Jazz may have its roots along the water route from New Orleans to Memphis but it's hard to imagine the genre without the huge contribution of composers along the Great White Way, Broadway.
I'm thrilled to be giving a preview Wednesday night at Broward Center for a Gold Coast Jazz Society performance by one of my favorite singers, Janis Siegel. Well known as the alto in the vocal group Manhattan Transfer, Janis has a dazzling solo career as well. Wednesday, she'll bring some vocal classics to the stage of the Amaturo Theater with pianist Shelly Berg to trace the intersection of jazz and Broadway (it's a very large intersection!).
I'll be giving a historical context to the concert by showing some of the history of the American Musical Theater and previewing some of Janis's songs. Her program for the night will likely include some classics by Lerner & Loewe, Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim. It's going to be a great concert with Janis Siegel and South Florida's piano man, Shelly Berg - great voice, great piano and no fluff, now, that's pristine.
Between her experience with the exceptionally wide repertoire of Manhattan Transfer and then a very eclectic solo career, I think of Janis Siegel as being a modern incarnation of the great singers of the 1940s and 1950s. Those singers - Jo Stafford and June Christie come immediately to mind -- were great solo singers because they'd also had a lot of ensemble experience. They sang with big bands and with trios and they developed a stunning versatility of style as well as exposure to a huge repertoire. If you are a classical music lover, the equivalent would be an instrumentalist who is equally adept at being soloist with orchestra and an outstanding chamber musician as well. It's rare but when it happens, the results are stunning.
Janis Siegel is a stunning musician, and we are fortunate she's bringing some of that stun to South Florida. I can't wait!
My preview will be at 6:45 and the concert begins at 7:45 and yes, I'll pour you a glass of wine as well! I'm still figuring out just which wines will best reflect our theme of the evening, and how can we go wrong with the mighty triumvirate of Wine, (one) Woman, and (lots of) songs?