LINCOLN CENTER’S AMERICAN SONGBOOK

LINCOLN CENTER’S AMERICAN SONGBOOK
2009 SEASON
January 14 – March 6, 2009

Highlights:

Rare solo concert by Paulo Szot, Tony Award-winner from South Pacific
Country legend Patty Loveless
Composer Spotlights: Rob Fisher Celebrates Cole Porter,
John Pizzarelli Salutes Richard Rodgers, and An Evening with Alan Menken
Broadway and film star Alan Cumming
Composer and enfant terrible Nico Muhly
The incomparable Stew, Tony Award-winner for Passing Strange

Lincoln Center’s acclaimed series American Songbook returns in January for its eleventh season celebrating the diversity of American popular song. For 17 nights of pop, folk, cabaret, R&B, country, rock, show tunes, bluegrass and multimedia, the series will explore the best of the golden age of musical standards through to today’s most dynamic contemporary songwriting. The 2009 season – January 14 through March 6 – will bring to the stage some of today’s most gifted interpreters of song, including top vocalist Kurt Elling and country’s winning Patty Loveless. It will feature the rare opportunity to hear the electrifying Paulo Szot, star of Broadway’s South Pacific, and film and stage star Alan Cumming, in intimate concert settings. Two of the immortals in the canon of American composers – Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers – will be celebrated, respectively, by Rob Fisher and John Pizzarelli. Current Broadway and film composer Alan Menken will perform songs he has written for films and stage productions, and contemporary composer/arranger/wunderkind Nico Muhly will bring his pop collaborations to the Songbook stage. Tony-winner Stew (Passing Strange) will close the season with a concert at the new Alice Tully Hall.
Sponsored by Pfizer.

TICKETS for the general public go on sale October 29, 2008, and can be purchased online at Lincoln Center’s website LincolnCenter.org, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office. Tickets for the Friends of American Songbook go on sale October 27th.

With the exception of Stew’s concert at the new Alice Tully Hall, American Songbook will be presented in the spectacular Allen Room of Frederick P. Rose Hall. The Allen Room possesses one of New York’s greatest settings – a stunning vista of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline that provides an evocative backdrop for the performers.

TICKETS can be purchased online beginning October 29th at Lincoln Center’s website LincolnCenter.org, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office. Tickets for The Friends of American Songbook go on sale October 27th.

Lincoln Center’s American Songbook 2009 Season
January 14 – March 6, 2009
The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street

Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 8:30 pm: Night & Day: ROB FISHER Celebrates Cole Porter with DAVID HYDE PIERCE and VICTORIA CLARK is a celebration of musical wit, sophistication and class hosted by the former musical director of the Tony-winning Encores! Series at City Center, Rob Fisher. Joining Fisher are two amazingly talented Broadway stars: David Hyde Pierce (Tony winner for Curtains, four-time Emmy winner for Frasier), and Victoria Clark (Tony winner for The Light in the Piazza). Fisher is an acknowledged authority in classic American musical theater as well as a renowned presence in front of the great orchestras of the world. He conducted the New York Philharmonic’s concert versions of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (with Patti LuPone and George Hearn) and My Fair Lady, and the Grammy-winning cast recording of Chicago. Cole Porter’s indelible songs – with all of their suave romanticism, witty provocation and purple moods – will pulse under Fisher’s capable hands.

Thursday, January 15, 2009, 8:30 pm: PATTY LOVELESS (left) is the siren of modern country music. A Country Music Association Female Vocalist and Album of the Year winner, Loveless’ voice was compared early on to Patsy Cline’s, but while they share a touching sincerity Loveless has a vocal strength uniquely her own. Loveless’ Appalachian alto is currently being heard on her latest, Grammy-nominated recording, Sleepless Nights, a collection of classic songs from the 1950s, 60s and 70s that celebrate the many facets of heartache that are at the core of country music.

