Tony Award-Winning Producer Paul Boskind to Produce Texas Jazz Singer's Next CD
The number-one male jazz singer in the home of the Alamo has been entertaining San Antonio and South Texas audiences and recording critically acclaimed CDs for more than 23 years. Now Ken Slavin will bring his unique sound to the Big Apple when he makes his New York City jazz cabaret debut on Thursday, October 31, at the world-famous Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd Street. Show time is 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25 - with a two-drink minimum - and are available at www.metropolitanroom.com.
The show, "You Gotta Have Heart: Ken Slavin LIVE at The Metropolitan Room," will be recorded and a CD of the performance will be released in time for Christmas.
Executive producer of the CD is Dr. Paul Boskind, of New York City and San Antonio. He won a Tony Award in 2011 for Best Revival of a Play as co-producer of the critically acclaimed Broadway hit "The Normal Heart," and recently produced a Tony-nominated Broadway revival of "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever," starring Harry Connick Jr.
A consummate showman with a smooth baritone voice, engaging personality and a deep love and respect for the Great American Songbook, Slavin is an "old school" classic jazz vocalist with a vast repertoire. He also sings in Spanish.
His performance will include selections by legendary songwriters such as Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Richard Rodgers - and will include songs made popular by such artists as Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Jo Stafford and Eydie Gorme. He also plans a special New York medley written especially for this one-night-only engagement. He will be accompanied by a jazz trio comprised of some of New York's most popular musicians: Ehud Asherie on piano; Joel Forbes on bass; and Phil Stewart on drums. (All three appear regularly at Birdland, The Blue Note, Smalls and other top Manhattan jazz venues. Forbes works regularly with legendary jazz singer Annie Ross at The Metropolitan Room.)
New York area cabaret and jazz aficionados will have a chance for a "sneak peek" when the singer performs a number at Jim Caruso's Cast Party at Birdland on Monday, October 28, at 9:30 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.birdland.com. Slavin will also be a guest on Oleg Frish's "Standard Time" on WNYM-970AM Saturday, October 26, during the 5-6 p.m. EST broadcast. And he has been invited to appear on "Lounging with Lombardi," hosted by John Lombardi, on City World Radio Network (internet radio), on Tuesday, October 29, at 6 p.m. EST.
Slavin was born in New London, Connecticut, and lived in the Tri-State area (Greenwich, Newark and Staten Island) as a boy before his father's U.S. Coast Guard career took him to many other ports around the United States, eventually settling his family in San Antonio. And while he has become firmly entrenched as a Texas favorite, because of his East Coast roots, he regards his upcoming Manhattan debut as a homecoming.
"It's very much like going home," Slavin says. "I am beyond excited to have this opportunity to sing in a city I have loved all of my life. It's a dream come true!"
Slavin was a late-comer to the music world, becoming a professional singer in 1990 when he was 29 years old. Twenty-three years later, after much hard work and a great deal of success in Texas, he is now - at the age of 52 - preparing for his New York City debut. This is happening because Bernie Furshpan, the managing partner of The Metropolitan Room, heard one of his recordings while making a guest appearance on "Lounging with Lombardi" - a popular New York internet radio program. With host John Lombardi's encouragement, Furshpan decided to book Slavin.
ABOUT KEN SLAVIN
Fans and reviewers often favorably compare Slavin to a younger Tony Bennett, Johnny Hartman or Mel Torme. One newspaper writer dubbed him "Mr. Tuxedo Voice." Texas Monthly says he's one of the "Swing Set" in the Lone Star State. In reality, his voice, persona and performance style put him in a category all his own. Long before the current crop of young interpreters of the golden era of American popular music embarked on their careers, Slavin was working the microphone deep in the heart of Texas - in the bicultural and vibrant city of San Antonio - now the nation's seventh largest. It's a city known more for country, Tejano and rock music, but Slavin has held his own for nearly a quarter century - earning many fans at home and abroad. His classy and fresh approach to the Great American Songbook has earned him the honor of opening for such jazz legends as The Four Freshmen, Eddie Palmieri, Dee Dee Bridgewater, David Sanborn and Chico Hamilton; performing in concert with the internationally acclaimed Jim Cullum Jazz Band (famous for its National Public Radio program, "Riverwalk, Live From The Landing"); and giving private performances for Grammy Award winners Helen Reddy and Vikki Carr. In addition to performing his unique interpretations of jazz, pop and Spanish language classics throughout Texas - everywhere from country clubs and sophisticated nightspots to jazz festivals and college campuses - he also has appeared as far north as Anchorage, Alaska and as far south as Mexico City. His CDs are programmed on many traditional and internet radio stations in the USA and Europe. His most recent recording, "I'll Take Romance," has been spotlighted on programs from Alaska to New York and as far away as the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, New Zealand, Portugal, France and Mexico - and is currently programmed on the "Singers and Swing" channel of Music Choice, cable TV's digital music service headquartered in New York City. In 2011 he was invited to appear on BBC London's "Late Night with Joanne Good." That same year, after being discovered on You Tube by Diane Linden Thomas, producer of the internet radio program "A Visit With Connie Francis" (which streams every week on Baltimore Net Radio), Slavin was invited to guest-host four of the broadcasts - which he researched and scripted himself. It was a definite thrill for the crooner, who is a lifelong fan of Connie's music. Last year, the San Antonio Art & Jazz Festival presented Slavin with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his musical contributions to the community. He has been named "Best Male Vocalist," "Best Lounge/Swing Act," and "Best Musician" numerous times by the San Antonio Current. He was recently profiled in San Antonio Magazine.
In the 1990s Slavin earned a reputation as a very public and dedicated AIDS activist, using music has his weapon. He created, produced, publicized and starred in a series of successful fund-raising concerts benefiting the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, which at that time was the only full-service AIDS hospice and educational organization in South Texas.He also produced a well-received jazz CD, "Tender is the Night," for the organization, donating all sales to its educational and medical programs.
His six-year effort raised nearly $50,000 for SAAF and provided tens of thousands of dollars in free media coverage for the organization and its efforts - no small feat in conservative and Hispanic South Texas where HIV/AIDS and other issues affecting the community are still not dealt with as openly as in other major U.S. cities.
The CD of his New York debut will also have an important charitable angle - this time, for the American Heart Association. Slavin recently learned that he suffers from coronary artery disease and underwent a series of procedures to clear blockages. Now that he is recovered, he wants to help the organization whose funding and research have helped save millions of lives - and which is working hard to eradicate what has become the number-one killer of Americans: heart disease.
ABOUT THE METROPOLITAN ROOM Voted the number-one jazz cabaret club by New York Magazine, The Metropolitan Room is one of the most critically acclaimed venues in New York City and is known as the "home" for big name talents and rising stars. The Metropolitan Room is located in the heart of Manhattan in the Flatiron/Chelsea District at 34 W. 22nd Street. A high-end cabaret and jazz club, The Metropolitan Room brings the best in live music to New York City every night of the week at 7p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Fabulous award-winning Broadway, TV, film and radio performers take the stage in an intimate 115-seat atmosphere reminiscent of the golden age of cabaret.
For more information, call 212-206-0440 or visit www.metropolitanroom.com.