Sutton Foster, Heather Headley & More Will Take Part in Lincoln Center Songbook Series in 2017!

Lincoln Center's acclaimed American Songbook series returns for its 18th season of celebrating the best in American singing and songwriting. Established and rising singers and singer-songwriters across a range of genres-Southern soul, bluegrass, folk, R&B, indie rock, pop, musical theater, and more-will take The Appel Room stage for concerts that explore the many iterations of American song. And in spring, American Songbook will return to Alice Tully Hall with two dynamic women whose artistry in two very different arenas demonstrates the expansive reach of American song embodied in the series.

The series opens on Wednesday, February 1, in The Appel Room with its stunning view overlooking Columbus Circle, with Andrew Lippa & Friends, the first of four evenings celebrating composers and lyricists of stage and film. Lippa, the acclaimed Tony? and Grammy?nominated creator of The Wild Party, The Addams Family, and Big Fish, will be joined by Broadway veteran and Songbook alumna, Kate Baldwin, West End star Caroline O'Connor, and others for a survey of his favorite songs.

The Story Goes On: Liz Callaway Sings Maltby & Shire was a sold-out hit in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse last year at American Songbook, and now the incomparable Liz Callaway reprises her moving tribute to the Broadway songwriting duo in The Appel Room on February 15.

Theater visionary Elizabeth Swados is the focus of The Songs of Elizabeth Swados on March 8, when current theater artists whose work she mentored and influenced, including Taylor Mac, Grace McLean, Josie de Guzman, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Jo Lampert celebrate her legacy.

The Oscar and Tony Award?winning husband and wife songwriting duo Kristen and Bobby Lopez (Frozen, Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon) make a rare concert appearance in their American Songbook debut, with We Never Do This: An Evening with Kristen & Bobby Lopez on March 11.

The Appel Room will host concerts by undisputed stars such as R&B/soul force-of-nature India.Arie (February 22) and bluegrass and country legend Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (February 25); Broadway's Heather Headley (February 4) and Santino Fontana (February 18); leading lights of British neo-soul Laura Mvula (February 16) and Jamie Lidell & The Royal Pharaohs (February 17); Native Canadian folk icon Buffy Sainte-Marie (February 23) and Southern soul architect of the Stax sound William Bell (February 24); innovators, the indie-balladeer José González (March 10) and Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq (March 9); and rising singer-songwriters and their bands, Five for Fighting (February 2) and Okkervil River (February 3).

On April 14, American Songbook will return to Alice Tully Hall-where the series was launched in 1998-for a concert by acclaimed star of stage and television, singer-actress Sutton Foster. Foster originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award?winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie and is currently starring in the critically acclaimed TV Land series Younger. A solo performer in prestigious concert halls and cabaret stages across the country, Foster made her solo New York concert debut at American Songbook in 2004 in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, and returned for a sold-out evening at The Appel Room in 2009. She now brings her dazzling voice and star-talent to the beautifully redesigned Alice Tully Hall.

The release of Rhiannon Giddens's solo album, Tomorrow Is My Turn in 2015, garnered ecstatic praise from critics across the country. Covering songs made famous by Patsy Cline, Odetta, Dolly Parton, and Nina Simone, the cofounder of Grammy Award?winning band Caroline Chocolate Drops (who appeared in American Songbook 2011) broke new ground with what the Los Angeles Times called "a collection that should solidify her status as one of the bright new lights in pop music." Last season her sold-out Swimming in Dark Waters Appel Room concert, which explored the history of protest, subversion, and cultural resistance by musicians of color, was one of the standout events of the American Songbook season. Now with a new album, also looking at issues of race, on the horizon, the rising Americana star will take the stage at Alice Tully Hall on May 13 in the closing concert of the American Songbook season.

American Songbook will return to the intimate Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse in spring 2017. Artists and programs will be announced at a future date.

Tickets for Friends of Lincoln Center go on sale November 7 and to the general public beginning November 14. Tickets may be purchased online beginning November 14, 2016, at AmericanSongbook.org, via CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, at the Alice Tully Hall and David Geffen Hall Box Offices, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office. Premium packages, which include wine, dinner, and the best seats in the house, are available for purchase; find more information at AmericanSongbook.org.


Artists, programs, and ticket prices are subject to change.

