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Trinity Church Wall Street Unveils New Season of Music: From Bach and Messiah to celebrations of Foss and Crumb and a New Jazz Series

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Trinity Church Wall Street is delighted to announce the upcoming fall music season, which will include the return of Bach at One, performances by NOVUS NY, and Handel’s Messiah, alongside a new jazz concert series and dynamic collaborations.

“We’re thrilled to invite our neighbors and New York City back to Trinity for a robust music season this fall, including jazz concerts, Considering Matthew Shepard, and the ever-popular Messiah. We see music as a unifier, a healer, and a window to the Divine,” said the Rev. Michael Bird, Vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street. “This fall music season continues our commitment to providing world-class programing and music that is accessible and enriching to all.”

Trinity’s diverse and impactful programming kicks off on Thursday, September 15, at St. Paul’s Chapel with New York’s first fully staged performances of Craig Hella Johnson’s epic fusion oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard. Johnson created the oratorio as “a space for reflection, consideration, and unity around [Shepard’s] life and legacy.” Tony-award winners Beowulf Boritt (scenic design) and Ken Billington (lighting design) join stage directors Elliott Forrest and Rod Caspers and music director Malcolm J. Merriweather on the creative team with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, and Brian Giebler as Matthew Shepard, for these three free performances on September 15, 16, and 17 at 7:30pm.

September 27 through October 8, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street heads to Park Avenue Armory with composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist, and MacArthur “Genius” Tyshawn Sorey for Monochromatic Light (Afterlife): a tribute to composer Morton Feldman, who wrote music for the opening of the Rothko Chapel in Houston 50 years ago. The resulting score provides the listener with the feeling of being enveloped in sound in much the same way that Mark Rothko’s paintings reveal ever-changing and immersive shades of color and texture.

On October 3 at Carnegie Hall, Trinity and Opus 3 Artists present a free performance: a rare concert of all of Lukas Foss’s works with GRAMMY-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring Downtown Voices and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street. This gift to the City celebrates the centennial of Foss, the former music director at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and a prolific composer who shaped 20th-century American music.

A season of jazz also premieres in October as a joint effort between Trinity and JAZZHOUSE@Trinity. Trinity recently announced this new collaboration with Jazz House Kids, an arts education organization headquartered in Montclair, NJ. JAZZHOUSE@Trinity will provide free, professional jazz instruction for children, as well as curate a series of free jazz concerts at Trinity’s historic downtown churches. The first concert on October 9 debuts a new series titled, Jazz Icons, with an all-star trio of jazz heavyweights: Dave Holland, Kevin Eubanks, and Eric Harland. On December 4, Trinity welcomes the renowned Monty Alexander Trio. The Jazz Iconsseries will take place on Sundays and is co-curated by eight-time GRAMMY Award-winner and Jazz House Artistic Director Christian McBride and jazz vocalist Melissa Walker, president and founder of Jazz House.

Trinity’s Concerts at One weekday series, deemed “the top of musical life in New York” (The New York Times), will also return to St. Paul’s Chapel this October and November. A new Jazz at Oneseries will take place every Tuesday from October 11 through November 22 and will feature an eclectic mix of brilliant jazz artists in collaboration with JAZZHOUSE@Trinity. On Wednesdays from October 12 through November 16, Concerts at One will present an array of Trinity’s favorite “at one” series, including a Pipes at One recital, two Bach at Ones led by Avi Stein, a special performance by featured guest artists ChamberQUEER, and two concerts featuring NOVUS NY.

The “expert and versatile musicians” (The New Yorker) of NOVUS NY will celebrate George Crumb in two concerts titled, Voice of Crumb. Crumb’s works will be paired with Bartok, who influenced the ground-breaking composer, and Crumb’s pupil Jennifer Higdon. Works will include Crumb’s Voice of the Whale and American Songbook No. 1, alongside Bartók’s Divertimento, and works by Higdon. Featured NOVUS performers on the series include concertmaster Katie Hyun, pianist Conor Hanick, Sandbox Percussion, and members of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street.