Friday, January 16, 2009, 8:30 pm: THE AMERICAN BEAUTY PROJECT: The Music of the Grateful Dead American bands aren’t any more iconic than the Grateful Dead. Their aura continues long after the group disbanded in 1995 after thirty years of psychedelic songs and indelible rock anthems. The American Beauty Project takes the Dead’s most defining albums, Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, and performs them with new voices and in new arrangements, bringing out the beauty in the music for those who may never have heard it before (or heard it while under the influence). The performers include the group Ollabelle, Catherine Russell, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jim Lauderdale and a few surprises.

Saturday, January 17, 2009, 8:30 pm: 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, composed by DEAN WAREHAM and BRITTA PHILLIPS Commissioned by The Andy Warhol Museum, a pocket of American cool in Pittsburgh, 13 Most Beautiful . . . is a multimedia performance piece consisting of music composed to accompany a selection of Andy Warhol’s four-minute, silent film portraits entitled Screen Tests. The films, shot between 1964-1966 of people both famous and anonymous, will be shown as video projections above the musicians performing on stage. The songwriters, Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, were respected figures on the independent music scene before first collaborating in 1999 in the band Luna, and later performing as Dean & Britta. They have recorded two albums and have scored several films, including Noah Baumbach’s The Squid & the Whale.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 8:30 pm: Dedicated to You: KURT ELLING Sings Coltrane/Hartman featuring Ernie Watts, ETHEL and The Laurence Hobgood Trio Critics adore Kurt Elling, calling him “the greatest jazz singer of his generation.” Elling has the pipes to back up the praise. His textured baritone has both technical facility and emotional richness, and he is a master of vocalese, the art of putting words to improvised solos of jazz artists. His newest project is a re-imagining of John Coltrane’s epic collaboration with singer Johnny Hartman, an album that set a gold standard when it was recorded in 1963. For this effort Elling is joined by the passionate saxophone of Ernie Watts, the piano virtuosity of The Laurence Hobgood Trio, and the musically omnivorous string quartet ETHEL.

Thursday, January 22, 2009, 8:30 pm: AMOS LEE Roots, blues, and folk all co-mingle in the music of Amos Lee. His songs are all originals and his voice a lucky blend of James Taylor and Stevie Wonder – two of his musical influences. Lee has released three albums on Blue Note Records and has toured with Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello Merle Haggard and Paul Simon. His current CD, Last Days at the Lodge, was released in June 2008. A native of Philadelphia, Lee was an English major turned elementary school teacher before going on an extended tour as the opening act for Norah Jones. The rest, as they say . . .

Friday, January 23, 2009, 8:30 pm: RODNEY CROWELL Sings Portraits of Women with a special appearance by Rosanne Cash All the women that country singer/songwriter Rodney Crowell has known – daughters, girlfriends, ex-wives (including Rosanne Cash) – inform the music in his act and on his newest, Grammy-nominated CD, Sex and Gasoline. Produced by Joe Henry (American Songbook 2008), the album’s songs are about women told from an imagined female point of view. Crowell leaves his heart wide open, and that’s been his trademark since first emerging on the country music scene in the late 1970s. In 1988 he released Diamonds and Dirt, which produced an unprecedented five number one singles, and in 1989 he won the Grammy for Best Country Song with “After All This Time.” He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 8:30 pm: PAULO SZOT (right) A meteor hit Broadway in early 2008 when Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of South Pacific opened with opera singer Paulo Szot in the leading role of Emile de Beque. Vividly masculine, the swoon-worthy Szot stops the show each evening with two of Richard Rodgers’ most winning melodies: “Some Enchanted Evening” and “This Nearly Was Mine.” Szot’s sumptuous baritone and winning musicality, as well as the sincerity of his acting, won him the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Tony Awards. Szot’s Songbook debut will be filled with both American songs and those from his native Brazil.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 8:30 pm: SOUL DEEP: An Anthology of Black Music featuring Phylicia Rashad, Adriane Lenox, Ryan Shaw and Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens African-American music’s contribution to American popular music is deep, multi-faceted and on-going. From its African roots to gospel to rhythm & blues to rap, black music is the core of American popular music. Soul Deep will showcase black music through some of its best singers from Broadway and the recording studio: Tony winners Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun), Adriane Lennox (Doubt), Chuck Cooper (The Life), as well as R&B belter Ryan Shaw, Aisha de Haas (Caroline or Change), Sophia Nicole (The Lion King), Antonique Smith, Destan Owens, the incomparable Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, and more.

