Review: Linda Purl and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra Hit the Right Notes at Birdland

It was definitely a night for the ladies at Birdland with Linda Purl and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra

By: Apr. 02, 2024
Review: Linda Purl and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra Hit the Right Notes at Birdland
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It was definitely a night for the ladies at the famous jazz venue Birdland with the one night only presentation of Linda Purl & DIVA Jazz Orchestra: BIG BAND ROMANCE on April 1, 2024.  Attired in a midnight blue velvet off the shoulder sleeved dress with a pop of light blue silk underneath, Linda Purl emerged onto the stage and plunged straight into song with a powerful rendition of “I’m In The Mood For Love.”  The fair-haired chanteuse was accompanied throughout the night by the multi-generational, internationally renowned women of the DIVA Jazz Orchestra as well as musical director Tedd Firth on the piano. Additionally, special guest performer Nicolas King joined for a duet.

Along the way, Linda Purl revealed to theatergoers personal stories that marked her journey along the path to success in acting and music. After growing up in Japan where her father was transferred for his career, the petite powerhouse came back to the US as a teen and began her on-screen (film and TV) acting career in the 1970’s.  But music it seems was always a passion for her.  Purl, the audience learned, came from strong musical stock on both sides of her family.  Extraordinarily, it seems that she had a grandmother who fought the strict Victorian establishment of the time to become a tuba player in an all girls band.  Just as noteworthy, it seems her grandfather on the other side of the family, was the bandleader of an all female band.  With such remarkable genetics, it is no wonder Linda Purl showed such gusto as she pulled out all the stops and strutted her powerful vocals on the iconic Birdland stage this very evening.  This reviewer was thrilled with the compelling performance of Linda Purl.

Following in the footsteps of jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney and Peggy Lee, Purl belted and crooned the iconic songs made popular by these female songstresses.  Famed jazz hits performed included, “Travelin Light,” “Nobody Else But Me,” “Too Darn Hot / It’s Alright With Me,” “When The Sun Comes Out,” “Alone Together,” “S’Wonderful,” and “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” among many others.   

What a night for theatergoers at Birdland, who couldn't contain themselves as they applauded loudly for Linda Purl and Diva Jazz Orchestra.  Many famous faces could be found in the audience including Purl’s significant other, actor Patrick Duffy as well as noted film critic, journalist and author, Rex Reed. Yes, folks, this was an only-in-New-York-City night!  

Linda Purl & DIVA Jazz Orchestra: BIG BAND ROMANCE  featured the multi-talented Linda Purl, Diva Jazz Orchestra: Sherrie Maricle (leader of orchestra and drums), Alexa Tarantino (lead alto sax), Laura Dreyer (tenor sax 1), Mercedes Beckman (alto sax 2), Jade Elliot (tenor sax 2), Leigh Pilzer (baritone sax), Jennifer Krupa (trombone 1), Sara Jacovino (trombone 2), Leslie Havens (bass trombone), Liesl Whitaker (lead trumpet), Jami Dauber (trumpet), Barbara Laronga (trumpet), Rachel Thierrien (trumpet), Noriko Ueda (bass), Tedd Firth (Musical Director and piano) and special guest vocalist, Nicolas King.

Find great shows to see on the Birdland website here