Michael Feinstein Channels 'Old Blue Eyes' as He Brings THE SINATRA PROJECT to the McCallum, 3/1-2
Cabaret Icon Michael Feinstein returns to the McCallum Theatre with "The Sinatra Project," for two performances - Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 -- dedicated to the great Frank Sinatra. Michael reflects Sinatra's sensibility by interpreting the songs in conceptually different styles from Sinatra's own renditions. The results are fascinatingly unique and memorably beautiful. Billed "The Sinatra Project", the concert is presented in two parts on these consecutive evenings. In the second concert, Michael reinterprets songs by such greats as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peggy Lee, and more. "The second volume is really about Sinatra and his friends," says Michael. "It's about the people he influenced and who influenced him."
Michael Feinstein, the multi-Platinum, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy nominated entertainer dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook," is one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, the Hollywood Bowl, the White House and Buckingham Palace.
More than a performer, Michael has received national recognition for his commitment to America's popular song and preserving its legacy. In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards scholarships and prizes to students across the country. Michael serves on the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and public availability of America's sound recording heritage.
Michael earned his fifth Grammy nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, celebrating the music of "Ol' Blue Eyes." The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released last year. His Emmy nominated TV special, "Michael Feinstein - The Sinatra Legacy," was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana. His PBS series "Michael Feinstein's American Songbook" was the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award; the third season will air in 2013. On his public radio program "Song Travels," Michael interviews and performs with music luminaries, including Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Moby, Rickie Lee Jones and David Hyde Pierce.
His 2012 book The Gershwins and Me is combined with a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano. Other recent CDs include The Power Of Two with "Glee" and "30 Rock" star Cheyenne Jackson and Cheek To Cheek with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. His newest recording is We Dreamed These Days, featuring the Carmel Symphony Orchestra; he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou. In 2005, Michael recorded Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of Harry Warren classics recorded with George Shearing. The previous year, he completed a tour with songwriter Jimmy Webb based on their album Only One Life - The Songs of Jimmy Webb. In 2003, Michael received his fourth Grammy nomination for his release Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, he released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring favorites and previously unreleased tracks. Michael's own record label, Feinery, released The Livingston & Evans Songbook, featuring Michael and Melissa Manchester.
Michael serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in 2011. The theater is home to an annual international Great American Arts festival, live programming, and a museum for Michael's rare memorabilia and manuscripts. In 2010, he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2013, he will replace the late Marvin Hamlisch as the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops.
Michael is working with MGM to turn The Thomas Crown Affair into a Broadway musical. He also has designed a new piano for Steinway called "The First Ladies," inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.
His Manhattan nightclub, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz, including Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming. Michael appears there for a sold-out holiday engagement every year.
His many other credits include scoring the original music for the film Get Bruce and performing on the television series "Caroline in the City," "Melrose Place," "Coach," "Cybill" and "7th Heaven."
The roots of all this work began in Columbus, Ohio, where Michael began playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After high school, he worked in local piano bars, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in 1977. Michael became Gershwin's assistant for six years, earning access to unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin's influence provided a solid base upon which Michael evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also is an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins and Carole Bayer Sager), Michael Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.
McCallum Theatre presents Michael Feinstein in two performances of "The Sinatra Project", on Friday, March 1 ("Volume I"), and Saturday March 2, ("Volume II") with both performances at 8:00pm. Tickets, priced at $105, $95, $75 and $65 are available at www.mccallumtheatre.com, or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787.