Marilyn Maye to Honor Nat King Cole in March

Marilyn Maye to Honor Nat King Cole in March

Marvelous Marilyn Maye, at the peak of a miraculous career at 90, returns to Minneapolis for the first time since 2010 for a four-show major engagement at the lakeside supper club Crooners in March. Maye, a practitioner without peer of a classic American nightclub style that Crooners audiences are embracing, plays the club's newly refurbished, 200-seat Crooners MainStage in back-to-back early and late shows (5:30pm and 8pm), on Saturday and Sunday March 23 and 24. Joining her for this four-show weekend stand will be her New York music director Tedd Firth on piano, leading a trio with locals Gary Raynor on bass (a Maye vet) and David Schmalenberger on drums.

The concerts are part of Crooners 2019 Nat King Cole centennial celebration, "The World of Cole," which features nationally and locally celebrated singers throughout the year, each of whom epitomizes, in their own unique way, the openness and honesty of the quintessential crooner. (Cole was born on March 17, 1919.) On Monday March 25, Maye presents one of her popular day-long master classes, which have become a staple in New York, for local entertainers interested in honing both their singing and stage craft techniques.

A Best New Artist Grammy nominee in 1965, Maye appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson a record 76 times and enjoyed a busy career as an RCA recording artist in concerts and stage productions throughout the country. But it was in October 2006, when Maye made a memorable appearance at the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention, breaking a 15-year hiatus from playing in New York City, that things took off for her current surge. With Billy Stritch accompanying her, she performed at a new club the next night, The Metropolitan Room, with lines into the street. Stephen Holden attended the opening of her first Metropolitan Room major engagement in March of 2007, noting that "the atmosphere at Thursday's packed opening night performance (...) could be described as one of discreet pandemonium."

At The Metropolitan Room she built a new loyal following, bringing new shows every 5 months and playing New Year's Eve over an 8-year stretch. During that time she won five consecutive Celebrity Awards from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, and, in 2014, their Lifetime Achievement Award. She now regularly sells out 54 Below, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Iridium and she recently helped open the new Birdland Theater. Rex Reed has dubbed this "the comeback of the decade."

Ranked Best Jazz Club in 2018 by City Pages, Crooners is proud to feature a widely eclectic range of styles, backgrounds and generations. With its definitive listening policy that asks audience members to give their full attention to the shows on stage, and its emphasis on relaxed civility, Crooners is a music-focused supper club with two distinct music venues - the Crooners MainStage and the Dunsmore Jazz Room. Crooners is located at 6161 Highway 65 NE, Minneapolis, MN. For information or to purchase tickets in advance call 763-760-0062, or visit

Photo by Kevin Alvey

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