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Brian Stokes Mitchell and Ana Gasteyer Kick Off AMERICAN SONGBOOK AT NJPAC Series Tonight on NJTV

NJTV, New Jersey's public television network, recently announced 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, premieres tonight, January 25th, on NJTV (check local listings). The six-part series, now entitled American Songbook at NJPAC Hosted by Michael Feinstein, will also air on THIRTEEN and WLIW21 in the spring. Scroll down for a sneak peek at the performers onstage!

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); acclaimed violinist and composer 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 to air just before Valentine's Day 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: TONIGHT, 1/25/17 at 8pm on NJTV

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: Wednesday, 2/1/17 at 8pm on NJTV

Michael Feinstein is joined by Josè 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: Wednesday, 2/8/17 at 8pm on NJTV (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: Wednesday, 2/15/17 at 8pm on NJTV

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: Wednesday, 2/22/17 at 8pm on NJTV

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: Wednesday, 3/1/17 at 8pm on NJTV (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.

Photo Credit: Joseph Sinnott/NJTV

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