Song Travels with Michael Feinstein - Winter 2014
Jazz and Soul singer Gregory Porter had a breakout year in 2012. His album Be Good topped many “Best of” lists and was named iTunes’ Jazz Album of the Year. He was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance. On this Song Travels, Porter is joined by his band mates Chip Crawford and Aaron James for a set including numbers from his latest album, Liquid Spirit.
Vocalist, pianist, and Grammy-winning composer John Proulx has a voice that is reminiscent of another great all-around jazzman, the late Chet Baker. Proulx’s original songs have been recorded by artists including Nancy Wilson and Mary Stallings, and he’s also performed with legends Natalie Cole, Anita O’Day, and Marian McPartland. Proulx joins host Feinstein to discuss the continuing evolution of jazz in a changing world.
Legendary composer and arranger Johnny Mandel started out working in the Big Bands of Joe Venuti, Buddy Rich, and Jimmy Dorsey, and later worked as an arranger for Count Basie. Mandel’s resume includes film and television classics such as “Suicide is Painless” (the M*A*S*H* theme) and “The Shadow of Your Smile” from The Sandpiper. The five-time Grammy winner sits down with Feinstein to discuss his lifetime in the industry, writing for screens large and small.
Austin based quartet the Jitterbug Vipers play 1930s-style viper Jazz - the intoxicating underground take on swing classics by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Cab Callaway. The Jitterbug Vipers are vocalist Sarah Sharp, guitarist Slim Richey, bassist Francie Meaux Jeaux, and drummer Masumi Jones. On this Song Travels, the band presents a set sure to make you want to get up and dance…jitterbug or otherwise!
Three-time Emmy award winner Elaine Stritch became a star on Broadway before going on to a string of acclaimed film and television roles. One of her most recent roles was as Colleen, mother of Alec Baldwin’s character, Jack Donagy, on NBC’s hit sitcom 30 Rock. After more than forty years in New York, Stritch moved home to Michigan. But before leaving town, she sat down with host Feinstein for some hilarious musical highlights and candid revelations about her life and career.
Pianist, singer, composer, and producer Allen Toussaint defines the sound of New Orleans. He penned early R&B hits including “Mother-in-law,” “Working in a Coalmine,” and “A Certain Girl.” He also produced Funk legends The Meters and has worked with artists from The Band to Elvis Costello. This week Toussaint and Feinstein discuss the vital role of New Orleans in American music.
Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal
Vocalist and songwriter Rosanne Cash is the daughter of Country music icon Johnny Cash and one of the preeminent artists of her time, with eleven number one Country singles. She is a Grammy winner, and her 2009 album, The List, won the Americana Music Award for Best Album of the Year. On this week’s Song Travels, Cash and her husband and co-writer John Leventhal join Michael Feinstein to perform a set of music from their latest album, The River & the Thread.
Wayne Brady became a star improvising on the popular TV show Whose Line It Anyway? The singer/actor/dancer/comedian has also appeared on stage in Rent and Chicago and hosts TV game show Let’s Make A Deal. Brady discusses the musical influence of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Sam Cooke. With musical director Cat Gray at the piano, Brady performs the Cooke classic, “You Send Me,” and Feinstein joins him in a duet of “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”
Vocalist Bobby McFerrin is best known for his 1988 hit, “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” which was the first a capella song to reach Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won three Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year. He is also an accomplished jazz artist, with five Grammy wins for Best Male Jazz vocal, and has created a concert version of George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess. McFerrin stops by the Song Travels studios to talk about his endless creativity and the enduring appeal of the Gershwins.
Jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton has headlined national venues including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and the Kennedy Center. And she has earned five Grammy nominations, including four consecutive nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album. With her latest project, After Blue, Sutton takes on the genius of Pop & Folk singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. Alongside her guitarist Serge Merlaud, Sutton performs a set of standards including “Fly Me to the Moon” and “You Must Believe in Spring.”
Peter Yarrow & Noel Paul Stookey
Peter, Paul & Mary rode the 1960s folk wave to worldwide acclaim. Yarrow and Stookey, along with the late Mary Travers, performed enduring anthems of social change including “If I Had a Hammer” and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” as well as the light-hearted “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” Yarrow and Stookey continue their remarkable fifty-plus-year career together and continue to sound the clarion call to social change.
Singer/songwriter Rumer (Sarah Joyce) was raised in England and Pakistan, and her sound reveals a deep connection to the ’70s singer/songwriter era, along with shades of Broadway, ’30s Jazz, and Gospel. Her debut album, Seasons of My Soul, reached #3 on the UK charts and was certified platinum. Rumer joins Feinstein to talk about Judy Garland, Burt Bacharach, and old Hollywood, and performs a set including “I Loves You, Porgy,” “That’s All,” and her own song, “Come To Me High.”
Ann Hampton Callaway
Tony nominated actress, vocalist, and Platinum Award-winning songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway has sung with top orchestras and Big Bands the world over, including performances before President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. As a songwriter, she has penned tunes for Barbara Streisand and wrote and sang the theme to the hit sitcom The Nanny.
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