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Vivian Reed and Allan Harris to Bring CENTRAL PARK & OTHER DREAMS to Feinstein's/54 Below

On Friday, May 19, 2017 at 9:30 pm at Feinstein's/54 Below, "Central Park & Other Dreams," under the musical direction of Marty Ashby, the GRAMMY Award Executive Producer of MCG Jazz, will celebrate the sights and sounds of the Big Apple with performances by the jazz world's coolest musicians, featuring multi-award winning artist Vivian Reed (Bubbling Brown Sugar) and internationally acclaimed vocalist and guitarist Allan Harris.

The program will include the world premiere of CP4: Central Park & Other Dreams, a song cycle by two-time Emmy Award winning songwriter (and former Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade director) William Schermerhorn and Matthew Sklar, the Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk Award-nominated composer of Broadway's The Wedding Singer and Elf: The Musical.

The evening will also include other New York City classics including a rousing version of Take the A Train.

"For many New Yorkers, Central Park is our backyard." says lyricist William Schermerhorn. "And with the passing of each season, we relish the opportunity to observe the changes that occur in the park, both in nature and among the people that pass through it. Autumn has a colorful beauty mixed with a touch of melancholy as nature begins to slumber. As the Winter winds blow and temperatures drop, the crowds get smaller and, at times, the winding paths can be yours alone. The beauty of Spring brings with it an optimistic joy that fills the perfumed air. And there are always numerous stories to be found among the sunbathers, picnickers and romantic thrill seekers enjoying nature's wonderland each Summer afternoon on Sheep Meadow and around The Lake.

"CP4: Central Park & Other Dreams captures a Central Park moment in each of the four seasons. I like to think of the period, like the park itself, as being timeless, but also with the feel of a slightly romanticized past. The music by Matthew Sklar captures each mood and season without a word being sung. And having the opportunity to work with Matthew and MCG Jazz producer Marty Ashby on this project is, as always, a dream come true."

"Working with Pittsburgh natives Vivian and Allan is always a thrill," says MCG Jazz Executive Producer Marty Ashby, "and to be able to bring Bill's lyrics and Matt's music to life for a world premiere event is a dream come true for me. And I am always excited to be working with my brother Jay Ashby on trombone, who has been my producing partner for the past 40 years."

"I'm so thrilled to have the opportunity to set Bill's beautiful words to music,' says Matthew Sklar. "and when that music is arranged by the brilliant Marty Ashby and performed by such stellar performers as Vivian Reed and Allan Harris, I consider myself a lucky guy."

For tickets, visit 54below.com/events/central-park-dreams or call 646-476-3551.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Allan Harris

The outstanding and internationally renowned vocalist, guitarist and composer Allan Harris sums up his personal perspective on music in clear and straightforward terms. "There is nothing that I have found that defines and gives credence to my place in this wild and mysterious universe than this thing called music." Harris exemplifies that statement perfectly with his stunning new album Nobody's Gonna Love You Better (Black Bar Jukebox Redux), his eleventh album following on the heels of his highly acclaimed 2015 release Black Bar Jukebox.

Over the past 20 years, Harris has steadily developed his reputation as one of the finest vocalists of his era. Brooklyn-born and Harlem-based, he has forged his sterling credentials through his ten previous albums, covering a broad range of contexts, all netted together within the rich territory of the jazz tradition. In addition to his recordings, he has performed on a worldwide stage that has taken him to prestigious international festivals and halls in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as the 2012 Olympics in London. At home, he has toured nationally at festivals and top venues, including New York's Lincoln Center and D.C.'s Kennedy Center. He has received numerous awards, including the New York Nightlife Award for "Outstanding Jazz Vocalist" (which he won three times), the Backstage Bistro Award for "Ongoing Achievement in Jazz," the Harlem Speaks "Jazz Museum of Harlem Award," and the DownBeat Critic's Poll Award for "Rising Star Vocalist." Nobody's Gonna Love You Better (Black Bar Jukebox Redux) will continue to build his legacy as another milestone in the extraordinary artistic aesthetic of Allan Harris.