Additional season highlights include the Trinity Youth Chorus and Downtown Voices concerts on Sundays. The Trinity Youth Chorus with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra will perform Vivaldi’s Gloria and Durante’s rarely performed Magnificat in a special Compline service on October 30, conducted by Melissa Attebury. On November 13, Stephen Sands conducts Downtown Voices with NOVUS NY in works by Undine Smith Moore, Florence Price, and David Hurd. These compositions musically explore the anthem: a song that represents ideals, and how we are inextricably linked in our human experiences.

Advent will be a festive season as in-person celebrations return to Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. Compline By Candlelight: Lessons and Carols on December 4 will feature Downtown Voices, St. Paul’s Chapel Choir, and the Trinity Youth Chorus in this cherished holiday tradition. The service of Lessons and Carols tells the Christmas story through readings and musical illuminations and will be conducted by Stephen Sands, Thomas McCargar, and Melissa Attebury.

On December 9 and 10, Trinity will mark the return of Handel’s Messiah, which the New York Times once declared, “stands apart as New York’s best.” Popular choruses from the work will also be presented on Sunday, December 11, alongside Christmas carols and other holiday favorites in a special concert, featuring all of Trinity’s ensembles. To round out holiday musical offerings, the Trinity Youth Chorus will present Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, conducted by Melissa Attebury, with Caroline Cole on harp, on December 18.

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, under the direction of Avi Stein, bring their esteemed Bach interpretations to Salle Bourgie in Montreal on October 30.

On November 19, NOVUS NY joins celebrated Brazilian pianist and conductor João Carlos Martins as he makes his return to Carnegie Hall to conduct a program of Bach and Brazilian music, including a world premiere by André Mehmari.

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street returns to Carnegie Hall on December 4 for a special performance, “Notes from Ukraine,” presented by the Ukrainian Institute – Kyiv, Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival, and Razom for Ukraine. This concert will celebrate 100 years since the North American premiere of Mykola Leontovych’s Shchedryk—the original choral work that became the famous “Carol of the Bells.” The performance will highlight works and performers from both Ukraine and the U.S., including a world premiere by Trevor Weston, showing the power of music to connect people across cultures.

In January 2023, Trinity’s long-term relationship with the PROTOTYPE Festival and its ground-breaking co-producer, Beth Morrison Projects, brings us the New York premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun’s latest opera, In Our Daughter’s Eyes, as well as a stunning new opera by Emma O’Halloran titled, Trade, which will feature NOVUS NY. In the past, Trinity and Beth Morrison Projects have collaborated on two Pulitzer Prize-winning operas: Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone and Ellen Reid’s prism.

On Sundays, Trinity’s choirs lead varied repertoire at services that speak to the diversity of New York City. Sunday evenings at 8pm in St. Paul’s Chapel, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street offers an intimate Compline by Candlelight service, led by Thomas McCargar, that features chant, improvisation, and newly composed sacred works.

Trinity is dedicated to promoting lifelong engagement with music through a comprehensive program and free access to educational opportunities, cultural activities, and Trinity’s acclaimed performances. Led by Melissa Attebury, the music education program provides many opportunities for youth to participate in the Trinity Youth Chorus and afterschool activities at Trinity Commons, and serves our students in local schools by providing music education enrichment courses.

Classes for youth include songwriting, music theory, and a new audition-preparatory coursework for entering performing arts high schools. Trinity’s diverse team of teaching artists also provide instruction in chorus, movement, songwriting, guitar, ukulele, and recorder in several schools in Chinatown as part of a longstanding partnership with the Chinese American Planning Council, PS 18 in Queens, and PS 19 in the Bronx.

Fall 2022 Season Listings

All performances are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

September 15-17, 7:30pm in St Paul’s Chapel 

Craig Hella Johnson Considering Matthew Shepard

Elliott Forrest and Rod Caspers, Stage Directors

Malcolm J. Merriweather, Music Director

Beowulf Boritt, Scenic Designer

Ken Billington, Lighting Designer

Claudia Stefany, Costume Designer

Dustin Z West, Production Supervisor

Nate Bertone, Scenic Assistant

Lauren Page Russell, Props Supervisor

Brian Giebler as Matthew Shepard

Nickolas Karageorgiou, Narrator

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; NOVUS NY

Free registration is available here

September 27–October 8, at Park Ave Armory

Tyshawn Sorey Monochromatic Light (Afterlife)

Directed by Peter Sellars

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Tyshawn Sorey, conductor

Tickets can be purchased here

October 3, 7pm at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage)

Lukas Foss Centennial Celebration

Lukas Foss Works: Psalms, Symphony No. 1, Renaissance Concerto, Three American Pieces, Ode for Orchestra

Randall Thompson Alleluia

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Nikki Chooi, Violin; Amy Porter, Flute; The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Downtown Voices; JoAnn Falletta, conductor

Tickets are available for free in person at the Carnegie Hall Ticket Office prior to the October 3 performance (up to 4 per person, first come, first served) | More information is available here

October 9, 3pm in Trinity Church

Jazz Icons

Dave Holland, bass

Kevin Eubanks, guitar

Eric Harland, drums

Tuesdays, October 11–November 22, 1pm in St. Paul’s Chapel

Jazz at One

October 12, 1pm in St. Paul’s Chapel

Concert at One: The Voice of Crumb Part 1

Crumb Vox Balanae, Four Nocturnes

Higdon Little River Songs

NOVUS NY: Conor Hanick, piano, Katie Hyun, violin, Melissa Baker, flute

October 19, 1pm in St. Paul’s Chapel

Concert at One: Pipes at One

Avi Stein, organist

October 26, 1pm in St. Paul’s Chapel and October 30, 2:30pm at Salle Bourgie in Montreal

Concert at One: Bach at One

Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40

Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget, BWV 64

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80

Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim?, BWV 89

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Avi Stein, conductor

October 30, 8pm in St. Paul’s Chapel

Special Compline by Candlelight: Chorister Concert

Durante Magnificat

Vivaldi Gloria

Trinity Youth Chorus; members of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Melissa Attebury, conductor

November 2, 1pm in St. Paul’s Chapel

Concert at One: ChamberQUEER

November 9, 1pm in St. Paul’s Chapel

Concert at One: Bach at One

Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, BWV 76

Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott, BWV 101

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Avi Stein, conductor

November 13, 3pm in Trinity Church

Anthems

Works by Undine Smith Moore and Trevor Weston

David Lang national anthems

Downtown Voices; NOVUS NY String Quartet; Stephen Sands, conductor

November 16, 1pm in St. Paul’s Chapel

Concert at One: The Voice of Crumb Part 2

Crumb American Songbook No. 1: The River of Life: Songs of Joy and Sorrow

Bartok Divertimento led by concertmaster Katie Hyun

NOVUS NY featuring soloists from The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Sandbox Percussion

November 19, 7pm at Carnegie Hall 

From Bach to Brazil

Bach Brandenburg Concertos 1 & 3, Cantata, BWV 147

Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4

André Mehmari Portais Brasileiros (World Premiere)

NOVUS NY; João Carlos Martins, conductor

Tickets can be purchased here

 

December 4, 2pm at Carnegie Hall

Notes from Ukraine: A 100-Year Celebration of Carol of the Bells

Works by Lunyov, Shalygin, Bernstein, and others

World Premiere by Trevor Weston

Janai Brugger; The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus of North America; Ukrainian Children’s Choir Shchedryk; Marichka Marczyk, conductor