American Songbook in The Appel Room

Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street

Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 8:30 pm

Andrew Lippa & Friends

featuring Kate Baldwin, Joaquina Kalukango, and Caroline O'Connor

Possessed with the great charm and exquisite soul of classic Broadway, Tony-nominated composer and lyricist Andrew Lippa hosts this delightful evening of song. A born entertainer, Lippa handpicks favorites from his expansive catalog that includes The Wild Party, The Addams Family, Big Fish, John & Jen, and the widely praised theatrical oratorio I Am Harvey Milk. Directed by David Babani (Menier Chocolate Factory, London) and featuring West End star Caroline O'Connor and Broadway's own Kate Baldwin (Finian's Rainbow, Big Fish) and Joaquina Kalukango (The Color Purple, The Wild Party at City Center Encores!), this performance celebrates the pure love of musical theater shared by Lippa, his friends, and his fans.

Tickets start at $55


Thursday, February 2, 2017, 8:30 pm

John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting with string quartet

With piano-driven melodies, introspective lyrics, and a genuine everyman spirit, Californian singer-songwriter John Ondrasik, known by his hockey-inspired moniker Five for Fighting, writes deeply affecting songs in the tradition of Elton John and Billy Joel. After the September 11 attacks, millions found solace in his "Superman (It's Not Easy)," which became a cherished anthem of American resilience. For this intimate evening, Ondrasik is joined high above Manhattan by a string quartet to perform beautifully arranged renditions of hits like "100 Years," "Chances," and "The Riddle," and other songs from his rich catalog.

Tickets start at $40


Friday, February 3, 2017, 8:30 pm

Okkervil River

A Brooklyn resident via New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Austin, Will Sheff is the driving force behind critically acclaimed indie band Okkervil River. "One of the best lyric-writers in indie rock" (Pitchfork), Sheff writes songs that grapple with emotional intangibles like anxiety, nostalgia, wonder, hope, and regret. Melodic energy matches the flow of words, counteracting cerebral detachment with visceral immediacy. 11 years after Okkervil's breakthrough concept album, Black Sheep Boy, the recently released and expansive Away features a new backing band and tracks that push past the confines of a pop song. Sheff arrives at The Appel Room as an artist shedding a past persona and striving to connect to the present.

Tickets start at $30


Saturday, February 4, 2017, 8:30 pm

Heather Headley

After 16 years away, Tony and Grammy Award-winner Heather Headley returned triumphantly to Broadway last summer in The Color Purple. Having originated the role of Nala in The Lion King and awarded a Tony for Aida, the Trinidadian-American performer was rapidly rising to diva status when she shifted gears. In her time away from the theater, she released two gold records, topped the dance and R&B charts, won a Grammy for her gospel album, Audience of One, toured the world with Andrea Bocelli, and started a family. She blazed back in The Bodyguard in London before returning to Broadway. Now she delivers a very long-awaited solo concert in New York's glamorous Appel Room.

Tickets start at $55


Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 8:30 pm

The Story Goes On: Liz Callaway Sings Maltby & Shire

After last year's sold-out show in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, it was clear that this "personal, heartfelt, beautifully produced evening" (Broadway World) could not be a one-off performance. So back to perform in The Appel Room is Broadway legend, recording star, and celebrated cabaret artist Liz Callaway (Cats, Miss Saigon, Follies in Concert), reprising her incredibly moving homage to two of America's most engaging musical storytellers, Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire. Peppered with personal reminiscences, Callaway's show revisits, among many others, the songs that earned her a Tony nomination in 1984 for Baby. With her "breathtaking vocalism" (New York) and "passionate, gleaming-eyed poignancy" (New York Post), Callaway illuminates an essential corner of the music theater repertoire.

Tickets start at $40


Thursday, February 16, 2017, 8:30 pm

Laura Mvula

Produced in association with Jill Newman Productions

With a Mercury Prize nomination and MOBO win, Laura Mvula is a creative leader of the U.K.'s current soul revival. Critics love her, but perhaps her brightest endorsement came from Prince, who listened to her 2013 debut album, Sing to the Moon, before shows and was an outspoken fan. With effortless originality, a molasses-rich voice that contains echoes of Nina Simone, delight for digital effects, and "an eye on transcendence" (NPR), Mvula invites listeners into a glowing, poetic world. A stay in New York last winter unlocked the ideas for her "visionary" second album (Pitchfork), The Dreaming Room, and she returns this February to conjure an evening of magic with the twinkling Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.

Tickets start at $40


Friday, February 17, 2017, 8:30 pm

Jamie Lidell & The Royal Pharaohs

With the release of his critically acclaimed new album, Building a Beginning, the British-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jamie Lidell seems to have completed a stunning metamorphosis. From his early days as part of the millennial techno duo Super Collider through various experiments with digitally souped-up, psychedelic soul (with collaborators like Beck, Feist, and Chilly Gonzales), the bearded, bespectacled Lidell has emerged as a straight-up soul singer. With deep, gritty power vocals, a true showman's charisma, and the astonishing talent of his seven-piece band, Lidell's live show explodes with the spirit-raising energy of 1970s Stevie Wonder cut with funky futuristic embellishments.

