Teenagers are seldom thought of as crooning along to classics like Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To The Moon,” but Nick Kluftinger’s repertoire reads like a compilation of pop staples from generations past.
The 15-year-old Burnsview Secondary student specializes in jazz, including favourites by legends like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. But he’s not adverse to contemporary singers like Jamie Cullum and Tony DeSare, and occasionally dips a toe in the pop and rock ponds as well.
“I think jazz is refreshing, it has a broad appeal and I think more people my age should hear it,” Kluftinger said. “I’m going to be trying out opera in the future, see if I like and if it suits my voice.”
Kluftinger started singing with the Delta Wonderchoir when he was nine years old, moving on to solo performances three years later. As a solo artist, he has taken part in community open mics and competitions such as Delta Idol and Delta’s Got Talent, and has sung at the Vancouver Christmas Market and other Lower Mainland events.
He also performs in musical theatre, getting parts in adaptions of Hairspray and The Little Mermaid at Burnsview Secondary and with the Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society, respectively.
Coming up on Feb. 9, Kluftinger will sing solo at The Voice – Gospel Style as a winner of the VIP Young Artist Solo Vocal Competition. The event will take place at the Shaughnessy Heights United Church in Vancouver (1550 W 33rd Ave.).
The rest of 2019 looks quite busy for Kluftinger. Apart from playing The Grinch in Seussical the Musical at the Coast Capital Playhouse this April and May, he plans on recording a professional demo in the spring, and come fall he’ll be attending the Delta School District’s Performance Academy, a joint venture between the district and Vancouver Opera.
“At this young age, opera is kind of something to wrap your head around, but it kind of has all the elements that he loves about musical theatre,” said Kluftinger’s mother, Shirley-Anne Parsons.
“He’s not a big dancer, so it might actually appeal to him because it’s heavy on performance and singing.”
For a taste of his vocal skills, visit Kluftinger’s YouTube channel.