A SWINGING BIRDLAND CHRISTMAS Will Play Twelfth Year at Birdland Starring Blackhurst, Caruso, and Stritch

It's the annual holiday party that nobody wants to miss.

By: Nov. 21, 2021

A SWINGING BIRDLAND CHRISTMAS Will Play Twelfth Year at Birdland Starring Blackhurst, Caruso, and Stritch





FEATURING Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso & Billy Stritch

WITH Steve Doyle ON BASS & Daniel Glass ON DRUMS


BIRDLAND will present the 12th Annual "A Swinging Birdland Christmas" - starring vocalists Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch - for five performances from December 21 to 25 at 5:30 PM. In the tradition of beloved seasonal television specials, Blackhurst, Caruso and Stritch perform swinging arrangements of "The Christmas Waltz," Kay Thompson's "The Holiday Season," "Sleigh Ride," "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," "Snow," and "It Happened In Sun Valley," among other favorites. This year they will include a special tribute to the late Freddy Cole, the celebrated jazz/pop singer and pianist - and cherished member of the Birdland family - who passed away last year. In addition to the trio of singers and Stritch on piano, the show features Steve Doyle on bass, and Daniel Glass on drums. There is a $30 music charge. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in New York.

The trio released the hit album Christmas at Birdland with Club44 Records in 2019, which featured guest arists Donny Osmond on vocals and Dave Koz on saxophone. The recording - hailed as "a tasty confection of a disc, loaded with joy, wit, and plenty of sass" by New York Arts Review - debuted at #2 on the iTunes Jazz Chart and hit #7 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. Drawing on their individual strengths, the production team of Billy Stritch and Wayne Haun bring the best of New York and Nashville together in this landmark recording full of musicality and versatility, familiarity and fun.

Klea Blackhurst is an actress, singer, and comedienne known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything the Traffic Will Allow. She recently appeared Off-Broadway with Hayley Mills in the comedy Party Face, at City Center Stage 2. She starred as Miss Lemon in the Nashville premiere of The Nutty Professor, directed by the legendary Jerry Lewis and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes. She's performed with symphony orchestras and in theatrical productions across the country and abroad including the London Palladium presentation of Jerry Herman's Broadway with Angela Lansbury, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, 15 Mabel Mercer Cabaret Conventions, New York's Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Chicago Humanities Festival and as Ado Annie in the BBC Proms concert of Oklahoma! On television Klea has appeared in Ryan Murphy's "Pose" and "The Knick" on Showtime. She spent two seasons on the IFC Channel comedy series "Onion News Network." This season, Klea debuted her new show "One of the Girls: the Words and Music of Jerry Herman" at Birdland Theater.

Jim Caruso is the host of "Jim Caruso's Cast Party," the wildly popular weekly open mic night that has brought a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to Birdland in New York City every Monday night since 2004. "Cast Party" has been seen at Jazz at Lincoln Center, across the country, and, most recently, on YouTube as "Pajama Cast Party." Jim made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the Tony Award-winning Liza's At The Palace!, singing, dancing and celebrating the music and arrangements of Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. He has won six MAC Awards and eight BroadwayWorld Awards for his work in nightclubs, performed with the New York Pops in a tribute to Kander & Ebb, with Rosemary Clooney celebrating Bing Crosby, and sang the songs of Hope & Crosby with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall. Jim was honored to sing with Barbara Cook, Lauren Bacall and a bevy of Broadway stars at President Clinton's First State Dinner at the White House. He also books and produces the "Broadway at Birdland" concert series, and performs regularly with Billy Stritch at Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel. Jim's two albums, The Swing Set and Caruso Live and In Person, are available online.

Billy Stritch is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scenes. He began his career in Houston, Texas, where he formed the vocal trio Montgomery, Plant and Stritch. The trio performed all over the world from 1983 until they disbanded in 1990. A chance meeting with Liza Minnelli in 1991 resulted in her asking him to create vocal arrangements for Liza's record-breaking extravaganza Stepping Out at Radio City. Billy recently toured with the legendary Tony Bennett, as his pianist and musical director. A solo entertainer in his own right, he has performed his own shows (including tributes to Mel Tormé and Cy Coleman) across the country. Billy also serves as music director for such leading vocalists as Marilyn Maye, Linda Lavin, Linda Eder, Christine Ebersole and Paulo Szot. He is the co-writer of the Grammy Award-winning song "Does He Love You," recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. The single reached the number one spot on the Billboard Country music chart, winning a Grammy Award and selling over five million copies. In August 2021, he celebrated his new solo album Billy's Place from Club44 Records, with an engagement at Birdland.

BIRDLAND will present the 12th Annual engagement of "A Swinging Birdland Christmas" for five shows from Tuesday, December 21 to Saturday, December 25 at 5:30 PM. There is a $30 music charge and a $10 food and beverage minimum. Birdland Jazz Club is located at 315 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan. For reservations, please call (212) 581-3080 or visit www.BirdlandJazz.com. In compliance with New York City rules for indoor activities, Birdland requires proof of vaccination or a verified medical exemption from all customers, staff, and performers.




