Performance Wednesday, February 20, 2013 | 7:30 PM

Standard Time With Michael Feinstein

High Hopes: Celebrating a century of Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen

Zankel Hall
A master of the American Songbook and special guests: a great way to get over the mid-winter blues.


  • Michael Feinstein, Artistic Director

    with Special Guests:
    Tom Wopat
    Natalie Douglas

    Tex Arnold, Piano
    David Finck, Bass
    David Ratajczak, Drums
    Mark Hartman, Piano


  • 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.

    More than simply a performer, Mr. Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America's popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, master classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition, which awards scholarships and prizes to students across the country. He also serves on the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board-an organization dedicated to ensuring 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, his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of "Ol' Blue Eyes." The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released last year. His Emmy-nominated TV special, Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy-taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana-is currently airing across the country. His PBS series Michael Feinstein's American Songbookwas the recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award; the first two seasons are now available on DVD and the third season is scheduled to air in 2013. For his nationally syndicated public radio program Song Travels, Mr. Feinstein interviews and performs alongside such music luminaries as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Moby, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce, and others.

    Mr. Feinstein's new book, The Gershwins and Me (Simon & Schuster) includes a CD of Gershwin standards performed with pianist Cyrus Chestnut. 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).

    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. In 2013, he replaced the late Marvin Hamlisch as the lead conductor of the Pasadena Pops.

    The roots of all this work began in Columbus, Ohio, where Mr. Feinstein started playing piano by ear when he was five. After graduating from high school, he worked in local piano bars for two years, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Mr. Feinstein became Gershwin's assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.

    For more information, visit

    Tom Wopat

    It's a rare performer who can star on a classic television action series that's become part of American pop-culture, win top-billing on Broadway marquees in award-winning hit musicals, record solo albums that feature country chart-makers, and play the leading man in a hit situation comedy. That rare performer is Tom Wopat.

    Mr. Wopat first came to public attention in the late-1970s as the freewheeling Luke Duke on the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. In 1977, he made his Broadway debut in Cy Coleman's I Love My Wife. Mr. Wopat went on to perform in the Tony Award-winning City of Angels and Guys and Dolls. He received a Tony nomination for creating the role of Frank Butler in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, opposite Bernadette Peters. In 2008, Mr. Wopat returned to Broadway as Tom Hurley in A Catered Affair with Faith Prince and Harvey Fierstein.

    Though Mr. Wopat had never done a sitcom before, he seized the opportunity when Chuck Lorre offered him a leading role in Cybill. Other credits include a recurring role on Home Improvement, the critically acclaimed NBC movie Just My Imagination, and HBO's Taking Chance alongside Kevin Bacon.

    Mr. Wopat has also become a successful recording artist with many albums to his credit, including A Little Bit Closer, Don't Look Back, Learning to Love, The Still of the Night, Dissertation on the State of Bliss, and Consider it Swung. His latest jazz CD was released earlier this month.

    Last year, Mr. Wopat guest-starred on TV's Longmire and A Gifted Man, appeared in Pipe Dream at New York's City Center, and performed in concert across the country. He can be currently seen in Quentin Tarantino's feature film Django Unchained.

    Natalie Douglas

    A set of gorgeous pipes, combined with effortless vocal styling and inspiring song interpretation are the hallmarks of nightclub diva Natalie Douglas. She is a seven-time MAC, Nightlife, and Backstage Bistro award winner, whose appearances include Birdland Jazz Club as part of Jim Caruso's Broadway @ Birdland series, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, The Kennedy Center, and Cabaret Conventions presented by The Mabel Mercer Foundation across the US and in London, in addition to her recent London nightclub debut at The Crazy Coqs. Her musical celebrations of Freedom Songs, Nina Simone, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, and Café Society have had US and international audiences on their feet clapping along and yelling for more.

    Ms. Douglas's second CD, To Nina … Live at Birdland, was released to critical delight; selections from that CD and her first, Not That Different, continue to be heard on NPR and Sirius Satellite Radio. She also appears on Fine and Dandy for PS Classics and Broadway by the Year: 1940 on Bayview Records. For more information, visit

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"Taking a Chance on Love"
Michael Feinstein
Concord Records

Produced for Carnegie Hall by Michael A. Kerker and Scott Coulter.
This performance is part of Standard Time with Michael Feinstein.