Tickets can be purchased here

December 4, 3pm in Trinity Church

Jazz Icons

Monty Alexander Trio

December 4, 8pm in St Paul’s Chapel

Special Compline by Candlelight: Lessons and Carols

Downtown Voices; St. Paul’s Chapel Choir; Trinity Youth Chorus

December 9-10, 7pm in Trinity Church

Handel’s Messiah

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Trinity Baroque Orchestra

December 11, 3pm in Trinity Church

Holiday Favorites

Trinity Youth Chorus; Downtown Voices; The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Avi Stein, conductor

December 18, 8pm at St Paul’s Chapel

Special Compline by Candlelight: Ceremony of Carols

Trinity Youth Chorus; Melissa Attebury, conductor

January 2023

PROTOTYPE FESTIVAL

Du Yun In Our Daughter’s Eyes

Emma O’Halloran Trade

 

About Trinity Church Wall Street:

Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish of more than 1,200 members. For more than three centuries, Trinity has been a part of the fabric of New York City-weaving together a vibrant and diverse parish of people of all backgrounds from the five boroughs and surrounding area. The parish is guided by its core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. These principles are the reason Trinity champions justice and equity through public advocacy, neighborhood outreach, and financial resources. More than 20 worship services are offered every week online and at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission, and online at www.trinitywallstreet.org.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Events

Rockers On The Rise: With Love – A Benefit Concert Featuring The Stars Of Tomorrow

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G.H. Harding

The Path Fund Inc.® and Avery Rehl are pleased to announce this special celebration of Love on Mother’s Day, Rockers On The Rise: With Love. The event will feature some of the most talented young performers of the next generation. Rockers On The Rise: With LoveRockers On The Rise: With Love is on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 6 p.m. at The Cutting Room.

Rockers On The Rise is The PATH Fund’s new mentorship initiative that enables young artists to audition, perform, direct and produce their own shows with personalized mentoring and hands-on training to gain real-world experience. Having been a part of the annual Rockers On Broadway® concert series, Avery Rehl was inspired to lead this year’s Rockers-type event to support the arts community.

“I’ve had such a great time working with Cori Gardner and Donnie Kehr, and I’ve learned a lot from them as I’ve developed my performing career. Singing in Rockers On Broadway has been a great experience, and now producing Rockers On The Rise is giving me further insights into how the industry works. In the future, I look forward to giving back to the community and helping young artists grow with the PATH Fund.”, says Rehl.

The performers include:

The graduating high school seniors, class of 2024, Isabelle Gottfried; Avery Rehl; Matteo Russo (The Many Saints Of Newark); Sylvia Smith; and other young rockers, Nick Allen; Claudia Fabella; GG Roberts-Nguyen; Tyson Gottfried; Jackson Preisser; Gus Schonfeld; Jurnee Swan (The Piano Lesson); Audrey Simone Winters (The Sound Of Music (tour)).

The creative team is led by director Donnie Kehr; Executive Producers Avery Rehl, Cori Gardner; with music direction by Logan Medland.

“We are so honored that these young performers want to give their time and talent to our cause”, says Gardner. “Their commitment to the community is impressive and inspirational.” adds Kehr.

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Broadway

Theatre News: The Heart of Rock and Roll, Gutenberg! The Musical!, The Who’s Tommy, Jelly’s Last Jam, Follies,

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Tonight The Heart of Rock and Roll opens at the James Earl Jones Theatre. Two nights before there was a celebration performance with Huey Lewis with The News, Jimmy Kimmel, Cyndi Lauper, Casey Cott, Rosanna Scotto, Ben Vereen, Lorna Luft and more.

Cyndi Lauper and Huey Lewis

The Heart of Rock and Roll, stars Corey Cott, McKenzie Kurtz, Josh Breckenridge, F. Michael Haynie, Zoe Jensen, Tamika Lawrence, Raymond J. Lee, John-Michael Lyles, Orville Mendoza, Billy Harrigan Tighe and John Dossett.

