Performance Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | 7:30 PM

Standard Time with Michael Feinstein

Look to the Rainbow: Celebrating the music of Burton Lane

Zankel Hall


  • Michael Feinstein, Artistic Director

  • with Special Guests:
    Joyce Breach
    Ron Raines

    with Pianists:
    Mike Renzi
    Joseph Thalken


  • Michael Feinstein

    Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook," is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Hollywood Bowl, as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.

    Mr. Feinstein is nationally recognized for his commitment to celebrating America's popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. He serves on the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board, which has been asked to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America's sound-recording heritage.

    Mr. Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project; its sequel, The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life, was released last year by Concord Records. A new PBS concert special, The Sinatra Legacy, is currently airing across the country. Last year's PBS series Michael Feinstein'sAmerican Songbook was the recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award. The series returned in 2012 for a second season, which is now available on DVD.

    Recently, Mr. Feinstein released The Power of Two (a collaboration with Glee and 30 Rock star Cheyenne Jackson) and Cheek to Cheek (with Broadway legend Barbara Cook). His newest recording is We Dreamed These Days, featuring the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and including the title song that he co-wrote with Dr. Maya Angelou.

    Mr. Feinstein serves as artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts-a $170 million, three-theater venue in Carmel, Indiana. The theater is home to an annual international Great American Songbook festival, diverse live programming, and a museum for Mr. Feinstein's rare memorabilia and manuscripts. In 2010, he also became director of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz and Popular Song Series.

    Mr. Feinstein is working with MGM to turn The Thomas Crown Affair into a Broadway musical. He has also designed a new piano for Steinway called "The First Ladies," inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies.

    A young Michael Feinstein started playing piano by ear when he was five. After graduating from high school, he worked in local piano lounges, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. Through the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant, he was introduced to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. He became his assistant for six years, giving Feinstein access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs that he has since performed and recorded.

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  • Joyce Breach

    Joyce Breach's unique sound has been described as peachy, warm honey, and scotch neat (hold the ice). The late, great Margaret Whiting said that she has "the most attractive sound of any singer since Rosemary Clooney." She's drawn sell-out crowds from New York City to San Francisco and London.

    Ms. Breach grew up listening to and admiring the great American pop singers, especially Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Mabel Mercer, and Frank Sinatra. An Audiophile recording artist since 1990, she has appeared at Manhattan's top clubs, including the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room, The Russian Tea Room, Firebird, Danny's Skylight Room, and most recently the Metropolitan Room and Kitano. Ms. Breach has appeared on stage at Town Hall, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, and Lincoln Center's Rose Hall. In London, she has performed several seasons at the renowned Pizza on the Park. Her no-nonsense vocals have been praised by critics from Rex Reed to David Finkle, Will Friedwald, Max Preeo, James Gavin, and Stephen Holden.

    Ms. Breach's latest CD, Odds and Ends, also features pianist Jon Weber and cornet virtuoso Warren Vaché. Her other discs include Lovers After All (with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett), This Moment and Love is the Thing (with William Roy), and Reel Songs (with Keith Ingham). Her three volumes of Remembering Mabel Mercer are considered classic tributes to the late cabaret legend. All of Ms. Breach's recordings are available from Audiophile Records.

    Ron Raines

    Ron Raines is well known to audiences in New York City and around the country as one of America's leading musical theater performers, most recently appearing in the Broadway revival of Follies, opposite Bernadette Peters. In 2002, he appeared on Broadway as Billy Flynn in Chicago. He also starred as Gaylord Ravenal in the 1983 Broadway revival of Jerome Kern's Show Boat, co-starring Donald O'Connor. Mr. Raines originated the role of Teddy Roosevelt's ambitious son-in-law Nick Longworth in the short-lived Broadway musical Teddy & Alice, starring Len Cariou. He went on to originate the dual role of Jupiter/Amphitryon in the Off-Broadway musical hit Olympus on My Mind. His regional stage credits include Annie, The King and I, South Pacific, Brigadoon, Kismet, and Oklahoma!

    As a concert performer, Mr. Raines has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Boston Pops and the National Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has also had the privilege of performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and Israeli Philharmonic. In his career, Mr. Raines has had the honor of singing for two of America's first ladies: Nancy Reagan and Lady Bird Johnson.

    Mr. Raines joined the cast of the popular CBS daytime series Guiding Light in July 1994. For his work as Alan Spaulding, he was nominated for three Emmy Awards. His other television credits include "My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs," "Ira Gershwin at 100," and "The Rodgers & Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty"-all part of PBS's Great Performances series.

    His recording credits include Man of La Mancha, Follies, The Pajama Game, and 110 in the Shade.

    Michael A. Kerker

    Michael A. Kerker has been director of musical theater for ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) since 1990. In addition to coordinating ASCAP's Musical Theatre Workshop in New York, he works with DreamWorks Animation SKG to produce the ASCAP / DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles (both of which are led by composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz). Together with Michael Feinstein, Mr. Kerker produces a regular series of concerts at Carnegie Hall that highlights the catalogue of both legendary and contemporary songwriters.

    Mr. Kerker is also producing a regular series of interview programs entitled Broadway: Up Close and Personal for the Kennedy Center. His onstage conversations with some of our nation's most prominent songwriters have included evenings with Jerry Herman, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Charles Strouse, Sheldon Harnick, Marvin Hamlisch, and Stephen Schwartz. He also produces an annual songwriter's cabaret, as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

    Mr. Kerker produced the ASCAP Foundation Jerry Herman Legacy Program-a series of seminars, master classes, and concerts that feature the legendary composer-lyricist. The program has been presented nationwide in such cities as Chicago, Sundance, San Francisco, Savannah, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

    Mr. Kerker is proud to be a member of the boards of the American Theatre Wing, the Johnny Mercer Foundation, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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"On Such a Night as This" (Hugh Martin)
Michael Feinstein
WEA Elektra

Produced for Carnegie Hall by Michael A. Kerker/ASCAP
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Sponsored by Aon
This performance is part of Standard Time with Michael Feinstein.