Every Monday at 9:30 PM - Birdland Jazz Club

Jim Caruso's Cast Party

"Jim Caruso's Cast Party," a New York institution for almost two decades, is a wildly popular weekly open mic night/variety show that has brought a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to Birdland since 2004. Called "show-business heaven" by The New York Times and "the gold-standard of open mic nights" by The Wall Street Journal, "Cast Party" will take advantage of the city's post-pandemic nightlife renaissance to keep presenting a potent mix of Broadway stars, jazz swingers and cabaret legends, in addition to new faces and rising talent from every genre. The buoyant, sharp and charming Caruso guides the entire affair, while musical genius Billy Stritch (Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett) holds court at the ivories and leads the Cast Party Symphony Orchestra (Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums).

$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

Every Tuesday at 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater

The Lineup with Susie Mosher

"The Lineup with Susie Mosher" is a wild, anything-goes variety show featuring entertainers from the Broadway, cabaret and comedy scenes, ranging from today's hottest headliners to the best up-and-coming stars of tomorrow. Mosher - the noted actress and singer from Broadway and beyond, called "one of those talents you need to see to believe" by Time Out New York - hosts the spontaneous extravaganza every Tuesday, and each Lineup is unique and promises to deliver an unforgettable night of quintessential New York City entertainment.

$20 + $20 food/drink minimum

November 20, 27 at 5:30 PM (Saturdays) - Birdland Jazz Club
Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano

Hailed as "the truest heir to Bobby Short" in The New York Times, pianist/singer Eric Comstock returns to Birdland with star bassist/composer Sean Smith with songs by everyone from George Gershwin to George Harrison. These two masters met on the Off-Broadway hit Our Sinatra (which Eric co-wrote) and have since worked separately and together around the world. Vocalist Barbara Fasano joins them at Birdland for a swinging Saturday supper where the music and stories are equally great. Sean Smith has been an integral part of the international jazz scene for over 25 years, and has performed with Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, Art Farmer, Flip Phillips, Clark Terry and many others. Barbara Fasano has been praised as "a gorgeous, soulful singer who has an actor's intensity in whatever she sings" by The New York Post and "a lyrically sensitive interpreter" by The New York Times. Her latest album Busy Being Free is the recipient of the MAC Award for "Major Recording of the Year."

$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

November 22 (Monday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Jazz Club

Freda Payne - "Let There Be Love" Album Release Concert

Grammy-nominated Freda Payne, celebrated R&B and jazz chanteuse, shot to fame with her #1 hits "Band of Gold," and "Bring the Boys Home." The singer has graced the stage in such Broadway shows as Jelly's Last Jam, Sophisticated Ladies, and Blues in the Night. She's recently toured the country with her tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Payne's latest recording, "Let There Be Love," is an EP of duets with Kurt Elling, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kenny Lattimore, and Johnny Mathis, with arrangements by Gordon Goodwin. The recording demonstrates her ability to sell a lyric vocally and her facility with jazz, swing, and improvisation. Payne got her start singing with big bands and then sang with Duke Ellington in New York where she landed her first record deal, a jazz album on Impulse!. Freda went on to perform with Quincy Jones's big band and recorded with the legendary producing team of Holland, Dozier & Holland on Invictus.

$40 Cover, $10 food/drink minimum

November 22 (Monday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater

Christine Lavin

Lavin is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, recording artist, author, and videographer based in New York City. Her show at the Birdland Theater will be a combination of her most requested songs with a unique modern twist. Because her passion over the years has always been promoting the work of other songwriters, she will have one of them do a cameo performance as part of her concert. Christine performs concerts all over the US, Canada, and points beyond, including Australia, Germany and Israel. Her songs of hers have been performed by Betty Buckley, Sutton Foster, Karen Ziemba, Andrea Marcovicci, and more. In June 2021 Christine's new song "The Best Summer" hit #12 on the International Folk DJ Music Chart.

$30 + $20 food/drink minimum

December 11 (Saturday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Theater

Ryan Silverman

Silverman has been praised as the "smoothest, most assured bari-tenor, leading-man theatre voice at the moment" by Playbill.com. He received a Drama Desk nomination for "Best Actor in a Musical" for Side Show on Broadway, and has starred as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera and as Billy Flynn in Chicago. Silverman also received Drama Desk and Drama League nominations for his performance as Giorgio in CSC's 2013 production of Passion, one which the New York Times praised as "a performance of risk-taking, unconditional emotional commitment." He has been a soloist with the New York Pops, Philly Pops, the NHK Symphony in Tokyo, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Kaohsiung Symphony in Taiwan, and Edmonton Symphony, among others. His television and film credits include "Suits," "The Good Fight," "Gossip Girl," and "True Blood."

