There are gifted actors in the world, as well as exceptional musicians. To possess either skill must be wonderful, but there are also those people who have been lucky enough to be blessed with both. Don’t you envy them? Meet Doña Oxford, one of these amazing individuals.
A video of Doña performing at the Riverfront Blues Festival in 2013 has been viewed 12.8 million times on YouTube. In it, Doña performs one of the most fun genres of music, boogie-woogie. When the video begins, Doña asks if she can play for them, and the crowd’s cheers are an emphatic yes.
She then tells them she’s gonna school them about what boogie-woogie is and, gauntlet thrown, Doña begins to play. She’s truly exceptional. It’s not just her skill on the keyboard, although it is pretty impressive. It’s also her sass, she just oozes attitude, and it’s so much fun! She nods her head, moves her body to the beat, and punctuates the music with her hips. It’s a great show to watch.
As the song continues she riffs with the crowd. At one point, she tells them she’s going to play with one hand tied behind her back and just play the boogie. She kills it and quips that the bass player can go home now. He laughingly pretends to walk offstage. Doña Then explains the boogie is nothing without the woogie and adds the right hand again. For the rest of the video, the tempo increases til her hands are a blur. Naturally, she gets a huge cheer at the end of her performance.
So, who is this incredibly talented lady? Doña’s date of birth isn’t known but the circumstances show she was in a big ol’ hurry to arrive. Her mother gave birth in the backseat of an old Chevrolet in the parking lot of the hospital on New York’s Upper West Side. Her father was a musician, a trumpeter and an episcopal priest. Sadly, he died when Doña was only fifteen months old.
Music also runs in her blood on her mum’s side, she was a cabaret singer. Her mum wanted to expose Doña To as many different types of music as possible and took her to everything from punk rock to Tom Jones concerts. The love of music seems to have taken root. Doña was given a toy piano as a gift and this spurred her to get lessons.
She was only seven when she started performing in public and began classical training. She also branched out into singing and acting with a particular love for musical theatre. At seventeen she enrolled at the Tisch School of Arts in New York. Throughout her time there she performed at open mic nights, and at regional and off-Broadway plays.
Since then, Doña has forged a successful career as an actress, musician, screenwriter and composer. It’s no surprise her net worth is estimated at 1.3 million dollars. Once you’ve enjoyed the boogie-woogie video, check out another great performance at Witzend. If you would like to see more from Doña Oxford, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel.