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Birdland to Present MEL AND ELLA SWING! With Billy Stritch and Gabrielle Stravelli in September

Birdland to Present MEL AND ELLA SWING! With Billy Stritch and Gabrielle Stravelli in September

Hear songs from the Great American Songbook and swinging standards from the world of jazz.

Birdland Jazz Club will present a special evening with renowned pianist and singer Billy Stritch and award-winning jazz vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli on Monday, September 19 at 7:00 PM. The pair will combine their considerable talents for "Mel and Ella Swing!," an evening of great music celebrating the legendary Mel Tormé and Ella Fitzgerald. They will include beloved favorites from the Great American Songbook ("Night and Day," "I Won't Dance," "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket") and swinging standards from the world of jazz ("Too Close for Comfort," "Lady Be Good"). These two performers have brought their magic to stages all over the world and together bring an incredible knowledge and feel for this great music that's not often seen these days. There is a $30 music charge. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in New York.

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 New York and Europe from 1983 until they disbanded in 1990. A chance meeting with Liza Minnelli in March of 1991 resulted in her asking him to create vocal arrangements for the record-breaking extravaganza Liza Stepping Out at Radio City Music Hall. In addition to his 25-year collaboration with as accompanist and opening act for Liza, Billy recently toured with the legendary Tony Bennett as Tony's 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) in concert halls and nightclubs across the country. Billy also serves as music director for such leading vocalists as Linda Lavin, Christine Ebersole, Paulo Szot and Marilyn Maye. He is the co-writer of the Grammy-winning song "Does He Love You" recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. When he's not on the road, he is the pianist for Jim Caruso's Cast Party open mic night every Monday at Birdland Jazz Club and he and Jim hold forth on Sunday nights at Bemelmans' Bar in Manhattan's fabled Carlyle Hotel. During Covid-19, he hosted his own weekly Facebook live-stream show "Billy's Place", celebrating the Great American Songbook with songs and stories from his varied career. He has recorded five solo albums and his latest release Billy's Place (Club44 Records) is a collection of his favorite songs from these online concerts.

Gabrielle Stravelli pairs a jazz artist's musicianship with an ability to interpret lyrics and connect with an audience, which has led to a richly varied career. She regularly leads her quartet in performances at the country's finest jazz clubs and performing arts centers and has headlined domestic and international jazz festivals including the 2021 and 2018 WBGO Jazz on the Mountain Festival in New Paltz, NY, the 2019 Providencia Jazz Festival in Santiago, Chile, the 2016 All That Jazz Festival in Eleuthera, Bahamas and the 2014 Maree Sonore Festival in Venice, Italy. As a US State Department "Jazz Ambassador" she has performed and taught throughout Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America. Dream Ago, her 2017 release which consists primarily of original material, received a 5-star review from Downbeat Magazine and her 2019 release Pick Up My Pieces: Gabrielle Stravelli Sings Willie Nelson was featured by noted music critic Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal and was honored with the the 2020 Bistro Award for Outstanding Recording.

BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB will present Billy Stritch and Gabrielle Stravelli in "Mel and Ella Swing!" on Monday, September 19 at 7:00 PM. There is a $30 music charge and a $20 food and beverage minimum. Birdland 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.

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UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS AT

BIRDLAND THEATER AND BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB


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

Every Saturday at 5:30 PM - 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


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

Amy Spanger

Spanger, a Drama Desk-nominated Broadway singer and actress, will sing songs from her celebrated career so far, including beloved tunes by Jonathan Larson, Cole Porter, Kander & Ebb and more. She and her musical director, Paul Masse, have created a rocking set with all the feels. Her special guest will be Broadway veteran Brian Shepard (who also happens to be her husband). Spanger has starred in eight Broadway shows, including Kiss Me, Kate; The Wedding Singer; and Rock of Ages, originating roles in five of them. She was the original Susan in the off-Broadway production of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick... BOOM! and notably played Sally in "Reefer Madness The Movie Musical," and recently guest starred on "Chicago Med."

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

August 29 (Monday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Jazz Club

Julie Benko & Jason Yeager - "Hand in Hand" Release

Funny Girl's Julie Benko joins forces with jazz pianist (and husband) Jason Yeager for an unforgettable evening performing selections from their new duo album, "Hand in Hand". The release, out August 26th on Club44 Records, features the pair's intimate arrangements of songs from Broadway musicals, the Great American Songbook, and Yeager's original compositions. Joined by Michael O'Brien on bass, Jay Sawyer on percussion, and Patrick Laslie on woodwinds, the talented twosome will put their singular spin on favorites by such legendary composers as Jule Styne, Richard Rodgers, Anaïs Mitchell, Janis Joplin, and others. Benko is currently the standby for Fanny Brice in Broadway's Funny Girl. Other Broadway/National Touring credits include Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, and Spring Awakening. A recipient of the Wilde Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Girl in Once, Benko also won the Gold Medal and Johnny Mercer Award at the American Traditions Vocal Competition in 2017. Yeager is a pianist and composer who has performed across five continents at such noteworthy venues as Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, Panama Jazz Festival, Qintai Concert Hall, and more. A two-time finalist at the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, Yeager has released five albums as a bandleader.