Tickets start at $30


Saturday, February 18, 2017, 8:30 pm

Santino Fontana

With his rich voice, dynamic versatility, and easy charisma, Santino Fontana is one of Broadway's favorite leading men. Following his Broadway debut in the revival of Sunday in the Park with George, he's received an Obie, Lortel, Drama Desk, and Clarence Derwent Award for his varied work onstage, and he garnered rave reviews for his performance in Stephen Karam's Pulitzer finalist, Sons of the Prophet. His literally charming performance as Prince Topher in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella earned him a Tony nomination and Audience Choice Award. As the voice of another prince-the villainous Hans in Frozen-as well as the overlooked barman, Greg, in the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, he has begun to build a passionate following beyond New York. For this solo show in the elegant Appel Room, Fontana warms up a February night with the magnetic talent of a genuine star.

Tickets start at $40


Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 8:30 pm

India.Arie

With her signature brand of acoustic music and velvet-rich alto, India.Arie presides over this intimate evening of song and storytelling. A deeply generous performer, the four-time Grammy Award-winning artist is a true believer in the power of words and music to spread love, healing, peace, and joy. She has been bringing light to audiences worldwide since her 2001 debut, Acoustic Soul, and its anthem of self-love, "Video." Her newest song, "Breathe," drew its inspiration from #BlackLivesMatter. Praised for its "sheer artfulness" (Rolling Stone), her fifth studio album, 2013's Songversation, has brought this spiritual focus to the forefront of Arie's music-making. The performances surrounding its release, including a SuperSoul Session with Oprah Winfrey, were imagined as part meditation, part prayer, part fellowship, and part action. For this unique offering at Lincoln Center, she weaves her soulful music into an evening-length chronicle of all these experiences.

Tickets start at $40


Thursday, February 23, 2017, 8:30 pm

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Since she burst onto the scene with the anti-war anthem "Universal Soldier," Buffy Sainte-Marie has been applying her infinite creativity to music, visual art, education, and social justice. The Saskatchewan-born Cree artist was the first and only indigenous person to win an Oscar for writing the Billboard chart-topping hit "Up Where We Belong" from An Officer and a Gentleman. Over the past year, Sainte-Marie was awarded the prestigious Polaris Music Prize and two JUNO Awards for her internationally acclaimed album Power in the Blood. Her famous set of protest and love songs have been covered by everyone from Elvis to Courtney Love. An early pioneer of electronic music (her 1970 album Illuminations developed a cult following amongst art students), her work was even sampled by Kanye West. A performer every bit as fiery as her lyrics, she brings her high-powered band to The Appel Room for a show that introduces the songwriter's voice back into her hits and shines a light on lesser known gems.

Tickets start at $40


Friday, February 24, 2017, 8:30 pm

William Bell

with special guest John Leventhal

In the midst of a thrilling comeback following his critically acclaimed album This is Where I Live, soul legend William Bell brings the Stax revival-complete with horns and Hammond organ-to The Appel Room. Called "a defining cornerstone of the Southern soul sound" (New York Times), his 1961 hit for Stax Records "You Don't Miss Your Water" paired a melancholy narrative with deep, expressive vocals. These qualities-apparent in his other hits "Everybody Loves a Winner," "I Forgot to Be Your Lover," "Private Number," and the monumental "Born Under a Bad Sign" (co-written with Booker T. Jones)-became hallmarks of the Stax aesthetic. With the new album, produced with reverence by John Leventhal, Bell's rich voice imbues each song with the weight of time passed and life lived.

Tickets start at $30


Saturday, February 25, 2017, 8:30 pm

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

The 14-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs and his elite ensemble of world-class pickers take over The Appel Room for a blazing evening of bluegrass. A mandolin prodigy, Skaggs had played with legends like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and Ralph Stanley by the time he was a teenager. In 1981, he took over the mainstream country charts with "Crying My Heart Out Over You" and reigned supreme for the rest of the decade, with three straight number one albums and 12 number one songs. His returned to his roots in 1997 with the release of Bluegrass Rules! on his own Skaggs Family label, leading to a string of Grammys and solidifying his status as "a legend of the genre" (Seattle Times).

