Karen Ziemba and More Set for 92Y's Lyrics & Lyricists Series to Tribute Jerome Kern, 5/4-6
The greatest songwriters revered him. And his songs-from "All the Things You Are" to "The Way You Look Tonight"-remain a vital part of our cultural conversation. It is no accident that Jerome Kern is also known as "The Dean." Author and Lyrics & Lyricists series artistic director Deborah Grace Winer takes the helm as artistic director/writer/host for The Song is You: Jerome Kern Coast to Coast, on May 4, 5 and 6. Winer is joined by vocalists Karrin Allyson, Debby Boone, Jeffry Denman, bassist Jay Leonhart, Howard McGillin, Paula West and Karen Ziemba, with special guest Barbara Carroll.
"Kern was the oracle for all the oracles of the American Songbook," says Deborah Grace Winer, "The Gershwins, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and the rest worshipped at his feet not just because of his brilliance as a melodist, but because in essence he had invented that uniquely American sound that defined Broadway and popular standards. He revolutionized musical theatre with shows like Show Boat, and elevated Hollywood musicals with masterpieces like the Astaire-Rogers Swing Time. His melodies are so fresh, sophisticated and universal that today, Kern's music transcends time and style, so that interpreters of every stripe continue to make it a living part of our contemporary life."
Now in her fifth season as Lyrics & Lyricists series artistic director, Deborah Grace Winer is an author and playwright who has written extensively about the American Songbook. She has presented Lyrics & Lyricists shows on Dorothy Fields, Rosemary Clooney, Carolyn Leigh, Johnny Mercer, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and the music of the New York nightclub scene. Ms. Winer is the author of On the Sunny Side of the Street: The Life and Lyrics of Dorothy Fields (Schirmer Books) and The Night and the Music: Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Cook and Julie Wilson Inside the World of Cabaret (Schirmer). She is co-author of Sing Out, Louise!: 150 Broadway Musical Stars Remember 50 Years (Schirmer); and I Remember Too Much: 89 Opera Stars Speak Candidly of Their Work, Their Lives and Their Colleagues (William Morrow). She also authored three companion coffee table books included in each of three box sets of the complete early recordings of Rosemary Clooney (Bear Family). Her articles have appeared in The New York Times and Town and Country, among other publications. Her play, The Last Girl Singer was produced Off-Broadway, and others, including Little Shows, Buzz and the upcoming The Real Tabasco, have been developed at Lincoln Center Theater, the Lark, the Women's Project, the Westport Country Playhouse, The Actors Studio and elsewhere.
John Oddo started his career as pianist, arranger and composer for Woody Herman and his Thundering Herd. He met Rosemary Clooney in 1983 and served as her musical director, pianist and arranger for more than 18 years, working on 20 of her recordings as well as countless live and televised performances. As music director, Oddo he has collaborated with Deborah Grace Winer on all five of her previous Lyrics & Lyricists shows, most recently 2011's "The Crowd's at El Morocco: The Heyday of New York Nightclubs." He currently works as music director for Debby Boone, Christine Ebersole and James Naughton, is a frequent collaborator of Michael Feinstein's and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for his orchestrations for Dame Edna Everage and Michael Feinstein's Broadway show, All About Me.