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Cliff Beach: Bridging Generations with "You Showed Me The Way"
Photo Courtesy: Sheldon Bolter Photography

Cliff Beach: Bridging Generations with “You Showed Me The Way”

By: Ivy June

In the ever-evolving landscape of music, few artists manage to seamlessly blend genres while maintaining a distinct, authentic sound. Cliff Beach, with his latest album “You Showed Me The Way,” accomplishes just that, presenting a soulful journey through jazz standards that not only pays homage to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald but also infuses his unique brand of funk and soul into each track. This body of work exemplifies how Beach is not merely an artist but a musical alchemist, turning classic sounds into contemporary treasures.

A native of Washington, D.C., Cliff Beach’s musical roots run deep. Raised in a family where gospel and vocal harmony were staples, he honed his skills in church choirs and acapella groups from a young age. His passion for music led him to the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he further developed his craft and graduated with a degree in Music Business/Management. It was there that Beach began to shape his eclectic sound, drawing from an array of influences spanning jazz, soul, gospel, and R&B.

Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2003, Beach embarked on a professional career that has seen him grow from playing intimate gigs to commanding stages with a full seven-piece band. Despite the challenges faced by independent musicians, Beach’s determination never wavered. He pursued an MBA at Pepperdine University, specializing in marketing—a decision that not only provided him with the tools necessary to navigate the business side of music but also inspired his book “Side Hustle & Flow,” chronicling his journey as a musician balancing artistry with entrepreneurship.

Cliff Beach: Bridging Generations with "You Showed Me The Way"
Photo Courtesy: Sheldon Bolter Photography

 Over the past decade, Cliff Beach has been prolific in his output, releasing one album annually since 2013. His debut project, “Who the Funk is Cliff Beach?” garnered several nominations at the L.A. Music Awards and set the stage for what would become a vibrant career. With each release, Beach has expanded his sonic palette while staying true to his core influences—his voice serving as both an instrument of powerful emotion and an embodiment of diverse musical traditions.

“You Showed Me The Way” marks Beach’s most ambitious project yet—an album dedicated entirely to jazz standards once immortalized by Ella Fitzgerald. Rather than simply covering these classics, Beach reimagines them through his lens, bringing together elements of funk, soul, and even neo-soul into arrangements that breathe new life into timeless compositions. Notably absent from this album are Beach’s own keyboard stylings; instead, he steps back to allow Munenori “Moon” Kishi’s arrangements to shine alongside contributions from seasoned musicians like Evan Mackey (music director and lead trombonist) and Rubén Salinas (baritone sax), among others.

The album kicks off with “That Old Black Magic,” setting an upbeat tone that carries throughout its runtime. Tracks like “Round Midnight” and “Love You Madly” showcase Beach’s ability to inject fresh energy into songs well-trodden within the jazz canon without losing their original spirit or charm. His rendition of “A-Tisket A-Tasket” swings with joyful ease, while ballads such as “How Long Has This Been Going On” reveal a more introspective side—each note sung with heartfelt sincerity.

Cliff Beach: Bridging Generations with "You Showed Me The Way"
Photo Courtesy: Sheldon Bolter Photography

Closing out with “The Gift of Blues,” an original composition by Beach himself, listeners are reminded of not only his reverence for tradition but also his talent as a songwriter capable of crafting pieces indistinguishable from those penned decades ago.

Cliff Beach’s voice resonates with authenticity and passion throughout “You Showed Me The Way.” In choosing to explore Ella Fitzgerald’s songbook through this album, not only does he pay tribute to her legacy but also proves himself as an innovative force capable of bridging generational divides in music.

Fans eager to experience this fusion firsthand can find “You Showed Me The Way” on Spotify. Follow Cliff on Instagram at @cliffbeachmusic for updates on live performances and behind-the-scenes insights into his creative process.

With “You Showed Me The Way,” Cliff Beach does more than just show the way—he invites everyone on an enriching musical journey that honors past legends while looking firmly toward future possibilities.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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