Feinstein's at the Nikko to Welcome Wesla Whitfield, 5/8-9
The beloved Bay Area cabaret singer Wesla Whitfield, joined by her husband, pianist and arranger Mike Greensill and John Wiitala on bass, will debut their new show, Who Cares (What Banks Fail in Yonkers!), at Feinstein's at the Nikko for two-performances only - Thursday, May 8 (8 p.m.) and Friday, May 9 (8 p.m.). The challenges of the world can make it tough to keep a smile in place. Let Wesla and Mike's new show take you on a delightful journey through the Great American Songbook that will re-unite you with your hopes and dreams. Tickets for Wesla Whitfield range in price from $30 - $45 and are on-sale now and available by calling 866.663.1063 or visiting www.ticketweb.com.
Located within Hotel Nikko (222 Mason Street, San Francisco), Feinstein's at the Nikko presents a wide range of entertainers from stage and screen all within an intimate 140-seat cabaret setting. There is a $20 food and beverage minimum per person inside the showroom which guests can use towards cocktails as well as a variety of small plates crafted exclusively for Feinstein's at the Nikko by Executive Chef Philippe Striffeler, through Restaurant Anzu. Cheese and dessert platters will also be available in the showroom.
Rarely do two shining stars come together and stay together in the way that Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill have done. Mike studied piano in England, and Wesla began singing at home in Santa Maria, California, thousands of miles apart. Destiny brought them both to San Francisco, where they met and began to share the music they both loved. Each is a major talent - together they interpret and perform some of the greatest popular music ever composed in a style and with substance seldom encountered. A relaxed, unpretentious performer, Wesla's clear, exquisite voice, riveting style and sardonic wit are matched superbly with Mike's sophisticated arrangements and elegant phrasing. She inhabits that magical zone where jazz and cabaret meet, with her deft timing and uncanny ability to connect with the emotional truth in a lyric.
Trained in classical music and opera, she toiled for more than three decades to become one of the most gifted performers breathing life into Broadway tunes, movie songs and beloved numbers known collectively as the Great American Songbook. Wesla and her husband Mike Greensill have worked with major symphonies, orchestras, bands and solo performers from Marian McPartland to Joe Wilder. Together they brought down the house in their Carnegie Hall debut participating in the Tribute to Frank Sinatra, and appeared in tributes to Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Judy Garland. The duo was invited in 1996 to perform at the White House for Hillary Clinton. The New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden says, "Ms. Whitfield combines ruthless insight, intense emotion and highly evolved jazz phrasing into a musical evening that goes beyond mere entertainment to flirt with profundity." The San Francisco Chronicle called Wesla "...an indoor landmark. Every great city deserves a signature chanteuse, and San Francisco is fortunate to have Whitfield as its resident voice."
Their talents combined have garnered numerous national television, radio and written media credits, including "All Things Considered", "Fresh Air" with Teri Gross, People Magazine, CBS' Sunday Morning, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, a DownBeat Magazine profile and a feature in O Magazine. Well-known in his role as musical director and husband to Wesla, with whom he has recorded over twenty albums, Mike is also the resident pianist on Sedge Thomson's weekly Public Radio Show to the World, "West Coast Live." As an arranger, he has had the opportunity to write for big bands and symphony orchestras including the Boston Pops and the San Francisco Symphony. In addition to the musical partnership with his wife, Mike has taken pleasure in accompanying a diverse roster of artists including
Mike's book on the art of the accompanist, "Playing for Singers", has just been published by Sher Music.
Guests of Feinstein's at the Nikko can enjoy a variety of food and beverage options before performances. Kanpai Lounge, located in Hotel Nikko's lobby, offers light cuisine, a full bar and specialty cocktails. Restaurant Anzu, Hotel Nikko's intimate restaurant located on the second floor, serves sustainable California cuisine enhanced with Asian flavors. Restaurant Anzu will also offer Feinstein's at the Nikko guests a special three-course prix-fixe dinner ($45 per person) prior to all performances. Reservations can be made by calling (415) 394-1100.