Talent Announced For Benefit For The Australian Bushfire Disaster 'Oz-Relief 2020' - Marilyn Maye, Jim Caruso, Billy Stritch, and More!

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A Benefit for the Australian Bushfire Disaster: "Oz-Relief 2020", to be held at Birdland, 315 West 44th Street NYC (bet 8th & 9th Avenues) on Tuesday, February 18 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 5:30 pm). Hosted by Matt Baker the talent performing includes: Marilyn Maye - Nicole Zuraitis - Troy Roberts - Jim Caruso - Billy Stritch - Nadje Noordhuis - Jane Irving - Jonathan Dely and the Matt Baker Trio with Kevin Hailey (bass) & Curtis Howosad (drums). All the performers are donating their talent for this event

Tickets ar $30 Bar seating; $40 General Admission table seating (these are 1st come 1st seated); $50 for VIP Table seating. There is a $10 minimum for all. www.BirdlandJazz.com or 212-581-3080

Baker and friends will perform in response to the devastating bushfires currently sweeping across Australia. The blazes, which have been burning across the country for months, have killed at least 25 people, razed over 2000 homes and wiped out entire towns. Nearly 18 million acres of land have been burned and the total number of animals affected could be as high as a billion. All profits will go to the NSW Rural Bushfire Brigade and the Wires Wildlife Emergency Relief Fund.

Australian-born jazz pianist Matt Baker leads a powerful trio in New York City, which he has called home since 2010. He performs regularly as a sideman at jazz venues including Birdland and The Blue Note, tours both within the USA and internationally as a bandleader and sideman and has released 6 albums, his latest a DVD album "Live at Birdland".

In 2019 Matt premiered his brand new project "A Rhapsody Of Gershwin" at Birdland Jazz Club in New York, presenting a whole new spin on the music of one of America's most celebrated composers, with an all-star lineup from the heart of New York's jazz scene, including Endea Owens on bass, Curtis Nowoasd on drums, and 2019 Grammy-nominee vocalist Nicole Zuraitis. The project - Gershwin arranged like never before and fusing jazz with classical, comprises music from Porgy and Bess, An American in Paris, the Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F, plus other exciting gems from the classical and popular worlds of George Gershwin!

Matt Baker's sideman credits include touring and performing with vocalists Ann Hampton Callaway, Jennifer Holliday, Vanessa Williams, Patti LaBelle, Veronica Swift (2015 Monk competition winner), Tierney Sutton, Arianna Neikrug (2015 Sarah Vaughan competition winner), guitar icon Bucky Pizzarelli, tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm and Judy Collins.

Matt Baker was an award winner himself in the 2003 Montreux International Solo Jazz Piano competition and a semi-finalist in 2004 and 2005. A student of Taylor Eigsti's since moving to New York, Matt watched Oscar Peterson perform live an entire week at the Blue Note, from which a friendship between the two formed in the remaining years of Peterson's life. Baker has also studied with Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, Jacky Terrasson, and Ella Fitzgerald's life-long accompanist Paul Smith. www.mattbaker.com.au.



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