Lincoln Center's American Songbook Week Two To Run 1/27-30
Lincoln Center's acclaimed series American Songbook enters Week Two of its twelfth season celebrating the diversity of American popular song. On January 27th maverick music producer Hal Willner assembles an all-star cast to explore the contributions of Jewish songwriters to the creation of the great American Songbook. Willner is basing his evening on the new book, A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs by David Lehman. Artists performing the works of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin and others include Rufus Wainwright (above, center), Bill Frissell and the arranger/vocalist Van Dyke Parks. The following night, January 28th, belongs to singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega (above, right), who has embarked on a project to re-imagine her own songbook in a stripped down, intimate manner. She'll be joined by the Light & Sound String Orchestra as she performs love songs inspired by the city and people she loves: New York. On January 29th indie rocker St. Vincent (above, left), who appeared on dozens of years' end "10 Best" and "Best of" lists, takes the stage. The week closes out on January 30th with an evening with theatrical composer and lyricist Michael Friedman. Friedman, whose surging reputation is based on his shows "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and "Gone Missing", will be joined by the terrific Broadway voices of Norm Lewis, Michael Esper and De'Adre Aziza.
Sponsored by Pfizer
American Songbook will be presented in the spectacular Allen Room of Frederick P. Rose Hall. The Allen Room possesses one of New York's greatest settings - a stunning vista of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline that provides an evocative backdrop for the performers.
TICKETS can be purchased online at Lincoln Center's website AmericanSongbook.org, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office.
Lincoln Center's American Songbook 2010 Season
Week Two January 27 - 30, 2010
The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street
Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 8:30 pm: HAL WILLNER'S I GOTTA RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES? Music and Readings from A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs featuring Rufus Wainwright, Bill Frisell, Van Dyke Parks, Marc Anthony Thompson, Roy Nathanson and Steven Bernstein Celebrated music producer Hal Willner is credited with creating the modern tribute concert. For the American Songbook series he's put together a one-evening musical exploration of David Lehman's book, A Fine Romance (Nextbook Press.) The book shows how the American Songbook is largely the work of Jewish songwriters, so the terrific Rufus Wainwright, Bill Frisell and others will perform songs by Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, et al., arranged by superb musicians/composers including Steven Bernstein, Van Dyke Parks, and Roy Nathanson. The arrangements will be new, the band fantastic, and the songs - timeless.
This performance is sponsored by Nextbook Press.
Thursday, January 28, 2010, 8:30 pm: Suzanne Vega Vega started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager, quickly developing a contemporary folk sound while singing about city life in a clear, cool voice described as "a dry, sandpaper-brushed near whisper." After signing with A&M in 1985, Vega's superb debut album sold 1 million copies worldwide and eventually nearly 500,000 in America, cementing her place as an influential new voice in the music scene. Her follow-up album two years later went platinum and the song "Luka" entered the cultural vernacular. Continuously recording, performing and collaborating with diverse artists worldwide, Vega is considered one of the most gifted songwriters of her generation.
Friday, January 29, 2010, 8:30 pm: ST. VINCENT Talent can come from anywhere, and the flatlands of Texas are no exception. Annie Clark, the Oklahoma-born and Dallas-raised auteur behind St. Vincent, writes quirky, intricate pop songs. Her first album, Marry Me, came out in 2007 and it attracted attention for its elegant lyrics and precocious arrangements. On her current CD, Actor, she begins each song as a secret film score and builds from there - each track telling a story as vivid as the movie inside your head. St. Vincent has garnered tremendous critical acclaim for her uniquely engaging live performances over the last year, appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the storied PBS series Austin City Limits.
Saturday, January 30, 2010, 8:30 pm: Michael Friedman: Adventures in Reality, featuring Norm Lewis, Michael Esper, and De'Adre Aziza Composer and lyricist Michael Friedman is a founder of the theater troupe The Civilians, which casts a sometimes jaundiced eye at contemporary society. While his music can be in any number of musical styles - pop, jazz, Latin, and folk - his lyrics are playful covers of emotional messages. He has put together an evening of songs based on actual dialogue from both everyday people and historical figures. Along for the ride is Broadway performer Norm Lewis (Les Misérables, The Little Mermaid), Passing Strange star De'Adre Aziza, and other special guests.
Since it was launched in 1998, American Songbook has been dedicated to celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the popular American songwriter from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. Spanning all styles and genres from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway to the eclecticism of today's songwriters working in pop, cabaret, rock, folk and country, American Songbook traces the history and charts the course of the American song from its past and current forms to its future direction.
Artists who have appeared on the American Songbook series include Andy Bey, Betty Buckley, Ann Hampton Callaway, Calexico, Liz Callaway, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Michael Cerveris, Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Cincotti, Eric Comstock, Victoria Clark, Rodney Crowell, Alan Cumming, Dean & Britta, Mos Def, Christine Ebersole, Kurt Elling, Sutton Foster, Mary Cleere Haran, Darius de Haas, Joe Henry, Fred Hersch, Jane Krakowski, Judy Kuhn, LaChanze, k.d. lang, Bettye Lavette, Amos Lee, Patti Loveless, Rebecca Luker, Patti LuPone, Nellie McKay, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, Del McCoury, Audra McDonald, Lori McKenna, Alan Menken, Jane Monheit, Megan Mullally, Kelli O'Hara, Tonya Pinkins, John Pizzarelli, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Steve Ross, Stephin Merritt with The Magnetic Fields, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Nico Muhly, Bernadette Peters, Jimmy Scott, Patti Smith, Sufjan Stevens, Stew, Billy Stritch, Elaine Stritch, Paulo Szot, The Fountains of Wayne, They Might Be Giants, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Deborah Voigt, Lillias White, Dar Williams, Lizz Wright, David Yazbek and John Lloyd Young. The series has also presented concerts highlighting the music of composers and lyricists such as Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Harold Arlen, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Jason Robert Brown, William Bolcom and Arnold Weinstein, John Bucchino, Michael John LaChiusa, Cy Coleman, Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Guettel, Frank Loesser, Alan Menken, Cole Porter, Andy Razaf, Richard Rodgers, Arthur Schwartz, Duncan Sheik, Stephen Sondheim, Billy Strayhorn, Charles Strouse, Jule Styne, Jimmy Van Heusen, and David Zippel.