Hamlisch, Dankworth Set For from Belarus to Broadway: Celebrating MUSIC! 5/10

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Oscar®-Grammy®-Emmy®-Tony®- award-winning composer, conductor, and pianist Marvin Hamlisch, the renowned young British jazz/cabaret singer Jacqui Dankworth, and the popular gypsy-klezmer-rock band Golem are celebrating music and the human spirit on Monday, May 10, 2010; 6 to 10:30 p.m. The event at New York's legendary Russian Tea Room, 150 W. 57th Street, "from Belarus to Broadway - Celebrating MUSIC!" is a benefit for Music For All Seasons (MFAS). The evening will feature Marvin Hamlisch speaking about his life and music with interviewer/MC Nancy Shear. Jacqui Dankworth, with pianist Charlie Wood, will perform her interpretations of Hamlisch's music. Hamlisch will join Dankworth for a special performance of his music. The music of Golem will begin and end the evening.

Proceeds from the evening's event will benefit MFAS, an organization devoted to the healing power of music. The funds raised will be used specifically for interactive musical programs for children living in shelters for victims of domestic violence in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and California. These life-changing programs for children have won national recognition by, among others, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Society for the Arts in Healthcare.

The evening will include a pre-dinner cocktail reception, multi-course dinner, silent auction, the discussion with Marvin Hamlisch and performances by Ms. Dankworth and Golem. Tickets are available at $500 and $325 by calling toll-free 1.866.524.MFAS (6327) or via online purchase at www.musicforallseasons.org.

Photo credit Jason Cohn

Marvin Hamlisch's life in music is notable for its great versatility as well as substance. As composer, Hamlisch has won virtually every major award that exists: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globe awards; his groundbreaking show, A Chorus Line, received the Pulitzer Prize.He is the composer of many motion picture scores including his Oscar-winning score and song for The Way We Were and his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for The Sting, for which he received a third Oscar. His prolific output of scores for films include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie's Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men and a Baby, Ice Castles, Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Save the Tiger, and his latest effort The Informant, (Sept. 2009) starring Matt Damon, and directed by Steven Soderbergh. Marvin Hamlisch holds the position of principal pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony and San Diego Symphony. Mr. Hamlisch was Musical Director and arranger of Barbra Streisand's 1994 concert tour of the U.S. and England as well as of the television special, Barbra Streisand: The Concert (for which he received two of his Emmys). Hamlisch is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and Queens College (where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree). He believes in the power of music to bring people together. "Music can make a difference. There is a global nature to music, which has the potential to bring all people together. Music is truly an international language, and I hope to contribute by widening communication as much as I can."

Jacqui Dankworth began her professional career as an actress with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She began working in musicals and quickly developed a career as a singing and recording artist in her own right. Her performances have taken her worldwide, singing jazz, the music of Gershwin, and collaborating with leading composers. Jacqui is frequently heard on BBC radio as well as hosting the BBC show Jazz Sirens with her mother, Dame Cleo Laine. Jacqui is the daughter of Dame Cleo and the late Sir John Dankworth. Dankworth will be making her only New York appearance this season at the May 10 event.

Charlie Wood is a talented and versatile singer, songwriter and keyboardist whose eclectic musical style incorporates elements of popular music, jazz, blues and traditional R&B. Born in Memphis he now lives in England. His work is well known throughout the United States and Europe where he has toured extensively. As a songwriter he has released several original CDs including his latest "Flutter and Wow'" released on Archer Records in 2009.

Golem is a New York City-based gypsy-klezmer-rock band performing in Yiddish, English and Slavic languages. Annette Ezekiel Kogan fronts the group with members Aaron Diskin, Alicia Jo Rabins, Curtis Hasselbring, Taylor Bergren-Chrisman, and Tim Monaghan. The band has performed to great critical acclaim throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Poland and Sweden.

Nancy Shear is a well-known writer, lecturer, and broadcaster. She has hosted broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, and the Frick Collection, and had her own interview program on WNYC. Her writing has appeared in major publications such as Musical America, the New York Times and Lincoln Center Stagebill, and she has authored a book on the cultural phenomenon of The Three Tenors. Her background includes positions as orchestra librarian for The Philadelphia Orchestra, Curtis Institute, and privately for Leopold Stokowski, among other major musicians of our time. She is the interviewer on the successful Conversations series presented by MFAS.

Music For All Seasons, now celebrating its 19th season, was founded in New Jersey and is now active in five states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and California. By bringing live musical performances to a wide range of institutions including children's hospitals, retirement facilities, shelters for victims of domestic violence, juvenile detention centers, nursing homes, medical centers, halfway houses and hospices, MFAS aids the physical, mental and spiritual healing processes.

MFAS gained national recognition in its first decade partly through the advocacy of the late actor-musician Dudley Moore, founding president of MFAS' Board of Advisors. The celebrated international recording artist, cellist Steven Isserlis, is active in support of the organization as current president of the MFAS Board of Advisors.

MFAS is active in the international community of Arts and Health, while conducting its own research on the beneficial effects of music in the healthcare environment. The organization brings together a wide variety of people and styles of music, provides opportunities for professional artists to serve special audiences, and creates volunteer opportunities that serve local communities.

MFAS programs are supported by The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Arts Council, The National Endowment for the Arts, as well as numerous foundations, corporations and individual donors.

Photo credit: Jason Cohn

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