Vivian Reed

Vivian Reed is a multi award winner with two TONY NOMINATIONS, DRAMA DESK AWARD, THEATRE WORLD AWARD, OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD, DANCE EDUCATION OF AMERICA AWARD, NAACP AWARD and several others. Vivian began formal voice training at the age of eight at the Pittsburgh Musical Institute, later continuing at New York's Juilliard School of Music followed by years of extensive dance training. She became a polished performer under the guidance of Honi Coles and Bobby Schiffman of the Apollo Theater. Vivian auditioned for the musical 'Bubbling Brown Sugar,' the first of several popular revues based on music of the '20s and '30s. Although she was hired immediately, she soon discovered there was no existing part for her, so she created the role of 'Young Irene.' The show toured the country to rave reviews before it opened on Broadway; likewise a smash success! Her show-stopping performance, included a dazzling song and dance production of 'Sweet Georgia Brown' and a unique vocal rendition of 'God Bless the Child' that won her critical acclaim. After Broadway, VivIan Went to Los Angeles to open another company of 'Bubbling Brown Sugar' and then on to Europe with the show, touring such countries as England, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and France. While recognizing Vivian's own unique talents, Paris proclaimed her 'The New Josephine Baker.' She captured the attention of Pierre Cardin, who booked Vivian into his theater and held her over for several weeks. Through Cardin, she went to Japan for the first time and made her first European TV special. Later, she was invited by the Prince and Princess of Monaco to perform in Monte Carlo. Vivian has appeared on many TV variety and talk shows both nationally and internationally including The Tonight Show, The Today Show and the ABC-TV daytime drama, 'One Life to Live.' She has shared the bill with notable performers as Bill Cosby, Patti LaBelle, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Elaine Stritch, Alan King, Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones, Ashford and Simpson and Charles Aznavour, just to name a few. Her film credits include 'Heading for Broadway,' 'L'Africain' with Catherine Deneuve and 'La Rumba,' in which she portrayed Josephine Baker. Recently she produced and starred in a short film 'What Goes Around' written by Angela Gibbs. Vivian has starred in New York at the 'Rainbow and Stars' in a rhythm and blues revue and the Supper Club in a swing revue. She received critical acclaim in major productions of 'Sophisticated Ladies,' 'Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd,' 'Blues in the Night,' 'High Rollers,' 'Show Boat' in which she portrayed the role of 'Queenie' and 'Tintypes.' Her recent plays include 'Blues for an Alabama Sky,' 'Crumbs from the table of Joy,' 'Pork Pie' and 'Cookin' At The Cookery.' Vivian was featured in the highly anticipated 'Marie Christine' at Lincoln Center. She also portrayed Lena Horne in 'More Than A Song.'with the Pittsburgh Ballet Company at the Benedum Theater in Pittsburgh directed by Lynne Taylor Corbett. Vivian contributed her talents to the Lena Horne Awards Show hosted by Bill Cosby honoring Rosie O'Donnell and Quincy Jones at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in New York. She appeared in 'Three Mo' Divas,' the follow-up to 'Three Mo' Tenors' at the San Diego Rep and Arena Stage in Washington, DC and, as an actress, received critical acclaim for her portrayal as Gloria Franklin in 'The Second Tosca,' written by Tom Rowan. Recently, Vivian was invited to be a part of the 'Sondheim Unplugged' concert series at 54 Below in New York City where she later returned with her one woman show 'An Evening with Vivian Reed' enjoying four successful, critically acclaimed sold out shows. She is presently working on a new musical called 'One For My Baby,' created by Scott Thompson nd Fred Barton, music by Harold Arlen. Vivian recently took part in several major concerts in NYC: the 'NYC Cabaret Convention at Town Hall', 'Broadway Unplugged at Town Hall', the Centennial Concert Tribute to Edith Piaf as well as as contributing several songs to 'The Night of a Thousand Judys' at Merkin Hall. In 2016 she opened her new act 'Standards and More' at the Metropolitan Room in NYC in which she presents passionate and powerful vocal stylings of some of her favorite songs from the past accompanied by a four-piece band. The show has been playing to sold out audiences and has received rave reviews from all major media outlets. On the occasion of Lena Horne's 100th birthday, a new show 'Vivian Reed sings Lena Horne' will premiere in 2017 . Vivian has also given back of her talent by teaching nearly three years at Berklee College of Music in Boston where she created a performance class teaching the many aspects of performing and also establishing a yearly concert event called 'Singer's Night.' Vivian is also on the staff of Marymount College, in New York City, as one of their 'celebrity vocal teachers.'


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