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My View: Freda Payne Brings ” Let There Be Love” To Birdland

Last night Birdland presented Freda Payne The acclaimed Grammy-nominated R&B and jazz chanteuse, and an audience full of Freda Payne fans welcomed her with affectionate arms. – Freda shot to fame with her #1 hits “Band of Gold,” and “Bring the Boys Home” – she celebrated her latest recording, an EP of duets with Kurt Elling, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kenny Lattimore, and Johnny Mathis, featuring arrangements for a 30-piece big band by Grammy-winner Gordon Goodwin. The album, recorded at the iconic Capitol Records Studio ‘A’ in Hollywood, demonstrated her ability to sell a lyric vocally and her facility with jazz, swing, and improvisation. Payne is also celebrating the release of her new book Band of Gold: A Memoir, which features an introduction by the late Mary Wilson of The Supremes.

Freda Payne got her start singing with big bands and then sang with Duke Ellington in New York where she landed her first record deal, a jazz album on Impulse! Freda went on to perform with Quincy Jones’s big band and recorded with the legendary producing team of Holland, Dozier & Holland on Invictus. Her first gold record “Band of Gold” became an instant pop smash, reaching #3 in the US and #1 in the UK for six consecutive weeks, eventually selling two million copies. The singer has graced the stage in such Broadway shows as Jelly’s Last Jam, Sophisticated Ladies, and Blues in the Night. She’s recently toured the country with her tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. She was a Grammy nominee for Best R&B Vocal Performance for “Band of Gold” and for the album Contact. More recently, she performed on Fox TV’s “American Idol” and joined Kanye West, Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand and more on “We Are the World” for Haiti Relief.

FREDA PAYNE
FREDA PAYNE
FREDA PAYNE
FREDA PAYNE
BIRDLAND
RON ABEL & FREDA PAYNE
RICHARD SKIPPER & FREDA PAYNE
NATALIE DOUGLAS & RON ABEL
RON ABEL & EDA SOROKOFF
ROSE APUZZO, RICHARD SKIPPER,

Cabaret

Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen Sorokoff@gmail.com

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