Thursday, February 5, 2009, 8:30 pm: THE DEL McCOURY BAND Called “the Tony Bennett of bluegrass,” Del McCoury has been an enduring figure in bluegrass music since the 1960s, when he performed with Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys. Playing guitar and singing lead, McCoury later formed his own band with his sons Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) and together they have stormed the bluegrass charts. McCoury has been named “Entertainer of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association for four consecutive years, and the group won their first Grammy in 2006 for The Company We Keep. McCoury’s collaborations with alternative rock group Phish and other contemporary musicians have kept his music fresh and accessible to a new generation of fans. The new album is Grammy-nominated.

Friday, February 6, 2009, 8:30 and 10:30 pm: LIZZ WRIGHT Both a songwriter and a versatile singer, Lizz Wright is a pop meets soul performer who draws comparisons to Anita Baker, Tracy Chapman and Cassandra Wilson. Wright has been hailed by The New York Times for her “pitch-perfect, smoky, full-bodied (singing) impressive in its steadiness, control and rhythmic subtlety” and for her “astonishing maturity and poise (that) stirs jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues into a reflective, flowing style that elongates songs into prayerful meditations that never wander into vagueness.” She released her third album earlier this year – entitled The Orchard – and it was inspired by a trip to visit her grandparents in rural Georgia “where it all began.” The album, and Wright’s voice, embodies the warmth and layered feelings of coming home.

Saturday, February 7, 2009, 8:30 and 10:30 pm: ALAN CUMMING (left) Seen in films such as X Men, Spy Kids and The Anniversary Party, starring on Broadway (a Tony winner for Cabaret) and the West End (Hamlet), appearing on television hosting PBS’ Masterpiece, Alan Cumming would seem to be everywhere. But this Songbook show marks his cabaret debut. Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Cumming was most recently on stage in New York playing the debauched, divine rock god Dionysus in The National Theater of Scotland’s production, The Bacchae. For Songbook he will be performing songs that have influenced him during his eclectic, electric career. It promises to be as full of surprises as the man himself.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 8:30 pm: NICO MUHLY: Illustrated Music, Music by Nico and his nearest and dearest collaborators, including Maira Kalman, Doveman, and Sam Amidon Nico Muhly is the composer of the moment, the young man with the buzz. Prolific and precocious, Muhly has written classical pieces for the Juilliard Orchestra, American Ballet Theater and the Boston Pops, performed with, arranged and conducted recordings for Björk, Phillip Glass, Rufus Wainwright and Antony and the Johnsons, and seen his compositions premiere at Carnegie Hall and on the BBC. For American Songbook Muhly is collaborating with Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), alternative folk/country artist Sam Amidon, and designer/illustrator Maira Kalman. His work with Kalman is based on her illustrations for two books: Strunk & White’s Elements of Style and Principles of Uncertainty. The former work will include amateur percussionists (Isaac Mizrahi among them).

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 8:30 pm: SUTTON FOSTER Broadway ingénues are no longer in great supply, but they don’t have to be with Sutton Foster on the scene. Foster brings a winning voice, long dancing legs and sweetly sincere acting chops to each of her Broadway roles. Her rise to fame is something out of a Busby Berkeley film: she was picked to replace the lead in Thoroughly Modern Millie during the out-of-town tryout, then went on to win the Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Musical in 2002. That was followed by Little Women, for which she received a Tony nomination, then another Tony nomination for The Drowsy Chaperone, then she was the scene-stealing yodeler fraulein Inga in Young Frankenstein. Currently Foster (who is returning for her second Songbook appearance) is playing the role of Fiona in the new musical Shrek, and awaiting the release of her first album, Wish, from Ghostlight Records, later in 2009.

