Performance Friday, March 16, 2012 | 8 PM

The New York Pops

Patti Austin Sings Ella Fitzgerald's Gershwin Songbook

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
One of today’s top jazz vocalists, Patti Austin recreates Ella Fitzgerald’s classic album of Gershwin songs with Nelson Riddle’s original symphonic arrangements – live for the first time at Carnegie Hall with a special guest appearance by Christopher Riddle. Produced in association with the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation and the Nelson Riddle Trust.


  • The New York Pops
    Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
  • Patti Austin, Vocalist
  • Christopher Riddle, Guest Conductor


  • The New York Pops

    The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of its highest subscription renewal rates. The New York Pops was founded by Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America's rich musical heritage. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops tours throughout the world and gives free concerts in New York City parks. The New York Pops' extensive education programs allow thousands of public schoolchildren to participate in concert and music-making experiences at Carnegie Hall and in schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

    Steven Reineke

    Steven Reineke's boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation's most sought-after pops conductors, composers, and arrangers. Mr. Reineke is music director of The New York Pops, the newly appointed principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. He also serves as principal pops conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto symphony orchestras through the end of the 2011-2012 season, and was associate conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

    Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and during the past year he has conducted both the Boston Pops and The Cleveland Orchestra. He makes his Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut on July 4, 2012, at the Ravinia Festival. His extensive North American conducting appearances include Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa (National Arts Centre), Detroit, Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Tampa (Florida Orchestra), Calgary, Memphis, and Oklahoma City.

    As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke's work has been performed worldwide and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America, including performances by the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare was used to commemorate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony's pavilion, and his Festival Te Deum and Swan's Island Sojourn were debuted by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world.

    A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City.

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  • Patti Austin

    Renowned global performer and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Patti Austin has earned the respect and admiration of peers and audiences worldwide. Celebrating an incredible five decades of music, the native New Yorker has created an amazing legacy of work that includes almost 20 albums.

    Ms. Austin achieved her first chart success in 1969 with "The Family Tree." During the 1970s, she was the undisputed queen of the New York session scene, her voice heard behind everyone from Paul Simon, James Brown, and Joe Cocker to Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross, and Diana Ross, as well as on countless memorable commercial jingles. After a series of acclaimed albums for CTI Records, she signed with her godfather Quincy Jones's Qwest label and began to achieve mainstream success on an international level.

    Her 1988 album The Real Me-one of the most popular in her catalog-featured a powerful collection of pop and jazz standards, while a stint at GRP Records included Carry On, Love is Gonna Getcha, and Patti AustinLive, which showcased her amazing standup comedic skills and brilliant impersonations. Her 1998 album In and Out of Love spent almost two years on the contemporary jazz charts.

    Ms. Austin then turned her attention to three of the architects of the Great American Songbook: Ella Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington. The result has been new audiences worldwide, sold-out concerts, performances in various musical settings, and her first Grammy Award-all achieved within the last decade.

    Kicking off this amazing trilogy is the Grammy-nominated For Ella, a tour-de-force album recorded live in 2001 with the WDR Big Band and Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Patrick Williams, and the Gregg Fields Rhythm Section at the Cologne Philharmonic Hall in Germany. Ms. Austin followed with another homage to one of music's greatest modern-day composers: George Gershwin. Released in 2007, Avant-Gershwin netted Ms. Austin her first Grammy Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album while continuing to display her finely honed skills as a masterful lyrical interpreter. She has now put her focus on the legendary Duke Ellington with a new project, The Excellence of Ellington.

    Ever seeking new challenges for herself, Ms. Austin has also written and created her own one-woman show, and co-created the musical extravaganza Beboperella. She also is the co-creator of Oh Freedom, a show exploring the African American quest for freedom and equality in the US.

    A dedicated humanitarian who has devoted considerable time to performing for AIDS-related organizations over the years, "Blue Movement" is Ms. Austin's personal crusade to bring awareness and new insights into the domestic violence crisis in the USA and around the world. She was one of a host of artists on the 2010 single "We Are the World: 25 For Haiti," and she has also co-created an organization dedicated to mentoring, the Over My Shoulder Foundation.

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"But Not For Me" (Gershwin)
Patti Austin
Playboy Jazz

This performance is part of The New York Pops.