Standard Time with Michael Feinstein
The Great American Jewish Songbook: Kern, Berlin, Arlen, Rodgers, and More
Part of: Migrations: The Making of America
Michael Feinstein, Artistic Director
with Special Guest
Tedd Firth, Piano
Phil Palombi, Bass
Mark McLean, Drums
Event DurationThe concert will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.
Michael Feinstein, ambassador of the Great American Songbook, has built a dazzling career throughout the last three decades. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy nominations to his Emmy-nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series, and concerts that span the globe, his work as an educator and archivist define him as one of the most important musical forces of our time.
In 2007, Mr. Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, master classes, and the annual Songbook Academy for high school students. Past graduates of the program have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s America’s Got Talent. He also serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, which ensures the future of America’s sound recording heritage.
The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas on Concord Records, featuring Grammy Award–winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent. In 2009, Mr. Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy nomination for The Sinatra Project.
His Emmy Award–nominated TV special Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy—taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana—aired nationally in 2011. The PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV special, New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Room—written and directed by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry—aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program Song Travels, Mr. Feinstein interviews and performs alongside music luminaries.
Mr. Feinstein was named principal conductor of the Pasadena POPS in 2012. Two years later, he launched an additional pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is also artistic director of the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, and director of the Jazz and Popular Song series at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Mr. Feinstein’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top music talents since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s / 54 Below, his latest club in New York City, in late 2015.
After graduating from high school, Michael Feinstein moved to Los Angeles, where the widow of legendary pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin. 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 additional information, visit michaelfeinstein.com.
Danny Bacher is a singer, saxophonist, songwriter, and entertainer. He combines his virtuosity on the soprano saxophone with a talent for comedy and narrative storytelling. He’s a cool cat who makes hot jazz, cut from the same cloth as the great Louis Prima. Mr. Bacher swings with pizzazz, scatting and singing with a smoky voice that adds to his compelling stage presence. In The New York Times, Stephen Holden said that Mr. Bacher is a “prodigiously talented musical preservationist,” adding that he knows “the secret of serious fun is not to take it too seriously.”
In addition to a solid career in jazz and cabaret—and with a penchant for rare gems and standards of the Great American Songbook—Mr. Bacher has also worked as an actor, comedian, and writer, touring internationally with his original works. Along with appearing at venues such as the Blue Note, Birdland, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Town Hall, he has performed at the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s (MMF) annual concert in Weill Recital Hall, the annual MMF Cabaret Convention, Live at Lynn in Boca Raton, and the 2019 Cayman Arts Festival. He was a featured performer at the American Songbook Association’s annual gala last September and made his Feinstein’s / 54 Below debut in December.
Mr. Bacher has released two studio albums, Swing That Music! and Still Happy on the Whaling City Sound label. He is also a proud member of the New York Friars Club. For more information, visit dannybachermusic.com.
Alexandra Silber is an accomplished actress, singer, and writer. Within days of graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Detroit native made her West End debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White. She went on to play Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof and Julie Jordan in Carousel. She returned to the US, making her American acting debut in Reprise Theatre Company’s production of Carousel in Los Angeles. Ms. Silber joined Tyne Daly in Terrence McNally’s Master Class at the Kennedy Center and made her Broadway debut in the same production. Other New York appearances include the 50th-anniversary production of Fiddler on the Roof—this time as Tzeitel—and Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello Again. She was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance of Arlington at the Vineyard Theatre.
Ms. Silber’s Carnegie Hall debut with the Collegiate Chorale and the American Symphony Orchestra was followed by performances of She Loves Me at Caramoor. She joined Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony as Maria in West Side Story—a recording that earned her a Grammy nomination. She returned to her hometown to appear with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of David del Tredici’s Dum Dee Tweedle. Her debut at the BBC Proms in Kiss Me, Kate was broadcast internationally. Most recently, she played Guinevere in Camelot at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC; starred in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti at Tanglewood; and played Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Ms. Silber’s debut novel, After Anatevka, resulted in a 20-city book and concert tour. Her memoir, White Hot Grief Parade, was published in 2018.
Sheldon Harnick was born in Chicago in 1924. Following his service in World War II, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University, where he majored in violin performance. After working as a professional musician in and around Chicago, he moved to New York in 1950 to pursue a career in music theater. The first song Mr. Harnick’s penned for a Broadway show was the hilarious “Boston Beguine,” which was part of the musical revue New Faces of 1952. He also contributed songs to the revues Two’s Company, John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, and The Littlest Revue. His collaboration with composer Jerry Bock produced such Broadway classics as Fiorello!, Tenderloin, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, The Apple Tree, and The Rothschilds. Other collaborations include A Christmas Carol with Michel Legrand, Rex with Richard Rodgers, A Wonderful Life with Joe Raposo, and The Phantom Tollbooth with Arnold Black. He has written songs for the films The Heartbreak Kid and Blame It on Rio (both with music by Cy Coleman), and Aaron’s Magic Village (with music by Michel Legrand).
In the 1970s, Mr. Harnick entered the world of opera. With composer Jack Beeson, he provided the librettos for Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, Dr. Heidegger’s Fountain of Youth, and Cyrano. Other operas include Love in Two Countries with Thomas Shepard and Coyote Tales with Henry Mollicone.
In 2015, Harbinger Records released, Sheldon Harnick: Hidden Treasures. The two-disc set includes more than 50 rare demo recordings written for 17 of his shows, with performances by Mr. Harnick and composer Jerry Bock, as well as Audra McDonald, Brian d’Arcy James, Hugh Martin, and Charlotte Rae. Mr. Harnick has won a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards. In 2016, he received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, the Drama League Award for Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre, and a Special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Outer Critics Circle.
Mr. Harnick and his wife, Margery Gray Harnick, celebrated their Golden Anniversary in 2015, and have two children and two grandchildren. He is a longtime member of both the Dramatists Guild and the Songwriters Guild of America.