The Original Broadway Cast Album of Gutenberg! The Musical! featuring GRAMMY® Award winners and Tony Award® nominees Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells will be released digitally on Friday, May 3 and physically on Friday, May 17 from Center Stage Records and Yellow Sound Label. The album will also feature comedy legend Mel Brooks in the role of the ‘Guest Producer.’

The Museum of Broadway will host original Broadway cast reunions for The Who’s Tommy on April 22 at 2pm and Jelly’s Last Jam on April 26 at 2pm. Each reunion will include a panel featuring multiple cast and crew members from the original Broadway productions.

For one night only—on Thursday, June 20, at 8:00 p.m. at Carnegie Hall Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. Directed and presented by Transport Group Artistic Director and five-time Drama Desk nominee and two-time Obie Award winner Jack Cummings III with musical direction by Joey Chancey.

The cast of Follies includes Broadway stars Julie Benko (Funny Girl), Mikaela Bennett(Renascence, BBC Proms West Side Story), Michael Berresse (Tony nominee, Kiss Me Kate), Alexandra Billings (Wicked), Klea Blackhurst (Everything the Traffic Will Allow), Harolyn Blackwell (Candide, Porgy and Bess), Stephen Bogardus (Tony nominee, Love! Valour! Compassion!; Falsettos), Norbert Leo Butz (two-time Tony winner, Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Len Cariou (Tony winner, Sweeney Todd), Carolee Carmello (three-time Tony nominee, Parade; Falsettos), Jim Caruso (Liza’s At The Palace), Nikki Renée Daniels (Company, The Book of Mormon), Christine Ebersole (two-time Tony winner, Grey Gardens, 42nd Street), Katie Finneran (two-time Tony winner, Noises Off, Promises, Promises), Santino Fontana (Tony winner, Tootsie), Alexander Gemignani (Tony nominee, Carousel; Sweeney Todd), Miguel Gil (Kimberly Akimbo), Olivia Elease Hardy (Kimberly Akimbo), Erika Henningsen (Mean Girls), Grey Henson(Tony nominee, Mean Girls, Shucked), Fernell Hogan (Kimberly Akimbo), Jennifer Holliday (Tony winner, Dreamgirls), Rachel Bay Jones (Tony winner, Dear Evan Hansen; Here We Are), Isabel Keating (Tony nominee, The Boy from Oz), Adriane Lenox (Tony winner, Doubt), Norm Lewis (Tony nominee, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), Ryan McCartan (Heathers), Donna Murphy (two-time Tony winner, Passion, The King and I), Thom Sesma (Pacific Overtures, Man of La Mancha), Barbara Walsh (Tony nominee, Falsettos; Company), Nina White (Kimberly Akimbo), Jacob Keith Watson (Merrily We Roll Along, Carousel), and Karen Ziemba (Tony winner, Contact).

The evening will feature the original Jonathan Tunick orchestrations played by a thirty-piece orchestra, and will also feature a selection of Michael Bennett’s original choreography restaged by original cast member Mary Jane Houdina.

This unique concert series features a different lineup of performers for each song, rather than a role portrayed by one actor for the entire evening. Additionally, in lieu of the musical’s book scenes, backstage stories and anecdotes from the creation of the original production are woven between songs.

The evening will be hosted by Kurt Peterson, who originated the role of Young Ben in the 1971 Broadway production, as well as licensing executive and theatre historian Ted Chapin, whose memoir Everything Was Possible is taken from his daily diaries during the pre-Broadway run of Follies, on which he served as intern during his senior year of college.

Follies, book by James Goldman, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, produced originally on Broadway by Harold Prince, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, premiered on Broadway on April 4, 1971, at the Winter Garden Theatre in a production directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, with choreography by Bennett.  The winner of seven Tony Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards, and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for best musical, Follies developed almost immediate cult and legendary status following its closing on July 1, 1972, after playing 522 performances and 12 previews.  Scores of revivals followed on Broadway, in the West End, in regional theaters, and throughout the world.  This concert is presented by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh.

