Deborah Grace Winer Brings NEW YORK: BIG CITY SONGBOOK to Birdland
Why have so many songwriters been compelled to write about New York? What is it about this city that fuels an endless supply of stories? Deborah Grace Winer's new show NEW YORK: BIG CITY SONGBOOK offers a kaleidoscopic vision of life in the city, from the inspiring and romantic to the aggravating and the quirky. New York is a fabulous character, and Deborah has assembled a great cast of real New Yorkers (meaning they come from everywhere) to take us on this entertaining and exhilarating musical ride in search of what it really means to be a New Yorker.
Deborah Grace Winer, who led the 92Y's celebrated Lyrics & Lyricists™ series for 9 seasons, presents her first show at the new Birdland Theatre. This three-evening celebration of New York City combines her love of her hometown and the American songbook and brings three of Birdland's favorites performers back to the popular venue.
Deborah Grace Winer (Creator, Writer, Host) is a leading expert on the classic American Songbook. Her current collaborations include Feinstein's/54 Below, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Schimmel Center/Pace University, and she recently completed a nine season run as Artistic Director of the 92Y's Lyrics & Lyricists™ concert series, presiding over 50 original shows and steering the venerable series back to audience and critical acclaim. Author and dramatist, her four books include On the Sunny Side of the Street: The Life and Lyrics of Dorothy Fields, recently reissued on Amazon, and The Night and the Music: Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Cook and Julie Wilson Inside the World of Cabaret. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, and her plays, off-Broadway and regionally. www.deborahgracewiner.com
Klea Blackhurst (Vocalist) is known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything The Traffic Will Allow. She starred in the world premiere production of Hazel at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Chicago and The Nutty Professor, which premiered in Nashville, directed by Jerry Lewis and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes. Klea starred in Goodspeed Opera's 50th Anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! She's appeared in legendary halls from The London Palladium to Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert Hall to Jazz at Lincoln Center and with symphony orchestras from Atlanta to Philly.
LaTanya Hall (Vocalist) has worked with some of the world's most celebrated artists including Diana Ross, Bobby McFerrin, Donald Fagen, Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, Michael Feinstein, Patti LaBelle, and Harry Belafonte. TV credits: Blue Bloods, Law & Order, 100 Centre Street, The Sopranos. Broadway and theater appearances: Dreamgirls; Promises, Promises; A Christmas Carol. Her first solo album, It's About Time, garnered rave reviews. and her new album, "Say Yes" is out next year from Sunnyside Records. More details at www.latanyahall.com
Nicolas King (Vocalist) has been performing professionally since he was 4 years old. He appeared in three Broadway productions (Beauty & The Beast, A Thousand Clowns with Tom Selleck, and Carol Burnett's Hollywood Arms directed by Hal Prince) before the age of 12. He released his latest album "On Another Note", with jazz icon Mike Renzi. He is recipient of the Talent America Award (1995, 1996), 2010 Julie Wilson Award, 2015 AMG Award for Artist of the Year, and New York's coveted Bistro Award in 2012 for 'Outstanding Performer of the Year'. He has also performed alongside the legendary Liza Minnelli since he was 11 years old, and as her opening act from 2002-2012, touring all over the country. thenicolasking.com
John Oddo (Music Director & Arrangements) was music director, pianist and arranger for Rosemary Clooney for almost 20 years, including for 20 of her recordings and countless televised performances. He was pianist for NBC Tony Bennett 90th Birthday special, and as an arranger collaborates frequently with the Boston Pops. He has been music director/arranger/pianist for such artists as Tony Danza, Christine Ebersole, James Naughton, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Barbara Cook and is a longtime collaborator of Michael Feinstein's. Various PBS specials as music director/arranger/conductor include Feinstein's recent shows from the Rainbow Room.
Jay Leonhart (Bass) attended the Peabody Conservatory as a child and became a jazz musician at the Berklee College of Music. Among his many associations have been Barbara Carroll, Marian McPartland, Phil Woods, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz and Mike Renzi. He has been named most valuable bassist in the recording industry three times by the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences. In the 1980s, Jay became known as a lyricist when he began leading his own recording sessions and his songs started to be recorded by other singers. He has recorded 15 albums for DMP, Sunnyside, Nesak and DRG, and his one-man show of his own songs is titled The Bass Lesson.jayleonhart.com
Mark Waldrop (Stage Director) is director, book writer and lyricist of the legendary Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly. He directed and provided special material for Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends, which earned a Tony award nomination. He directed and wrote material for Bette Midler on her Divine Miss Millennium tour, and has directed cabaret and concert performances for Faith Prince, Sutton Foster and Brooke Shields, among many others. His numerous New York and regional credits include Radio City Music Hall and NEWSical the Musical
Reservations: www.BirdlandJazz.com $40 cover, $75 VIP cover (prime seating, backstage meet and greet), $10 food/drink minimum