Michael Winther and Matt Baker Come to Birdland Theater
A "first-rate singer of unusual refinement" with "a voice that traverses genres" (New York Times), Michael Winther, making his Birdland Theater solo debut, joins forces with award-winning jazz pianist, Matt Baker for a unique mix of classic, romantic standards and contemporary love songs as well as some discoveries from the contemporary musical theater - just in time for Valentine's Day!
Michael Winther is a veteran of seven Broadway productions and has numerous Off-Broadway credits. He has headlined concerts in New York City - including the popular Feinstein's 54 Below and Lincoln Center's prestigious American Songbook Series - as well as venues across the country. Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote "Winther stakes out the most fertile artistic territory in American music: the high ground where show tunes, art songs and the singer-songwriter tradition merge. [He] has both the voice and the intelligence for the job."
Michael's Broadway credits include: Fun Home, 33 Variations, Mamma Mia!, 1776, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Crucible and Damn Yankees. Most recently, he toured the country with the national tour of the Tony award-winning best musical, Fun Home. Equally comfortable on the Broadway stage as in the concert hall and recording studio, Michael collaborated with mulitiple Grammy-nominee, jazz composer Fred Hersch and poet, Mary Jo Salter in the premiere of a new song cycle, Rooms of Light for Peak Performance at Montclair University. He portrayed Albert Einstein in author and theoretical physicist Brian Greene's multimedia theater piece, Light Falls in New York and in Australia. He starred as "Dan" in the Pulitzer winning musical, Next To Normal at Baltimore/Centerstage; Frank London and Neil Berger's A Night In The Old Marketplace in São Paulo; Tectonic's The Laramie Project Cycle at BAM/Harvey Theatre; Fred Hersch's multimedia jazz-theatre piece, My Coma Dreams in NYC, Berlin, San Francisco; Merrily We Roll Along at City Center Encores!. He regional credits include productions at Center Theatre Group/LA, Guthrie Theater, Yale Rep, McCarter Theater, Old Globe, Goodspeed Musicals, Theatreworks/Palo Alto, La Jolla Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Perseverance Theater, O'Neill Theatre Center, Sundance Theatre Lab. His recent film credits include The Avengers, Jumper, The Break-Up, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Recent television credits include "The Blacklist," "Mysteries of Laura," "Boardwalk Empire," "Hostages," "Leverage" and "Law & Order."
He has appeared with Rob Kapilow in "What Makes It Great?" at Lincoln Center and in major venues across the country celebrating the songs of Sondheim, Arlen, Gershwin, Porter, Bernstein and Rodgers. Other concert credits include: four appearances as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series (William Finn's Songs of Innocence and Experience, The Songs of Fred Hersch, and two consecutive years of his solo evening, Hear & Now: Contemporary Lyricists and Composers); Broadway Cabaret, Broadway By The Year and Broadway Unplugged series' at The Town Hall; many concerts with the New Voices Collective at Symphony Space; as well as concerts with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. He has performed various solo evenings of music at 54 Below, Joe's Pub, Birdland, SubCulture, The Metropolitan Room and Ars Nova. Michael is a graduate of Williams College.
Michael Winther received nominations from the Drama Desk and Drama League for his critically acclaimed off-Broadway solo performance in the theatrical song cycle, Songs From An Unmade Bed at New York Theater Workshop directed by David Schweizer with lyrics by Mark Campbell and music by eighteen different composers. The recording is available from Sh K Boom/Ghostlight Records and on iTunes and has garnered a devoted following since it's release a decade ago! Michael's most recent recording project, Waiting For The Angel, a collection of new songs featuring the lyrics of David Hajdu was released by Miranda Music last year.
Australian born Jazz Pianist Matt Baker leads a powerful trio in New York City where he has called home since 2010. He performs regularly as a sideman at jazz venues including Birdland and The Blue Note and in 2017 released his latest DVD album "Live at Birdland".
His sideman credits include engagements with guitar icon, Bucky Pizzarelli, tenor saxophonist, Joel Frahm and vocalists, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jennifer Holliday, Patti LaBelle, Veronica Swift (2015 Monk competition winner), Tierney Sutton, Arianna Neikrug (2015 Sarah Vaughan competition winner) and Judy Collins.
Matt Baker is an award winner himself in the 2003 Montreux International Solo Jazz Piano competition and a semi-finalist in 2004 and 2005. A student of Taylor Eigsti's since moving to New York, Matt watched Oscar Peterson perform live an entire week at the Blue Note, from which a friendship between the two formed in the remaining years of Peterson's life. Baker has also studied with Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, Jacky Terrasson, and Ella Fitzgerald's life-long accompanist Paul Smith.
Performances, Store and more info: www.mattbaker.com.au