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Broadway

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

A TARNISHED TIFFANY — CBS is having a tough month. First, their much-ballyhooed Billy Joel concert -the initial showing- was cut off abruptly while Joel was doing “Piano Man” no less. It was re-run Friday to somewhat meager numbers and, also Friday, CBS canceled their show So Help Me Todd, which was a breath of fresh air in the TV-world. Last year, its debut year, it was a rave and a ratings winner.

CBS has several new shows set for September and the ratings for Todd had fallen dramatically. Now, not that network apparently cares, but there’s been an outpouring of both sympathy and bewilderment for the cancellation and downright hate, if you will. The show starred Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Austin and was totally unique.

Roger Friedman disparaged the cancellation as well and said it was a perfect Sunday night show – although it would have kept getting pushed back by virtue of CBS-sports.

It was a totally brilliant and innovative show about a mother and a son working together and not always in harmony. An episode Dial M For Margaret (directed by Robin Givens no less) was simply brilliant. To be candid, I think CBS stepped it again – last year it was their canceling East New York with Jimmy Smitsbut stay tuned … sometimes the cancellations are un-canceled and it could just happen with SHMT.

Tiffany no more.

HEART ON — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Heart kicked off their Royal Flush tour on Saturday at Greenville, South Carolina’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena with support from Cheap trick.

In addition to classics like “Magic Man,” “Straight On” and “Barracuda,” Heart also performed a few of Nancy and Ann Wilson’s respective solo songs, plus covers of Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

The Royal Flush tour marks Heart’s first extended trek since 2019 and will keep them on the road, primarily in North America, through late September. The rockers will also head to Europe in June and July with Squeeze opening select dates, and they’ll support Def Leppard and Journey on a handful of stadium dates in July and August.

It’s been a turbulent decade for Heart, who haven’t released a studio album since 2016’s Beautiful Broken. Ann and Nancy Wilson put the band on hold that year after Ann’s husband was arrested for allegedly hitting one of Nancy’s children during their 2016 tour.

The sisters mended fences and embarked on the Love Alive tour in 2019, followed by another extended break during which they both released solo albums. However, Nancy Wilson said last June that Heart was working on new material that is “closer to what you would have heard us originally do in the ’70s, late ’70s. So, it’s really fun, it’s just exciting and inspiring.”

Danny Fried

SHORT TAKES — Danny Fried’s Sweet Mary Jane stage-presentation never got off the ground, sadly. What with the proliferation of weed shops and weed culture;it’d would have fit right in …

Johnny Rzeznik

Funny to see Travis Kelce say ‘when her album drops.’ Wonder if he even knew what that meant before he met her … Johnny Rzeznik’s song “Iris” (1998 from the movie City of Angels) has got to be one of the most beautiful songs ever. He teamed up with Daryl Hall for a duet on it for Daryl’s House.Just amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPlg6aSFzg0

Hannah Waddingham

Great Hannah Waddingham profile on Sunday’s Willie Geist gabfest. She’s terrific …

Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo back on CNN? With different management now in place there, discussions are indeed being held. He was the station’s #1 air-personality. Sorry Anderson. personally, I loved him … Big news from Rascal Felix Cavaliere later this week … Roger Friedman gave a race to Alicia Key’s Hell’s Kitchen musical: ‘Is a High End Jukebox Musical with Soaring Voices.’ Bravo! … Adios to the New York Post’s TV-man Michael Starr who has been there for 29 years. He used to have a daily column in the paper’s heyday called The Starr Report that was sensational; almost like a mini-Army Archerd. PR-pasha David Salidor got Starr his caricature up on the wall of The Palm on 50th street in NYC near booth 24. He’s done a series of books, including Joey Bishop, William Shatner; Don Rickles;  and his next one is on Rodney Dangerfield. Good man!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Ed Steinberg; Peter Brown; Amanda Naylor; Thomas Silverman; Scott Anderson; Lenny Kalikow; Terry Jastrow; Anne Archer; Sam Rubin; Doug Breitbart; Nosia Mamet; Lush Ice; Kent & Laura Denmark; Felix Cavaliere; Dolly Parton; Melissa Manchester; Mark Bego; Lamar Fike; Obi Steinman; and CHIP!

