Jungr Sings Simone at Metropolitan Room 9/4
Returning to New York from London for her fourth Metropolitan Room engagement in over a year, cabaret alchemist Barb Jungr premieres "I Got Life," a new show packed with songs identified with Nina Simone. In eight highly anticipated performances over a three-week stretch, Jungr snatches an array of Simone touchstones from her new CD "Just Like a Woman -- A Hymn to Nina" (released in the UK in March by Linn Records). But instead of presenting the all-Simone evening she's been touring throughout the UK this summer, the 2008 Nightlife Award-winner (outstanding cabaret vocalist) will showcase material from the record (all new to New York ears) alongside a sprinkling of tunes by her other signature inspirations (including Dylan and Brel) that, likewise, she has yet to
perform here. This unprecedented concoction -- Jungr's most personal show to date-- performs September 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 all at 7:30pm.
Celebrated in her native Britain for her bold experiments in jazz, folk-rock, blues and continental cabaret, Jungr was last seen in New York in January. Her sold-out engagement, which New York Magazine referred to as "blowouts," showed off Jungr's spellbinding balance of vocal virtuosity and potent stagecraft. Reviewing "No Regrets: The Remarkable Barb Jungr," Stephen Holden of The NY Times called her "a complete entertainer. [ ] She wove humor and high drama into an emotional roller coaster ride that had me laughing out loud one minute and gasping at her theatrical bravura the next." Time Out NY claimed that her "passionate reworkings" of songs from a double-barreled jazz and blues-rock canon typically left audiences "sitting in stunned silence."
"I Got Life," with Charlie Giordano on piano and accordion, features a life-giving repertoire that includes these heart pumpers: Lilac Wine, To Love Somebody, I Got Life, Feeling Good, My Father, and Keeper of the Flame (from the album), plus Suzanne, Les Marquises, Tangled Up in Blue, Cri de Coeur and New Amsterdam.
A fixture in London's alternative cabaret scene in the late 70's (when she was a member of the cult vocal harmony group The Three Courgettes), Jungr launched her solo career in 1997. Her solo recordings include "Durga Rising" (1997) "Bare" (1999) and "Every Grain of Sand" (2002), her top-selling Dylan CD. Last year US label ZC Records reissued "Bare" as "Bare Again." "Just Like a
Woman" is currently available at amazon.com in the US. The 2003 Back Stage Bistro Award-winner (International Artist of the Year) made her Metropolitan Room debut in January 2007.
"I Got Life's" eight performances are on Thursday & Friday September 4 & 5; Thursday thru Saturday September 11, 12, 13; and Thursday thru Saturday September 18, 19, 20. All shows are at 7:30pm. Jungr's cover is $20.
Currently rated "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, the Nightlife and Bistro Award-winning Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, celebrated its second anniversary in May. For reservations call 212/206-0440. For information visit www.metropolitanroom.com.
Photo by by Genevieve Rafter Keddy.