Friday, February 20, 2009, 8:30 pm: An Evening with ALAN MENKEN Every generation has its soundtrack, and for many of those coming of age in the past twenty years that soundtrack includes music by the prolific Alan Menken. From 1982’s Little Shop of Horrors through to last year’s hit movie Enchanted, Menken’s music for film and stage fills the public consciousness with ringing melody. Menken wrote the scores to Beauty and the Beast for the movie and stage, Aladdin (film), Little Shop of Horrors (film and stage), Pocahontas (film), and The Little Mermaid, the film and currently on Broadway, to mention only a few of his works. He is the winner of eight Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Score, ten Grammys and seven Golden Globes and was, this year, inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. For the 2009 Grammys he’s received 2 nominations, for songs from Enchanted. Menken will perform songs both known and unknown from his vast repertoire.

Saturday, February 21, 2009, 8:30 and 10:30 pm: With a Song in My Heart: JOHN PIZZARELLI Salutes Richard Rodgers with Jessica Molaskey Acclaimed guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli swings with the best of them, and his newest CD celebrating the music of Richard Rodgers is no exception. The album, and the concert Pizzarelli brings to American Songbook, includes such songs as “This Can’t Be Love,” “Lady is a Tramp” and “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.” He’s nominated for a Grammy for the arrangements of a song from the new album. Rodgers’ inventive melodic style pared with some of the greatest lyrics ever written give Pizzarelli material that is timeless and transporting. Pizzarelli will be joined by his wife, Broadway and nightclub singer Jessica Molaskey, whose voice blends the tenderness and emotional electricity ideal for a Richard Rodgers evening.

Friday, March 6, 2009, 8:00 pm: STEW and Heidi Rodewald** Broadway rocked the way it never had before when Passing Strange opened in 2008. It won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and made a star out of its writer, Stew, and his writing partner, Heidi Rodewald. Stew and Rodewald return to American Songbook (they performed in the series in 2003) with music from their early career and the band they founded in 1995, The Negro Problem. The group was ironically named to highlight the music industry’s problems with an all white band fronted by a black man whose influences were not only Stevie Wonder but also Stephen Sondheim. Stew’s discography includes four recordings with The Negro Problem, and another four as Stew, two of which were named Album of the Year by Entertainment Weekly: Guest Host and The Naked Dutch Painter and Other Songs. The Songbook show will include music from Passing Strange as well as new material.
**This performance will take place in Alice Tully Hall as part of the Alice Tully Opening Nights Festival.**

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Since it was launched in 1998, American Songbook has been dedicated to celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the popular American songwriter from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. Spanning all styles and genres from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway to the eclecticism of today’s songwriters working in pop, cabaret, rock, folk and country, American Songbook traces the history and charts the course of the American song from its past and current forms to its future direction.

Artists who have appeared on the American Songbook series include Andy Bey, Betty Buckley, Ann Hampton Callaway, Calexico, Liz Callaway, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Michael Cerveris, Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Cincotti, Eric Comstock, Victoria Clark, Mos Def, Christine Ebersole, Sutton Foster, Mary Cleere Haran, Darius de Haas, Joe Henry, Fred Hersch, Jane Krakowski, Judy Kuhn, LaChanze, k.d. lang, Bettye LaVette, Rebecca Luker, Patti LuPone, Nellie McKay, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, Audra McDonald, Lori McKenna, Jane Monheit, Megan Mullally, Kelli O’Hara, Tonya Pinkins, John Pizzarelli, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Steve Ross, Stephin Merritt with The Magnetic Fields, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, Jimmy Scott, Patti Smith, Sufjan Stevens, Billy Stritch, Elaine Stritch, The Fountains of Wayne, They Might Be Giants, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Deborah Voigt, Lillias White, Dar Williams, David Yazbek and John Lloyd Young. The series has also presented concerts highlighting the music of composers and lyricists such as Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Harold Arlen, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Jason Robert Brown, William Bolcom and Arnold Weinstein, John Bucchino, Michael John LaChiusa, Cy Coleman, Ricky Ian Gordon, Adam Guettel, Frank Loesser, Andy Razaf, Richard Rodgers, Arthur Schwartz, Duncan Sheik, Stephen Sondheim, Stew, Billy Strayhorn, Charles Strouse, Jule Styne, Jimmy Van Heusen, and David Zippel.

