By Crystal Harrell

As an artist creating a blend of pop, jazz and soul with echoes of influence from the late greats of the past, Slim Man’s laid-back, “jazzified” musical repertoire has garnered acclaim in the Coachella Valley.  Slim Man has won Best Jazz Vocalist at the Coachella Music Awards as well as Album of the Year with his LIVE at Vicky’s double CD.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Slim Man was inspired to start his musical journey after seeing The Five Pennies movie with his dad. Louis Armstrong played the trumpet in the movie and sang, prompting Slim Man to tell his dad, ”That’s what I want to do.”

Slim Man studied trumpet for the next nine years, and taught himself how to play piano and guitar. After studying piano, composition, and harmony at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD, Slim Man got signed as a songwriter to Motown Records. He’s had songs recorded by the Temptations, Angela Bofill, Carl Anderson, and others. Slim Man also recorded a CD for Motown, which gave birth to his signature style–a unique blend of jazz, soul, and pop.


“Stevie Wonder really inspired me as a songwriter. And I love Sade… . I got signed to Motown Records as a songwriter when I was about 20. I wrote a song every two weeks and they paid me $1000 a month,” revealed Slim Man.

Slim Man went on to form the band BootCamp, who had two of the first 100 videos ever played on MTV. Those videos catapulted BootCamp into a successful concert career, performing with The B-52s, Squeeze, Split Enz, Johnny Winter, and others.

After BootCamp broke up, Slim Man organized and hosted a nationwide country music talent contest. It was during this contest that he got the nickname Slim Man. Slim’s big discovery during the contest was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at a honkytonk called Tulsa City Limits. The winner of the contest that night was Ronnie Dunn, who went on to win the national finals in Nashville, and later hooked up with Kix Brooks to form the multiple Grammy award-winning country music duo, Brooks and Dunn. After the Marlboro contest, Slim Man released his debut CD End of the Rainbow. This CD made many Top Ten lists for the year.

Slim Man has released 13 CDs, and in the late 1990s, he started Bona Fide, an instrumental group whose combination of funk and jazz brought forth the Number One single “X Ray Hip.”

Slim Man is now working on a new Slim Man Bona Fide EP, featuring three Slim Man songs and three Bona Fide tracks. Slim Man’s music focuses more on vocals, whereas the Bona Fide side is funky instrumentals. The project goes up on Kickstarter August 15th to try and raise the funds to finish it.

“There’s such a wonderful talent pool to draw from in Palm Springs, and I found a great studio out here, Melrose Studios Palm Springs. Usually when I write, I’m gonna be in a room by myself and that room could be in Palm Springs, in Baltimore, or Morocco. The location really doesn’t matter because what I do is internal, not external. But that being said, it’s really inspiring to be out here. There is so much beauty in the desert. I never thought it could have such a unique beauty and it is inspiring,” stated Slim Man.

Slim Man has overcome musical challenges throughout his career, turning them into triumphs. The last Slim Man CD, LIVE at Vicky’s, was a challenge to record. Slim Man recalls recording the second to last night of the season and having the band play their hearts out.

“We felt so good about it, but there was a technical problem and we couldn’t use even one song. The next week, the last night, we did it again. The pressure was on! And it turned out so well, we decided to do a double CD with 28 songs. It won Album of the Year at the Coachella Music Awards. I’m proud of that, and real proud of the band,” shared Slim Man.

Another one of Slim Man’s musical achievements includes singing in a choir for Pope John Paul on Christmas Day in 1999. His new cookbook, Slim Man Cooks Volume 2, was just released in January 2022—following his first release in 2016, featuring 52 recipes and 52 personal stories. Slim Man would love to make a movie someday, as he has written a couple of rom-com screenplays that have won awards.

“My advice for up and coming musicians is to have a spirit of excellence. Create something great. Everything else will fall into place! The Coachella Valley is growing and it’s nice to see a lot of talented people, not only being born and raised here and nurtured here, but there’s also a lot of talent that’s coming here,” said Slim Man.

Follow Slim Man on social media @slimmanicotti or his official website at