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

September 12 (Monday) 7:00 PM - Birdland Jazz Club

Karen Akers - "Water Under the Bridge"

Singer and actress Karen Akers will return to Birdland with her concert featuring musical director Alex Rybeck. Akers takes a look back at some of the songs that first brought her acclaim in cabaret as well as on Broadway, television, and recordings - works by Craig Carnelia, Maury Yeston, Edith Piaf, and Stephen Sondheim, among other treasures. Akers is one of America's more arresting and successful concert stars. She is the recipient of the 2005 New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Female Cabaret Vocalist, as well as the 2009 Nightlife Legend Award. Ms. Akers has appeared in many prestigious venues worldwide, including Carnegie Hall and The Hollywood Bowl, as well as the Cafe Carlyle and The Oak Room at The Algonquin Hotel. She has taken her music to the south of France, Russia, and Barcelona's Liceu Opera House. She appeared on Broadway as one of the original stars of the Tony Award-winning musical Grand Hotel. She made her debut on the Great White Way in the original production of Nine, receiving a Tony nomination and a Theatre World Award.

$40 tables + $20 food/drink minimum

September 12 (Monday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater

Michael Winther with Art Hirahara - "A Sinatra Songbook"

Broadway's Michael Winther, will join acclaimed jazz pianist/composer Art Hirahara to celebrate and explore his favorite songs made famous by Frank Sinatra. Winther is a veteran of eight Broadway productions and has appeared in numerous productions Off-Broadway. He has headlined concerts in some of the most popular venues in New York City - including Birdland, 54 Below, Joe's Pub and Lincoln Center's prestigious American Songbook Series - as well as other major venues across the country. Michael's Broadway credits include: Flying Over Sunset, Fun Home, 33 Variations, Mamma Mia!, 1776, Artist Descending a Staircase, The Crucible and Damn Yankees. Equally comfortable on the Broadway stage as in the concert hall and recording studio, Michael collaborated with multiple Grammy-nominee, jazz composer Fred Hersch and poet, Mary Jo Salter in the premiere of a new song cycle, Rooms of Light. 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, Berlin and Rodgers.

$30 tables + $20 food/drink minimum

September 19 (Monday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater

Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf

With her long-time friend Charlie Alterman on piano, cellist Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf will perform selections from her debut album, Music of Broadway for Cello and Piano, and welcome her husband, saxophonist Marc Phaneuf, as they celebrate their eighteenth wedding anniversary that night. Special guest star to be announced. Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf has established a busy career in New York City as a solo, chamber, Broadway, and recording artist. Since 2003 she has played in 18 Broadway shows including The Bridges of Madison County, Evita, and Sunday in the Park with George. Off-Broadway credits include the premiere productions of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years (Chicago 2001, NYC 2002). Her debut solo album, Music of Broadway for Cello and Piano, was released in 2021 on Craft Recordings/Concord Theatricals. Following her sold-out debut at Birdland Jazz Club in 2018 she continues to present headlining shows featuring Broadway's greatest stars.

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

September 26 (Monday) 8:30 PM - Birdland Theater

Phillip Officer - "Let Me Sing And I'm Happy"

It's been a decade since Phillip Officer, one of NYC's favorite singers, stepped into the spotlight. Officer returns to make his Birdland Theater debut with "Let Me Sing And I'm Happy." The Chicago Tribune wrote, "Officer joins the rank of great singers as he elevates his material with a natural effervescence you wish you could bottle." Phillip built a commanding reputation for his commitment to lyrics. The New York Times complimented him as "a master of lyric interpretation - a textbook example of pop understatement." "Let Me Sing And I'm Happy" will celebrate a coterie of great writers and artists who have influenced his musical journey, including Peggy Lee, Carole King, Stephen Sondheim, The Beatles, Irving Berlin, Cher, and Johnny Mercer. The talented trio of musicians include Mark Hartman on piano, Kevin Kuhn on guitar, and Erik Friedlander on cello. Officer made his Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated musical Side Show. He is the recipient of multiple New York Nightlife, Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs, and Backstage Bistro Awards. The show is directed by Bill Russell.

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


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