Gabrielle Lee Performs at the Metropolitan Room Today
After piling up a vast array of positive critical reviews for her work as an actress and singer on stages and at venues all over the globe, the multi-talented, versatile Gabrielle Lee will make her cabaret debut at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street) in New York City today, November 3, at 4 PM.
Appearing with her stylish big band, Gabrielle is prepared to win over cabaret audiences with a performance of blues, pop and jazz songs by such beloved songwriters and composers as Duke Ellington, Lieber & Stoller, Burt Bacharach, Lerner & Loewe and Frank Loesser. Gabrielle is backed by world=class jazz musicians, including Eugene Gwozdz on piano, LaVando Thomas on bass, Andrea Valentini on drums, Ayodele Maakhero on guitar, Jon Arons on trombone, Dave Tiggs on trumpet and, of course, "Max on Sax."
General admission is $20 cover and there is a two-drink minimum. For reservations: 212-206-0440. Or visit www.metropolitanroom.com.
The Nashville-born Gabrielle believes she is well prepared for her cabaret debut at The Metropolitan Room. Since moving to New York City with a BFA in Theater from the University of Memphis, she has built a successful career as a working actor, performing dramatic and singing roles on national tours in musicals, regional theater, Off-Broadway and later touring abroad in productions of Dreamgirls, Blackbirds of Broadway, Smokey Joe's Café, One Mo Time, Showboat, Man of La Mancha, Aint Misbehavin, My Fair Lady, Once On This Island, Her Song (2007 Mac Award-winning musical tribute to female composers and lyricists), the USO/American Belles, and more.
She has also spent many years as a backup singer with Natalie Cole, Steely Dan, Michael Bolton, Marvin Hamlisch and with the New York Pops Orchestra, among others. She has toured the US and abroad as a backup vocalist with Harry Belafonte, has worked as featured soloist with the Cab Calloway Orchestras, the Barry Levitt Trio, and is a lead vocalist in several big bands and orchestras performing in clubs and venues across the Tri-State area, among them Swing 46, Birdland, The Copacabana, Carnegie Hall, the Plaza Hotel, the Friars, Metropolitan and University Clubs, Guild Hall in the Hamptons and the former Rainbow Room.
Along the way, she has also traveled the world as a special guest artist constructing, developing, creating and arranging solo performances at a number of popular jazz venues worldwide. "Even if it's a jazz venue, I don't always get to sing jazz numbers all the time. I can do smooth grooves as well. Basically, I like all songs that tell a story..... that speak through me to tell."
Her current show is the result of being influenced and persuaded by musical director and arranger Danny Holgate (the late Cab Calloway's arranger) years earlier to begin establishing a library of songs for a one-woman show of her own. As a result, for the last several years she has begun developing a repertoire of songs which stem from the roles she has either performed as a lead, in an ensemble, or, from many of her favorite artists and writers such as Natalie Cole, LaVerne Baker, Duke Ellington, Lerner & Loewe and Frank Loesser to today's popular singers such as Alicia Keys and Adele.
Gabrielle's passion and love for performing began at an early age in Nashville where she studied theatre, mime and dance at the Nashville Children's Academy Theater, Circle Players Theater and in several local dance schools. In junior and senior high school, she excelled in school dramatic performances, and later was a finalist in the Miss Teen USA Pageant. Gabrielle's singing career began almost as an accident in high school when teachers went searching for a student to sing the National Anthem at a special school function of the Mayor. To her surprise - since she never thought of herself as a singer - she was selected and soon found herself in demand for local concerts and public events. "Singing in front of a lot of people was scary at first," she recalls, "but when I found I could do it, I began to really enjoy it."