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Columns

My View: Another Chapter Added To The Great American Songbook by The Jazz Ensemble at The King’s Academy

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A first-class experience. That is the epitome of The King’s Academy (TKA) Jazz Ensemble’s Night of Jazz. From walking the red carpet into the beautiful Page Family Center for Performing Arts to the electrifying buzz in the air from the sold-out audience, everyone knew they were in store for a special evening.

The sound, the look, and the stage presence of the TKA Jazz Ensemble is undeniable as they carry themselves with style, grace, and sophistication as ambassadors of the Great American Songbook. Director of Instrumental Arts Wes Lowe opened the night speaking about the transformative teaching and training happening at TKA and how concerts like this go a long way in creating innovative experiences for the students. This concert was proof that there is something transformative at TKA that sets it apart from the rest.

The night began with the impressive sounds of Julia Drahos as she dazzled the audience with a powerful trumpet solo followed by a remarkable drum solo by Ashton Horne on the opening number “Tiger of San Pedro.” Senior vocalist and Young Artist Award Winner (from The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook) Maddie Begin took the audience on a musical journey with stunning renditions of “Feeling Good” and “But the World Goes Round.” The way she flawlessly sung these difficult numbers goes to show that she will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Junior vocalist Ella Garcia sung a beautiful cover of the Etta James classic, “At Last.” Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, another Julia, trombonist Julia Basile, completely owned the stage with precision, presence, and power with her rendition of the Latin standard Black Orpheus. Hadiya Stewart, a bassist extraordinaire and another Young Artist Award Winner, had everyone grooving to the sounds of “Ziggy Strut,” a newly commissioned piece written specifically for her by TKA Composer-In-Residence, Mark Taylor.

This Night of Jazz concert continued to crescendo to the point that many in attendance had been waiting for. Sometimes a beautiful voice that is delivered with authenticity and experience is all you need. In the case of Nashville based Wendy Moten, things went well beyond expectation when she added her talent to the teaching at The King’s Academy as their Artist-In-Residence. Wendy Moten captivated the audience from the moment she stepped on the stage to the Stevie Wonder classic “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Whether it has her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I have Nothing,” a gospel hymn like “How Great Thou Art,” or an Aretha Franklin classic “Ain’t No Way,” Moten’s voice that night was a bright and transcendent light that gave all that listened hope to hold on to through those songs.

Wendy not only has massive vocal chops, but a heart for music and those young people who will become the future. That was on full display as she dueted the Natalie Cole classic “This Will Be an Everlasting Love” with Maddie Begin and dueted “Sir Duke” with TKA Jazz Alumnus, Mikayla Smith. The soulful and moving voice of Wendy Moten along with the first-rate players of TKA Jazz Ensemble made this year’s Night of Jazz a night to remember. The combination of this band with this balladeer made for a musical moment in time no one wanted to end.

Many in attendance for this sold-out show were there as fans from Wendy’s appearance on NBC’s The Voice in 2021. Many were also aware of Wendy’s collaborations with fellow luminaries like Julio Iglesias, Michael McDonald, Kirk Whalum, Vince Gill, and Blake Shelton, just to name a few. But her collaboration that night with the students of The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Wes Lowe was both a sight and sound to behold. This year’s Night of Jazz was more than just a concert. It felt like a chapter had been gracefully added to the Great American Songbook.