Sponsored by Pfizer.

Major support for American Songbook is provided by Fisher Brothers, In Memory of Richard L. Fisher, Amy & Joseph Perella and Sara & Maury Rosenberg.

Additional corporate support is provided by Merrill Lynch.

Additional support for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook is provided by Jill and Irwin Cohen, The DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, F. M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., The Shubert Foundation, The G & A Foundation, Inc., Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council and Friends of Lincoln Center & American Songbook.

Public support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Movado is an Official Sponsor of Lincoln Center, Inc.

WNBC/WNJU are Official Broadcast Partners of Lincoln Center, Inc.

Continental Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center, Inc.

Nokia is the Official Mobile Equipment Provider of Lincoln Center, Inc.

MetLife is the National Sponsor of Lincoln Center, Inc.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of superb artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. As a presenter of over 400 events annually, LCPA’s programs include American Songbook, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Midsummer Night Swing, and the Mostly Mozart Festival and Live From Lincoln Center.

Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, or to receive a Lincoln Center accessibility guide, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at (212) 875-5375.

Join the American Songbook text message club to receive exclusive news about the series, updates on last minute ticket releases and access to special promotions! This club is free and available on all carriers. Standard text-messaging rates may apply. Brought to you by Verizon Wireless. Text “Songbook” to 22699 to opt in!

LINCOLN CENTER PRESENTS AMERICAN SONGBOOK 2009

At The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall
Broadway at 60th Street
**except where noted

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Night and Day: Rob Fisher Celebrates Cole Porter with David Hyde Pierce and Victoria Clark
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Patty Loveless
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Friday, January 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm
The American Beauty Project: The Music of the Grateful Dead
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 8:30 pm
13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, Composed by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at 8:30 pm
Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings Coltrane/Hartman, Featuring Ernie Watts, ETHEL and The Laurence Hobgood Trio
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Amos Lee
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Friday, January 23, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Rodney Crowell Sings Portraits of Women with a special appearance by Rosanne Cash
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Paulo Szot
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 8:30 pm
Soul Deep: An Anthology of Black Music featuring Phylicia Rashad, Ryan Shaw, Adriane Lenox and Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 8:30 pm
The Del McCoury Band
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Friday, February 6, 2008 at 8:30 and 10:30 pm
Lizz Wright
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Saturday, February 7, 2008 at 8:30 and 10:30 pm
Alan Cumming
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Nico Muhly: Illustrated Music
Music by Nico and his nearest and dearest collaborators, including Maira Kalman, Doveman and Sam Amidon
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Thursday, February 19, 2008 at 8:30 pm
Sutton Foster
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Friday, February 20, 2008 at 8:30 pm
An Evening with Alan Menken
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Saturday, February 21, 2008 at 8:30 and 10:30 pm
With A Song in My Heart: John Pizzarelli Salutes Richard Rodgers, with Jessica Molaskey
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Friday, March 6, 2009, 8:00 pm ** at Alice Tully Hall
Stew and Heidi Rodewald
Tickets: $25

TICKETS for the general public go on sale October 29, 2008, and can be purchased online at Lincoln Center’s website LincolnCenter.org, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office. Tickets for the Friends of American Songbook go on sale October 27th.

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