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Drew Sullivan: Press

I want to thank everyone who so generously supported the Dedham Square Circle in raising money for our first endeavor in our 'Facade Improvement Program' -- the restoration of the Dedham Community Theatre's marquee.

It took the contributions and efforts of many, many people to create such a successful night and we're proud that it was the Dedham residents, merchants and landlords who helped us out in so many ways.

....and Drew Sullivan, Dedham vocalist, provided his fabulous trio for our entertainment.

....What an outpouring of generosity from so many people for a town with strong historical roots and great potential for the future."

Susie McIntosh
Event Chair and
Board Member,
Dedham Square Circle
Letter to the Editor - The Dedham Times (Nov 30, 2007)
"Harmony and understanding; sympathy and trust" abounded at Sunday'S Faire in the Square where 300-400 local residents gathered between 12 and 4 p.m. at an event which over time the Dedham Square Circle Civic Organization hopes to make a rite of spring.
.....(excerpted portion about Drew Sullivan musical performance only).....

High street was filled with the sounds of jazz music early on during Sunday's faire. On the sidewalk in front of the Community Theatre, jazz vocalist and musician Drew Sullivan and seven string guitarist Ralph Rotondo played several sets which brought numerous rounds of applause from those who sought to make something special of a week of days that let the rains come down.
Sullivan, a Dedham native, who has had a "love affair with the Square" for some time, recently released a CD, "Dedham Square Roots," that features his vocal talent and passion for the saxophone. Currently on sale at the Blue Bunny, the Center Deli and the Dedham Exchange, its songs include "You're My Everything," " The Best is Yet to Come," and "Dedicated to You." Sullivan performs monthly on Saturday nights at the Center Deli, a convenient place to go especially before or after the movie show in the Square.
Carol Ziemian - Transcript (May 23, 2007)
Drew Sullivan: Local performer lights up the night

by Scott Heald

[Editor's Note: Drew Sullivan grew up in Dedham on Norfolk St. and still resides in town. He is a multi-tasker, serving as Town Meeting Member from Precinct 4, a licensed real estate assistant, a tax preparer and a software customer support associate. But his avocation remains music, a hobby he took up as a youth in the Dedham Marching Band. He has performed several shows at Deli After Dark in Dedham Square, and spoke with The Dedham Times recently.]

Dedham Times: Tell me where you're from originally.

Drew Sullivan: I'm from Dedham. I grew up across from the Dedham Public Library, on Norfolk St. all my life, until I went away to college. I went to then Ames School, then I went to school at Noble & Greenough, and graduated with the Class of 1967. We're planning our 40th reunion this year. So I guess I'm a Dedham guy.

DT: Where did you go to college?

Sullivan: I went to Suffolk. I have a bachelor's and a master's in public administration.

DT: So you got into the tax field.

Sullivan: I do that as a part-time thing, it's seasonal. I work for Meditech, over on Route 128. I've been with them 22 years in June.

DT: What do you do over there?

Sullivan: I work in the systems support department. I deal with operating systems. They have an operating system called Magic, and I've been dealing with that for over 15 years, with customer support. So that's my regular career. Music is my interest and hobby and alternative career. And I do seasonal (tax) work for H&R Block from January till April 15th. I have my salesman's license in real estate, and I help my wife (Virginia Sullivan of Century 21 - Elizabeth Roberts Realty in Dedham) in her business as a licensed assistant. I do open houses and things like that. So I have a bunch of different irons in the fire.

Music is my love. In the 80's, before the onset of disc jockeys, a lot of live bands were active. They played at all sorts of functions - weddings, parties, organization gatherings. You would tend to see a live band rather than a disc jockey. So I performed for a couple of years pretty regularly, then the business changed. The disc jockeys became more of a choice for people, because of their affordability, so I stopped doing that as regularly as I had.

DT: Were you a vocalist?