HTE KING’S ACADEMY JAZZ ENSEMBLE

WES LOWE

WENDY MOTEN & MADDIE BEGIN

WENDY MOTEN & MIKAYLA SMITH

WENDY MOTEN & JULIA BASILE

MADDIE BEGIN

HADIYA STEWAR

ASHTON HORNE

WENDY MOTEN & MICKEY SMITH

WENDY MOTEN & MICKEY SMITH

ELLA GARCIA

ELLA GARCIA

WENDY MOTEN & MIKAYLA SMITH

SAXOPHONES

TRUMPETS

WENDY MOTEN

SAXOPHONES

WENDY MOTEN & MADDIE BEGIN

WES LOWE & THE JAZZ ENSEMBLE

 

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Cabaret

Adrienne Haan Sings Cabaret Francais at The Triad

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You don’t need to know French to feel the words that Adrienne Haan sings in the recent incarnation of her show, Cabaret Francais, that she performed on April 16th at The Triad. I don’t have any knowledge of the French language (my high school Spanish from almost 40 years ago can help me order a cerzeva fria in a Mexican saloon) but even without understanding the words, when Ms Haan sings you know why French is categorized as a romance language.

Adrienne enjoys telling stories

A Wistful Look

Ms Haan is accompanied by her wonderful pianist Richard Danley, who she has had a successful partnership for over 22 years. He opens the evening with a lovely overture until Adrienne is introduced on to stage in another beautiful wardrobe creation of sparkling red. Singing the songL’Accordéoniste, (The Accordionist in English), she is greeted by the sold out audience with applause and appreciation. Adrienne returns the joy as she walks into the crowd, getting them to join in with claps as she sings Milord. As she breaks into her Edith Piaf section, she also gets the room singing with her on the very passionate tune, Padam Padam.

Enjoying the crowd

Singing to a sold out audience

Adrienne always tries to educate her audiences and true to form, tells us about Edith Piaf, raised in a bordello and singing in the streets at 14; but rising to be the world famous chanteuse. She also surprises and while she sang the famous La Vie en Rose, a woman rose from her seat and began to sing along. The lovely Brittany Baratz Yeshion joined Adrienne, singing the tune in English as Ms Haan continued in French. The two singers met at a musical reading, playing mother and daughter and they continued this connection as they sang a bilingual edition of Cole Porter’s I Love Paris.

Brittany Baratz surprised the room as she rose from her seat to sing

Brittany made it on stage to sing La Vie En Rose

Moving on from Edith Piaf, Adrienne continued telling stories and singing tunes from famous composers of French tunes (regardless of whether they were French or not). Egyptian born, French loving composer Georges Moustaki wrote Ma Liberte. Moustaki was Jewish and both France and Israel felt a connection with this song and Ms Haan sang the tune in two languages French and Yiddish; both to the audience’s delight.

Brittany and Adrienne a bilingual duet

Feeling the song

Belgian composer, Jacque Brel, was up next as she sang a thrilling rendition of Le Port D’Amsterdam, and a passionate Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me in English). While these tunes may not be familiar with many in the crowd, Michel Legrand’s Windmills of Your Mind (Les Moulins de mon Coeur), the Academy Award winning song from the film The Thomas Crown Affair is recognizable in either French or English and the sell out crowd appreciated Ms Haan’s interpretation.

Richard Danley and Ms Haan have worked together for 22 years

Adrienne uses all parts of the stage

Charles Aznavour, the French singer/songwriter of Armenian decent, who wrote over 1,000 songs was represented in the evening with For Me! Formidable! and La Boheme, both love songs with very different tones and meanings. So many wonderful songs from Brel, Legrand and Aznavour – a tie vote from the audience on who is their favorite.

The final song left No Regrets

Adrienne’s special guest, Brittany joined her on stage for the closing number, Non, je ne regrette rien, another Edith Piaf song written by Charles Dumont, Michel Vaucaire. The duet in English and French summed up the feeling of the audience – absolutely no regrets for attending a wonderful night of song and stories.

A raucus song about Amsterdam

Adrienne is truly an entertaining performer who always brings surprises to every show and if you haven’t seen her yet she is returning to the Triad on May 21, when she will be performing Between Fire & Ice – A Weimar Berlin Cabaret. I know I will be there.

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