“Sly Man and Sheryl Ann” is the collaborative duo of piano maestro Daniel “Sly” Slipetsky and soulful songbird Sheryl Ann McKinley, who often perform alongside additional Tucson musicians. On Tuesday (Sept. 12) they will be joined by upright bassist Jack Wood, performing jazz, blues, the American Songbook and more for an 11:30 a.m. concert at the Arizona Senior Academy.
Slipetsky began playing jazz and learning to improvise during his high school years, and further honed his skills on both piano and tuba at three universities in Delaware and Arizona. Here in Tucson, he has performed in a variety of jazz settings, more recently turning his focus to early jazz of the 1920s and 1930s. Teaming up with McKinley, he has been exploring musical styles outside of jazz as well, and has added singing to his performance repertoire.
McKinley describes her relationship to music and singing in her early years as a hidden gift that she feared to share with others, instead only allowing her voice to come out fully when no one was around. Fortunately, in the past decade, she unexpectedly encountered a voice teacher who encouraged and guided her to develop her vocal gifts, so that performing is now her passion, especially as part of “Sly Man and Sheryl Ann.” Her motto is “Music = Life!”
Bassist Wood has pursued simultaneous careers as a software engineer and a musician, having had the privilege to play music with many great local and national jazz artists here in Tucson – as a student in the 1980s as well as since returning in 2005.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer