Saturday, March 30, 2013

Discovering Lincoln Center's 'American Songbook'


night, it was Broadway wunderkind Tom Kitt and a huge cast from past and future Brian Yorkey-TK collaborations; the next brought indie recording artist Ingrid Michaelson and her merry band.

Opening up oneself to new musical experiences can be both liberating and enlightening. To that end, consider "Lincoln Center presents American Songbook." The series of concerts, which started in late January and goes through 20 April, is a sort of go-to for learning about all forms of the popular and the arcane.

Tonight, cabaret sensation Meow Meow is on the stage at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, one of the two venues where the concerts are performed. The other is the Allen Room.

Meow Meow. Will she purr or will she roar? Photo from American Songbook Web site.

Tom Morello appeared in the Allen Room as “The Nightwatchman,” a musical activist who uses his voice to make the world a better place. With confederate Rick Costello (guitar and vocals), TM played to a packed house.

Many fans in the audience crowded the stage, sharing the fervor in songs like “One Man Revolution” and “Midnight in the City of Destruction.” TM was a discovery for this old fogey; truthfully, he won’t be on my playlist anytime soon. Nonetheless, the show was spectacularly entertaining. (See video at top).

Another American Songbook “discovery,” Cecile McLorin Savant, also came with a passel of fans. Her repertoire of well-honed Cole Porter classics was beautifully rendered and often inspiring.

Backed by the brilliant young pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Paul Sikvie and Rodney Green on drums, CMcLS channeled Bessie Smith and other greats in the jazz and cabaret tradition. The Miami native was a wonderfully rare find. Look for her on the 2013-14 Jazz at Lincoln Center calendar, (See video above).

In this year's extended American Songbook season, there are still opportunities to make some discoveries. Coming to the Penthouse stage on 6 April is Ricky Ian Gordon, headlining Green Sneakers, for Baritone, String Quartet, Empty Chair, and Piano. On the bill for 19 April is the songwriting team of Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan. The duo has made huge inroads on iTunes and YouTube. (See video above).

Closing out the American Songbook season on 20 April is Ben Sollee who uses the cello to merge various musical genres.

Visit to learn more about “Lincoln Center presents American Songbook." Rx

No comments :

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
VEVLYN'S PEN: The Wright take on life by Vevlyn Wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License .
Based on a work at .
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at .