GREGORY RICHARD PURNHAGEN GOMEZ was born in Manhattan and raised in Massapequa Park on Long Island, where he did not know Jerry Seinfeld, the Baldwin Brothers or Joey Buttafuoco. Since studying vocal performance at NYU and Mannes College of Music, Greg’s eclectic career has included international touring in several productions with Philip Glass; performances in pieces created by such avant-garde luminaries as Meredith Monk and Anthony Braxton; Off-Broadway shows: Chez Garbo, Night Vision, The Marilyn Project; cast recordings including Of Thee I Sing, Allegro, and Mr. Glass’s Monsters of Grace and Hydrogen Jukebox.
During the 1990’s, he was a BMG recording artist as a member of Toby Twining Music, touring extensively and making numerous appearances on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion. Along the way he has pursued his passion for cabaret, creating several well-received shows and appearing in revues such as Rendezvous (2008 MAC nominee) at Feinstein’s in New York City.
BABALU-CY! The Art of Desi Arnaz debuted at Metropolitan Room in 2007, won a Backstage Bistro Award in 2008 and went on to an Off-Broadway run at the Actor’s Temple in New York’s Theater District. A presentation of the show at Hofstra University’s Monroe Center Theater in 2010 brought him to the attention of Bob Kasha and Ada Cavallo, the husband and wife team that took over the Xavier Cugat Orchestra after Cugat retired. One thing led to another and before he knew it, Greg went from portraying the great Cuban American bandleader who, incidentally, received his first big break from Cugat, to leading the New Xavier Cugat Orchestra, becoming an actual bandleader himself, adopting his birth father’s family name in the process. (That’s another story.) Among his many commercial recordings, which include his first solo effort, Desiderio, he is especially proud to have contributed guest vocals on Bjork’s CD, Medulla.