYC, to critical acclaim. “Dennis Cleveland” subsequently moved to BAM, and then to Los Angeles, Fred Zollo Executive Producer.
John received top billing for featured vocalist on the multi-platinum Atlantic Records “Christmas and Other Stories” by the Trans Siberian Orchestra, which was #3 on Billboard’s top 10 for 6 weeks. He completed two major national tours with TSO.
He has been collaborator, composer, music director, and actor for many years for his sister Laura Margolis’ theatre company, “Stageworks”, a critically acclaimed theatre company in upstate New York. It has featured classics as well as new works by such writers as Ernest Thompson (On Golden Pond).
He has had a blast working with such diverse artists as Tony Bennett, Brian Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Earl King, Bo Diddley and the Harlem Boys Choir, just a few people he has opened for, and for whom he played piano and sang.
For the 2nd year in a row, John was featured classical pianist for the sold out performances of “Video Games Live” at the Beacon Theatre, NYC.
John wrote the title theme song and score for the popular TV series, “Wild Things,” syndicated nationwide. Spelling Entertainment has featured his songs for various shows, and is holding others for future use.
He writes regularly for the “Songs of Love” foundation, a non-profit organization that writes personalized songs for terminally ill children. David Lee Roth sang one of his songs, “Ashley Abernathy”. Featured on 60 Minutes, and Oprah, this organization delivers the medicine of music in a special way.
Around town, many New Yorkers know John from his live performances in such venues as the Beacon Theatre, Joe’s Pub, Fez, The Bitter End, Tramps and The Ear Inn. His bi-monthly soirees at The Ear Inn always attracted an overflow crowd and it became a hot spot venue for many great guest musicians. It was here that John began performing his own unique brand of songs.
You may know John’s voice from the hundreds of radio and TV commercials John has sung over the years. From, “The best part of wakin’ up” for Folgers, to, “Falling in Love Again” for Pizza Hut, to, “Make It A Bud Lite”; he’s written and sung more jingles than he’ll admit.
John continues to edit piano/vocal duets he recorded with his father in the years before he passed. There recordings were the original inspiration for the “Refrigerator” and other projects.