YONKERS, N.Y. -- Jackie DiMaggio says she was singing before she was talking.
According to family lore, DiMaggio, who grew up in Pelham, was at her older sister's Christmas show when the then 2-year-old started humming in perfect pitch.
"My parents like to say they knew then that I'd be a singer," said the Yonkers resident.
Now 27 and mom to a 19-month-old, she's a big fan of the classics -- Frank Sinatra, Carol King, Karen Carpenter, Whitney Houston -- and relies on South Salem resident Lisa Ratner as her producer. "Lisa worked with many of the greats like Barbara Streisand and Vanessa Williams," said DiMaggio. "She's a huge help to me and has done a lot of my original recordings."
DiMaggio has been singing professionally for the past 10 years, mainly at area restaurants and local events. Among her career highlights: Singing at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City.
She also prides herself on supporting local events near and dear to her heart. For the past three years she's sung at the Columbus Day Parade in NYC -- she'll be there Monday, Oct. 10 -- and has been the only featured singer at the Westchester County Center where, each Memorial Day, the Westchester County Police hold a Memorial Service.
She's also big on showcasing her heritage, which is why the Columbus Day event is always such an honor.
"I come from a large Italian family and grew up in church singing and, later, performing," she said. She also learned a lot from her grandfather -- now 93 -- who used to play "Al Di La" and "Ave Maria" for her as a child.
Though she likes all genres of music, her speciality is classic sounds of yesteryear.
"I feel like songs by Connie Francis and Frank Sinatra were when music was really music," she said.
DiMaggio, who has four CD's with original recordings as well as songs on iTunes, is also a big fan of ballads. "When I'm singing, you know it," she said.
You can hear DiMaggio perform at NYC's Columbus Day Parade or, on Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Classic Car Show at Ursuline High School in New Rochelle.
She also does parties and weddings and is available for local events. Contact her through her manager, Basil Ciampi at (914) 494-4286 or via her Facebook page .
As successful as she's been so far, DiMaggio's greatest wish, however, is to sing the National Anthem at Yankees Stadium. "I'm a lifelong Yankees fan," she said. "And, c'mon -- my last name is DiMaggio."
Her grandfather even did research and found out that, though not related per say, Joe DiMaggio and her family come from the same town in Italy.
"I have to believe, one day, with this remarkable connection, that it should happen," said DiMaggio. "I keep trying, but so far, I can't seem to get in. I'll keep pursuing it. It's a dream I will never give up on."
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