$35 Cover, $10 food/drink minimum

December 13 (Monday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Jazz Club

Kimberley Locke - "Christmas is Here" Album Release Concert

Kimberley Locke, along with the band EMP3, will celebrate the holidays and the release of the new album Christmas is Here. Auditioning for the 2003 series of TV talent show "American Idol" was a life-changing decision for Kimberley, eventually placing as second runner-up. She signed to Curb Records where she became a successful recording artist and released three full-length albums with the label. Among her many achievements, she's had eight Top 20 Adult Contemporary hits and four #1 Dance hits across various Billboard charts. Her #1 club hit, a remake of the Freda Payne classic "Band of Gold," was included on Billboard's "Top 50 Dance Songs of the Decade" list. She's also made history as being the only recording artist to score a #1 Christmas song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart three years in a row. The band EMP3 features Eli Menezes on guitar, Manny Laine on drums, and Patrick Andy on bass.

$30 Cover, $10 food/drink minimum

December 18 & 19 (Saturday-Sunday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Theater

James Barbour - Annual Holiday Concert

The audience will be entertained with holiday classics, incredible music and the warmth of the season. With Rachel Kaufman at the piano, James and his surprise guests from the Broadway stage will help you ring in the holiday season. Barbour was nominated for the Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Awards for "Best Actor in a Musical" for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in the Broadway musical version of A Tale of Two Cities. He has starred on Broadway in such Tony Award-winning shows as Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, Disney's Beauty and the Beast as The Beast, Carousel as Billy Bigelow, Urinetown as Officer Lockstock and as Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre (Drama League Award nomination). His television credits include "Sex and the City," "Ed," "That's Life," "Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein" (PBS)."

$40 cover charge/$20 minimum

December 20 (Monday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Jazz Club

Daniel Reichard - "Let's Christmas"

Since 2006, Reichard has made his holiday concert an almost annual event, having played sold-out engagements at venues including Birdland, Lincoln Center, Feinstein's/54 Below, the Alvin Ailey Theatre, and Haswell Green's. This year, he will present a one-night-only evening of stories and songs at Birdland where he has headlined multiple times over the past decade. The evening will feature holiday hits from various decades, as well as Reichard's signature storytelling and comedic observations. The show is directed by The Band's Visit choreographer, Patrick McCollum. Reichard is featured on the Jersey Boys' Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum cast album, and received a Drama Desk Award nomination for his performance. He made his New York City debut after graduating from the University of Michigan in the world-famous Forbidden Broadway. His signature style and talent paved the way to starring roles in New York City and beyond, including his triumphant portrayal of artist and social activist Keith Haring in Radiant Baby at The Public Theater. Other major credits include his starring asa??a?? the title role in the New York City Opera's Candide and the film version of Forever Plaid. With his fellow Jersey Boys co-stars, he founded the vocal group "The Midtown Men, who have performed hundreds of concerts worldwide, recorded two albums, and produced two television specials for PBS.

$50 tables / $75 VIP + $20 food/drink minimum

December 27 (Monday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Jazz Club

Ty Herndon

Herndon is a Grammy Award-nominated and Dove Award-winning recording artist with a career spanning two decades, 20 Billboard singles, and five million albums sold. As a live performer, he gained popularity while playing the honky-tonks in Texas, and in 1993 he was named Texas Entertainer of the Year. That honor led to interest from Music Row and a record deal with Epic Records. Herndon made his chart debut in 1995 with "What Mattered Most," which became his first #1 song. Starting in 1995, Herndon charted 17 singles, including his three #1s and numerous Top Ten hits, such as "I Want My Goodbye Back," "Loved Too Much," "A Man Holding On," and "Hands of a Working Man." In 2010, Herndon released his album Journey On, which represented his first foray into songwriting. In 2014, he was the first major male country artist to publicly come out as gay. Herndon has donated his time to organizations such as the Trevor Project, Make A Wish, St. Jude, GLAAD, HRC and Feed the Children. In 2018, Herndon was honored with the HRC Visibility Award. His latest album is 2019's Got It Covered.

$30 tables / $20 bar seating + $20 food/drink minimum

December 29 - January 1 (Wednesday-Saturday) 8:30 PM (12/29-30); 8:00 & 11:00 PM (12/31); 7:00 PM (1/1-2) - Birdland Theater

Marilyn Maye New Year's Eve Extravaganza!

Marilyn Maye is a highly praised singer, actress, director, arranger, educator, a Grammy Award-nominated recording artist and a musical treasure. She appeared 76 times on "The Tonight Show" starring Johnny Carson. Perhaps the simplest Marilyn Maye accolade came after one of her show-stopping appearances on The Tonight Show when Carson said, "And that, young singers, is the way it's done." Marilyn began her professional singing career by winning a 13-week appearance on radio station WIBW, Topeka, Kansas, at age 9. She was "discovered" by Steve Allen who was the first to present her various times to a national television audience. The Steve Allen performances led her to an RCA recording contract. Her RCA recordings consist of seven albums and 34 singles, including the first hit recordings of "Cabaret" and "Step to the Rear." Her place was assured when the Smithsonian Institution selected one of her recordings, "Too Late Now" for the album of the 110 Best American Compositions of the 20th Century. Her two appearances with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall were tributes to Stephen Sondheim and Frank Loesser.

12/29-30, 8:30 PM: $50 tables / $40 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

12/31, 8:00 & 11:00 PM: Tiered Seating $75-150 tables / $75 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

1/1-2, 7:00 PM: $150 tables / $50 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum

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