Sullivan: Yes, at that time I was a lead singer. I did that for two or three years. I did play saxophone when I was in high school. There used to be a Dedham marching band. Robert Kelly was a local music guy and he had a marching band and I played in that band as a kid. We used to march in the parades here. We'd do some dance halls once in a while - it was very intermittent. I didn't play the saxophone for a long, long time. Then, maybe about eight years ago, I picked it up again and started playing with other amateur adults. Now when I perform I play a little saxophone - I really sing, that's my strong suit. But I can play a little saxophone and break it up, which gives it a different jazz feel.

DT: Has jazz always been your favorite?

Sullivan: I think so. I've played everything. I played folk when folk was in. I played rock in my 20's. But when I started doing general business work, what they call the function work, I got exposed to a lot of the jazz standards, stuff that Sinatra or Bennett or people like that had popularized. General business musicians play that role - they'll add music to any sort of function. It could be a meeting of the Rotary - their awards ceremony. I did that recently. General business musicians generally don't get as much recognition as people who are headliners or television personalities. But they do a lot of the providing of music that is in everyday life. That always traditionally was a big part of the music business.

DT: You've really kept this interest up for years and years. How do you find the material?

Sullivan: Before this recording (his new CD, 'Dedham Square Roots'), I would perform intermittently. At one point I was in the Dedham Choral (Society), just to try that out.

DT: Are you a tenor or a bass?

Sullivan: I'm a bass-baritone. Brian Jones had been the music director at Noble & Greenough when I was there. So we had an acquaintance, and I joined that (DCS) for a while. I had some classical experience with them. But my real avocation is more as a jazz vocalist. It's sort of a rarefied niche. There's not a lot of people that sing some of the material I sing. I felt that whenever I could perform, I would try to perform that.

So last year I decided, 'Why don't I make a recording, because I've been singing this material for a lot of years and I don't really have a current recording'. The recording business has changed quite a bit. You can basically sell new material on the Web, you can self-distribute, and the recording technology has improved greatly. Everything's on computer hard drives now. When you go into a recording studio to do what you do, then when you do the mixing it's much faster and more affordable now. You're able to get a product quicker, more affordably.

DT: Can you use iTunes to download MP3's?

Sullivan: Right. It's available on my website (

DT: Is that the same price as walking into Centre Deli (and buying the CD)?

Sullivan: The price on CD Baby is even a little bit more, it's a dollar more. The iTunes are more affordable, because you can buy one track. If you want to buy one song you click and say, 'I want to buy "Dedicated to You"'. It's whatever it is - 89 cents, or 99 cents. Or you can buy the whole album. What I do on the Internet is, if you buy more than one CD they automatically give you another discount. And they ship it the next day. So for people who want a CD, who are not near a location where they can walk in and get it (they can buy it online). I have friends out of state, they bought it on the Web. What I'm trying to do is take advantage of the fact that you can distribute on the Web either a hard product or the digital download for an iPod. I'm known locally, and put it in (the stores of) a few local merchants that I patronize, and who were willing to sell it. I have it in Whole Foods' Brighton store, and I'm hoping to put it in a few more Whole Foods stores.

Centre Deli has been very kind to me. I have been performing there once a month since last September. So I usually have a Saturday night every month, and they've (the owners) indicated to me that that's something they are going to continue. I usually come in with a piano player and a bass player, and I play a little sax. We do a lot of stuff off the CD, and other material. We play from a little before 8 to a little before 11 on Saturday nights. I've had some very good audiences there - it's been a lot of fun. It's a great local outing for people on a Saturday night, who don't want to go in town (to Boston). Every gig is on the website.

I remember Dedham Square as a young child, and it was a wonderful place. It's changed a lot over the years, but the spirit of Dedham is still in the Square. I try to support it and be part of it.

[Drew Sullivan's CD 'Dedham Square Roots' is on sale at Centre Deli, and the Dedham Exchange, as well as at Whole Foods in Brighton.]
Scott Heald - The Dedham Times (Feb 23, 2007)