Grammy-nominated singer Michael Feinstein returns to downtown Chicago on Saturday Sept. 29 for a special performance with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra at the Auditorium Theatre. The concert promises to be a swinging one, when one of the best-recognized jazz orchestras in the country and the ambassador of the Great American Songbook collaborate on some of the greatest standards in American jazz and popular music.
“Michael has an incredible songbook and collection of his own to pull from, and it’s been several years since he’s been to downtown Chicago,” says Travis Rosenthal, the executive director of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. “It’s going to be an energetic concert for us: Gershwin, Sinatra and so on. It’s really a flash back to the old touring big bands.”
In the past several years, Feinstein has taken the preservation and performance of the Great American Songbook to the national stage—the jazz, Broadway and swing music from the likes of the Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, and performers from The Andrews Sisters to Nat King Cole. And there are few others better suited for the job as Songbook ambassador: Feinstein’s mentor was Ira Gershwin.
Now with an ongoing PBS documentary series, nonprofit—The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative—dedicated to the Songbook’s preservation, a position as the artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts in Indiana, and the upcoming release of the book “The Gershwins and Me”, Feinstein is a headliner that Jeff Lindbergh, the orchestra’s artistic director and conductor, says that the Chicago Jazz Orchestra loves to collaborate and perform with.
“The Chicago Jazz Orchestra is delighted to have the opportunity to perform with Michael Feinstein, one of the foremost singers and pianists of today,” says Lindbergh. “The CJO has long been an advocate of American Songbook performance, and it thrills us to no end that we will be able to share the stage with the artist who, more than any other, has promoted and performed this great literature.”
Rosenthal said that Sam Kriger, who has worked with Shirley Jones to Brandy as a vocal coach and music director, will be the guest conductor, making for an even more unusual and exciting collaboration from all the musicians. Later this season the Chicago Jazz Orchestra plans several concerts dedicated to the music of Ray Charles, Cole Porter, and Frank Zappa.
Tickets for the concert on Saturday, Sept 29 are available at www.auditoriumtheatre.org. For more information on the performers, visit www.chicagojazzorchestra.com or www.michaelfeinstein.com.