Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Stream Now
Click Here for More Articles on Stream Now

VIDEO: Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth, and More Perform 'All That Jazz' During SAVE BIRDLAND Fundraiser

The segment was arranged and edited by Billy Recce (the composer of A Musical About Star Wars) in the event produced by Tom D’Angora, Michael D’Angora, and Tim Guinee.

Notables from President Bill Clinton and Whoopi Goldberg to musicians Wynton Marsalis and Sting joined together on Sunday, Jan 24th to "Save Birdland". During the fundraising concert the Broadway community was treated to "All That Jazz" starring the original Velmas of Chicago, Chita Rivera and Bebe Neuwirth, and a cast featuring Randy Rainbow, Jacqueline Arnold, Brenda Braxton, Aisha de Haas, Michelle Dowdy, Mandy Gonzalez, Deidra Goodwin, Amy Hillner Larsen, Amanda Lopez, Karen Mason, Christine Pedi, Mary Testa, Amra-Faye Wright, and Karen Ziemba. The segment was arranged and edited by Billy Recce (the composer of A Musical About Star Wars) in the event produced by Tom D'Angora, Michael D'Angora, and Tim Guinee.

Watch the video below!

The starry concert featured other notable Broadway stars as well. Norm Lewis closed the show with "Misty", Audra McDonald treated audiences to some Billie Holiday, Lillias White and Billy Stritch dazzled with a Cy Coleman number, and Joe Iconis sang the praises of New York, New York, among others.

The concert is currently available to stream for free at www.SaveBirdland.com

Opening their doors in December of 1949, the legendary Birdland jazz club has been a home for some of the most respected musicians of all time. Named after Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, the club has hosted all the A-list talent from Ella Fitzgerald to Diana Krall and everyone in between. However, time and funds are running out for the once-thrilling night spot. On the heels of their Save West Bank Café telethon, producers Tom D'Angora, Michael D'Angora and Tim Guinee were asked by Birdland staff to help their neighborhood jazz club, which was also facing financial troubles brought on by the pandemic. Their fundraising campaign concluded on January 24th with a concert titled Save Birdland: A Celebration of Music, History and Community which featured:

Monty Alexander, Lucie Arnaz, Iain Armitage, Jacqueline Arnold, Kenneth Ascher, Colleen Ballinger, John Bucchino, Stephanie J. Block, Matthew Broderick, Scott Bradlee, Brenda Braxton, Dee Dee Bridgewater,Ken Burns, Gunhild Carling & Her Darlings, Ron Carter, Jim Caruso, Desmond Child, Peter Cincotti, The Emmett Cohen Trio, George Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Elvis Costello, Tom D'Angora, Michael D'Angora, Jeff Daniels, Django Festival Allstars, Clive Davis, Diana DeGarmo, Aisha de Haas, Natalie Douglas, Michelle Dowdy, Christine Ebersole, Kurt Elling, Kevin Eubanks, Giancarlo Esposito, Morgan Fairchild, Whoopi Goldberg, Mandy Gonzalez, Deidre Goodwin, Tim Guinee, Amanda Green, Julie Halston, John Heginbotham, Stephen Henderson, Sara Hickman, Perez Hilton, Clint Holmes, Sunny Holiday, Demetia Hopkins-Greene, Joe Iconis and Family, Sheila Jordan, Hilary Kole, Stacey Kent, Tory Kittles, Amy Hillner Larsen, Warren Leight, Amanda Lopez, Melissa Leo, Norm Lewis, Tzi Ma, The Manhattan Transfer, Wynton Marsalis, Lauren Marcus, Karen Mason, Marilyn Maye, Audra McDonald, Jane Monheit, Susie Mosher, Anson Mount, Bebe Neuwirth, Leslie Odom, Jr., Arturo O'Farrill Quintet, Mandy Patinkin, Christine Pedi, Wendell Pierce, John Pizzarelli, Martha Plimpton, Randy Rainbow, Chita Rivera, Justin "Squigs" Robertson, Mercedes Ruehl, Catherine Russell, Tom Seals, Victoria Shaw, Steve Smith, Dee Snider, Sting, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Billy Stritch, Veronica Swift, Mary Testa, Steve Tyrell, Lillias White, Frank Wildhorn, Steve Wilson, Amra-Faye Wright, Ace Young, Karen Ziemba, Glenn Zaleski, along with Gianni Valenti and remarks from President Bill Clinton.

The producing team created a GoFundMe to raise the needed funds to erase the debts incurred over 2020 and ensure a path to move forward into the new year. The fund has currently raised over $380,000 for the struggling venue.

An essential part of jazz history, the club opened in 1949 on 52nd Street just west of Broadway. Count Basie and his Smokin' Big Band made Birdland their NY headquarters, John Coltrane's classic Quartet recorded the album "Live at Birdland," DJ Symphony Sid Torin made a name for himself broadcasting live from the club, and within its first five years 1,400,000 people paid the $1.50 admission to listen to some of the greatest musicians in the world. Stars like Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner would frequent the club to hear Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and many more. But as rock and roll emerged the club found itself losing popularity and was forced to close its doors. In 1986 the club reemerged when Doris Parker, Charlie Parker's widow, convinced restaurateur Gianni Valenti to reimagine the club for the current jazz scene. Just steps from Broadway the club has not only hosted jazz legends like Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr, and Tito Puente but also hosted many Broadway performers as well. With Jim Caruso's popular Monday night show "Cast Party," the venue has been delighting audiences with performances from the likes of Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera to comedienne Miranda Sings. When Birdland Theater, a second performance space, opened on the lower level two years ago, a more diverse array of musical styles was added to the schedule. However, with its broad roster of musicians and performers Birdland still remains "The Jazz Corner of The World."

Save Birdland Concert: A Celebration of Music, History and Community is available to stream free of charge at www.SaveBirdland.com. The event featured a selection of classic jazz, reimagined standards, stories, greetings, and Birdland memories from and all-star cast. Donations to Save Birdland can still be made on the show's website.


Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You