'Christmas At Birdland' CD Achieves Early Chart Success
Christmas at Birdland featuring Billy Stritch, Jim Caruso and Klea Blackhurst made a strong debut on the Billboard Jazz chart. The project currently claims the #7 spot on the chart, after having reached the #2 spot on the iTunes Jazz chart on its first weekend out.
Club44 Records President, Wayne Haun, shares, "When we started this label, we knew we were taking a risk. We knew that this style of music is relevant and in demand - and chart success like this with our first release proves that we are headed in the right direction as a label."
Christmas at Birdland is currently available at all digital and retail outlets and is distributed internationally by Sony/Provident.
Christmas is Starting Now / It's the Holiday Season
The Christmas Waltz
Manhattan in December
You Meet the Nicest People
He's Stuck in the Chimney Again
Little Jack Frost Get Lost
Caroling, Caroling (instrumental)
It Happened in Sun Valley / Snow
Silent Night / A Child Is Born
Winter Weather / Winter Night
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Kay Thompson's Jingle Bells
Billy Stritch is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scene. His most recent nightclub act "Billy Stritch Sings the Mel Tormé Songbook" earned rave reviews from the New York critics. Stritch has appeared in cabaret venues across the nation as well as concert performances at the London Palladium, NHK Hall in Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro's Municipale Auditorium. In New York, he has performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and was onstage in the 2001 Broadway revival of 42nd Street, which starred Christine Ebersole. Billy is also a songwriter and arranger, and his composition "Does He Love You" was recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. The single reached the number one spot on the Billboard Country chart, winning a Grammy Award and selling over five million copies along the way. He has arranged for many top performers and is a frequent collaborator with Liza Minnelli, having written the arrangements for Minnelli On Minnelli at the Palace Theater, Liza's Christmas at Town Hall, and was musical supervisor and pianist for the Tony Award-winning, Liza's At The Palace. Last year, he performed as musical director/pianist on dozens of dates with Tony Bennett. Billy has played and sung on numerous television shows including "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," "Oprah," "The CBS Morning Show," "The Today Show" and "Inside The Actor's Studio". He is the winner of the Nashville Music City News Award, a BMI Song of the Year Award, and four awards from the Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets.
Jim Caruso made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the Tony Award-winning Liza's At The Palace!, singing, dancing and celebrating the music and arrangements of Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. He has won six MAC Awards for his nightclub appearances, four BroadwayWorld Awards, has performed with the New York Pops in a tribute to Kander & Ebb, with Rosemary Clooney celebrating Bing Crosby, and singing the songs of Hope & Crosby with Michael Feinstein, all at Carnegie Hall. Jim was honored to sing with Barbara Cook, Lauren Bacall and a bevy of Broadway stars at President Clinton's First State Dinner at the White House. For seventeen years, he has hosted the weekly showbiz bash "Jim Caruso's Cast Party" at Birdland, Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center and across the country. He has produced over 800 Broadway at Birdland concerts, and his weekly radio segment, "A New York Minute with Jim Caruso" can be heard on Legends Radio 100.3 FM. His two CDs, "The Swing Set" and "Caruso Live and In Person" are available online.
Klea Blackhurst is an actress, singer and comedienne known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow. Most recently she appeared Off-Broadway with Hayley Mills in the comedy, Party Face, at City Center Stage 2. She starred in Hazel during its world premiere production at Drury Lane in Chicago, as Dolly Levi in the highly acclaimed Fiftieth Anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! at The Goodspeed Opera House. She's performed with symphony orchestras and in theatrical productions across the country and abroad including the London Palladium presentation of Jerry Herman's Broadway with Angela Lansbury, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tribute to Marvin Hamlisch,, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, 15 Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Conventions, New York's Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, New York's 92nd Street Y Lyrics & Lyricists, The Chicago Humanities Festival and as Ado Annie in the BBC Proms concert of Oklahoma! in London's Royal Albert Hall. On television, she has appeared in Ryan Murphy's Pose and The Knick, on Showtime. She spent two seasons as former prosecutor, Shelby Cross, on the IFC Channel comedy series, Onion News Network. She's done the requisite Law and Order: SVU, spent a week on Sesame Street and was a musical guest on The Rosie O'Donnell Show.
Based in the Music City of Nashville, Tennessee, Club44 Records is an independent label that specializes in the cabaret, Broadway and jazz genres, as well as the preservation of the American Songbook. Their premier studio release, Christmas at Birdland, drops October 18, 2019 and features award-winning artists Jim Caruso, Billy Stritch and Klea Blackhurst. Club44 Records has additional projects scheduled for early 2020 and is excited to serve as the creative home for many singers, instrumentalists and writers. They are distributed worldwide through Sony/Provident Distribution.
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