“Don’t ever give up… even when people tell you no, stay focussed and it will happen.”Sammy Davis Jr. gave me that advice when I was just a young kid. (Chaz Gunter)
Chaz Gunter is an American musician who grew up in Cupertino California. His dad was a musician who played on the Bill Cosby Show and Sammy Davis Jr. show. Starting at the early age of 3, Chaz developed diverse talents in the entertainment fields of acting, drama, dance, comedy, modeling, and music.
Chaz is now a well-known, seasoned freelance musician and entertainer in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad. He has traveled throughout the world with various cruiselines, 5-star hotels, dance, classical, jazz, rock and nostalgia show band tours and well known artists.
He’s also had plenty of experience busking at markets and outdoor events, entertaining the crowds with his multi-instrumental and vocal talents.
We invited him to Busker What’s Your Story to find out a little more.
What drew you to music as a child?
“I was born in motor city Detroit Michigan. My dad was an engineer for Lockheed and a professional musician, he got transferred to California when I was seven. So I grew up in Cupertino California. Dad played with the Bill Cosby & Sammy Davis Junior shows. So I grew up around the musical and entertainment world singing, dancing, acting and modeling.”
What are some memorable moments you have encountered busking or performing?
“I wanted to busk in Morocco one day, I was there at a resort playing a three month contract and I really wanted to busk. It was a Farmer’s Market, it was about 90°outside and there was meat hanging from the racks and there were flies everywhere. That gig was brutal!
The best gigs ever were in Dubai & Asia where I played at upscale resorts & hotels.”
We’re well on our way to a cashless society, do you think busking can survive?
“Yes. Technology is your friend. Today’s age is so great with all the apps…”
If you could choose a lyric from any song that sums up life for you – what would that lyric be?
“And I need you, more than want you.” – It’s from Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman. To me, it means I love street performing, but it’s hard and taxing sometimes.
What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you?
“Sammy Davis Junior gave it to me when I was a young kid: Don’t ever give up. Even when people tell you no, stay focused and it will happen.”
Have you ever busked in Australia?
“No, but I really want to. Sometimes I wish I could just sell everything and go busking around the world!”