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Lillias White, Brian Stokes Mitchell & More Set for New Season of AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC


Lillias White, Brian Stokes Mitchell & More Set for New Season of AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC The fourth season of the award-winning music series, AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC, hosted for the first time by multi-platinum-selling entertainer Michael Feinstein, will make its New York Metro-area premiere on Sunday, April 9th on at 12:30 p.m. THIRTEEN (check local listings). The six-part series, now entitled American Songbook at NJPAC Hosted by Michael Feinstein,will also air on WLIW21 at 3:30 p.m.

American Songbook at NJPAC Hosted by Michael Feinstein, co-produced with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), was taped before a live audience at NJPAC's Victoria Theater. This season features performances by Tony award-winning Broadway baritone Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate); internationally acclaimed violin soloist, recording artist and conductor Joshua Bell; Tony-winning Broadway star Billy Porter (Kinky Boots); SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE alum Ana Gasteyer; critically-acclaimed Broadway performer Rachel York (Victor/ Victoria); Tony-nominated Broadway star Andrea McArdle (original lead in Annie on Broadway); award-winning Broadway dancer Jared Grimes (After Midnight); Tony-award winning actress LiLlias White (The Life, Dream Girls), Capitol recording artist José James and soprano Larisa Martínez. Also performing in several of the programs are Great American Songbook Youth Ambassadors Lucas DeBard, Julia Goodwin, Brighton Thomas and Nick Ziobro, from Feinstein's Indiana-based Songbook Academy®.

"We strive to make American Songbook at NJPAC better every season," said John Servidio, General Manager of NJTV. "Adding someone of Michael Feinstein's caliber as host and surrounding him with this line-up of talent will take the series to a new, memorable level."

"Besides being our country's leading ambassador of American popular song, Michael Feinstein is also the music's most literate and engaging historian," said John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC. "This new season of Songbook will feature Michael as singer, pianist, raconteur and moderator. I can't wait!"

Performances are paired with insider discussion between Feinstein and the artists, offering an intimate look into the music they perform and their lives on and off the stage. This season also includes two "Best of American Songbook at NJPAC" episodes, one featuring love songs and one paying homage to Broadway composers from Berlin to Sondheim and beyond.

The 2017 American Songbook at NJPAC Hosted by Michael Feinstein series episodes descriptions are as follows:

Episode 1: Sunday, 4/9/17 at 12:30pm on THIRTEEN
Michael Feinstein welcomes Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ana Gasteyer and Songbook Youth Ambassador Lucas DeBard to NJPAC for stimulating conversation and performances. Highlights include dynamic renditions of "There's No Business Like Show Business", "What a Wonderful World" and "Hello, Dolly!".

Episode 2: Sunday, 4/16/17 at 12:30pm on THIRTEEN
Michael Feinstein is joined by José James, LiLlias White and Songbook Youth Ambassador Nick Ziobro at NJPAC for lively conversation and exciting renditions of "God Bless The Child", "I Wanna Be Loved", "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "For Once in My Life".

Episode 3: Sunday, 4/30/17 at 12:30pm on THIRTEEN (Salute to Love Songs)
Michael Feinstein hosts an all-star salute to the world's greatest love songs. Marilyn Maye, Maureen McGovern, Joshua Bell, Valerie Simpson, Nellie McKay, Tom Wopat, Jessie Mueller, Rebecca Luker & more perform some of the world's most beloved songs.

Episode 4: Sunday, 5/14/17 at 12:30pm on THIRTEEN
Michael Feinstein shares the stage with Joshua Bell, Billy Porter, Larisa Martìnez, and Songbook Youth Ambassador Brighton Thomas for spirited conversation and unique renditions of "Somewhere", "Edelweiss", "New York, New York" and "My Romance".

Episode 5: Sunday, 5/28/17 at 12:30pm on THIRTEEN
Michael Feinstein entertains and converses with Andrea McArdle, Jared Grimes, Rachel York and Songbook Youth Ambassador Julia Goodwin. Highlights include memorable renditions of "Tomorrow,""Being Alive," "Without a Song" and "I Get a Kick Out of You."

Episode 6: Date to be confirmed (Salute to Broadway Composers)
Michael Feinstein hosts an all-star salute to great Broadway composers Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George & Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz, Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman. Billy Porter and others perform.

American Songbook at NJPAC Hosted by Michael Feinstein is a production of New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Public Media NJ, Inc. For Public Media, NJ (NJTV) John Servidio is the Executive in Charge of Production; Mike Kostel is the series executive producer, Judy Moy is broadcast producer and David Stern is director and Annette Jolles is associate director.

For NJPAC, John Schreiber and David Rodriguez are series executive producers.

For Nouveau Productions, Robert C. Pullen, Terrence Flannery and Jim Morey are producers.

The series, which launched in 2013, received accolades in its first three seasons. Most recently, the series was nominated for two 2016 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards. Its first season was awarded a New York State Broadcasters Association award for Outstanding Locally Produced Television Program. Clips from this season and previous season episodes can be viewed online at here.

The American Songbook at NJPAC series follows on the success of several other television events from NJPAC, including One-on-One at NJPAC with Steve Adubato, BET's Black Girls Rock! Awards, HBO's special Ghetto Klown with John Leguizamo, and NBC's America's Got Talent.

Major support for the American Songbook at NJPAC hosted by Michael Feinstein television series is provided by Investors Bank. Additional funding for NJPAC's American Songbook has been provided through the generous support of The Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and the David S. Steiner and Sylvia Steiner Charitable Trust.

About Michael Feinstein Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe - in addition to his appearances at iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House - his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.

In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy. This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC's "America's Got Talent." Michael serves on the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America's sound recording heritage. The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records.

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