Tickets start at $30


Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 8:30 pm

The Songs of Elizabeth Swados

featuring Taylor Mac, Grace McLean, Josie de Guzman, Jo Lampert, Utkarsh Ambudkar, others

Friends of New York Theater icon Elizabeth Swados come together for a reverent celebration of her progressive vision, inexhaustible creative energy, and far-reaching influence. When her invigorating musical Runaways opened at The Public Theater in 1978, Swados stepped out as a revolutionary who would redefine musical theater. Across dozens of works like Medea, Fragments of a Greek Trilogy, Alice in Concert, Nightclub Cantata, and Groundhog, Swados, who died in this past January, made sharp critiques of society while never managing to lose a sense of wonder and hope. As a revered mentor and professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Swados shaped several future generations of theater artists, many of whom will contribute songs and stories to this tribute.

Tickets start at $40


Thursday, March 9, 2017, 8:30 pm

Tanya Tagaq

Channeling ancient rituals through her own personal ferocity, Inuk throat singer and experimental vocalist Tanya Tagaq's wholly improvised performances transform haunting chants, screams, and growls into an ecstatic-sometimes unnerving-journey to a completely new sound world. Having exploded onto the scene through collaborations with Björk, the Kronos Quartet, and A Tribe Called Red, Tagaq's solo shows have become must-see events for sonic thrill seekers and cultural adventurers. Retribution, her critically acclaimed follow-up to 2013's Polaris Music Prize and Juno-winning recording Animism, was released in October 2016.

Tickets start at $30


Friday, March 10, 2017, 8:30 pm

José González

Swedish-born indie singer-songwriter invites listeners into "an atmosphere of deep and unapologetic reflection" (NPR). A master of minimal melodies and intricate classical guitar accompaniment, José González's hushed lyrics unearth probing existential meditations. From an introspective practitioner of bedroom pop in the vein of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, González's latest album, Vestiges & Claws, demonstrates a mature artist turning his gaze outward. Speaking to the listener, he sings, "Take a moment to think about where you're from." He certainly has been, seamlessly integrating influences of his Latin American roots-his parents emigrated to Sweden from Argentina-including tropicalia, bossa nova, and tango flavors into "one of the most recognizable sounds in indie rock" (Billboard).

Tickets start at $30


Saturday, March 11, 2017, 8:30 pm

We Never Do This: An Evening with Kristen & Bobby Lopez

This rare stage performance together showcases the irresistible creative chemistry between America's most successful (and engaging) songwriting couples. Married since 2003 with two daughters, who inspired the couple's Oscar-winning songs for the Disney movie Frozen, Bobby and Kristen cite each other when asked to name their influences. They were named to Time's 2014 "List of 100 Most Influential People" and Bobby, co-creator of Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, is the youngest ever EGOT winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Their most recent collaboration-a "tender and outlandishly amusing" musical (Los Angeles Times) called Up Here-premiered at La Jolla Playhouse last summer. The couple's sights again turn to Broadway with Kristen's a cappella musical In Transit, slated to open this December, and the stage production of Frozen in development.

Tickets start at $55


American Songbook in Alice Tully Hall

Adrienne Arsht Starr Theater

Broadway at 65th Street

Friday, April 14, 2017, 7:30 pm

Sutton Foster

With "the voice of a trumpet and a big, gleaming presence that floods the house" (New York Times), two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster is a giant of Broadway. She has also garnered television celebrity, having formerly starred in the fiercely loved ABC Family series Bunheads and in TV Land's critically acclaimed new dramedy, Younger. A beloved member of the American Songbook family, she made her solo New York concert debut in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse in 2004, returning in 2009 for an enchanted evening in The Appel Room. Now, Foster takes command of Alice Tully Hall [where it all began for American Songbook] with her irresistible blend of show-stopping talent and effusive charm.

Tickets start at $55


Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7:30 pm

Rhiannon Giddens

With soulful musicality and an anthropologist's passion for digging into cultural artifacts, singer, violinist, and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens is considered "one of the most promising voices in American roots music" (Rolling Stone). After helming Grammy Award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens broke out as a solo performer with her crackling performance of Odetta's "Waterboy" at the all-star Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of "Inside Llewyn Davis"concert at Town Hall in 2013. The New York Times called her sold-out 2016 performance with Leyla McCalla and Bhi Bhiman in The Appel Room "a pinnacle of [the] season's American Songbook series." As her mission to create a vibrant new life for old-time music continues, she returns to Lincoln Center to celebrate the release of her highly anticipated new album on Nonesuch.

Tickets start at $45

Artists, programs, and ticket prices are subject to change.

For additional information, visit: AmericanSongbook.org




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