Friday, July 31, 2020
Birdland launches Radio Free Birdland with BroadwayWorld.com
At press time, performers will include Paulo Szot, Kate Rockwell, Aisha de Haas, Max von Essen (with special guest Nick Adams), Julie Halston, Jessica Vosk, Jim Brickman, Nikki Renee Daniels, Billy Stritch, Matt Baker & Nicole Zuraitis, Christopher Sieber, Janis Siegel, Michael West as Kenn Boisinger, Natalie Douglas, Amanda Green, Monty Alexander, Houston Person, Telly Leung, Ken Peplowski, The Skivvies, The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band, Christina Bianco, Gabrielle Stravelli, and many more.
A new show will be aired every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm.
Each concert will kick off with a live premiere event, featuring a special chat (which will include the performer) and will then be on-demand for 30 days on BroadwayWorld Events.
The Radio Free Birdland Concert Series will be presented on the BroadwayWorld Events streaming platform. Longtime Birdland staffers Ryan Paternite produces and directs and Jim Caruso serves as producer.
A brief history about the name: During the Cold War in 1950, Radio Free Europe began broadcasting news and jazz recordings to nations imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain, sustaining morale and providing entertainment. Similarly, the producers at Birdland look forward to bringing extraordinary talent to the masses who are quarantined in their homes during the pandemic.
Birdland has been bringing live music to New York City since it's opening in 1949. The iconic club made its name booking premier jazz acts on the stage, and has since included Broadway, pop, cabaret and comedy on the roster. For the first time since quarantine started, the Birdland family is excited to be one of the first live music venues in New York City to virtually re-open for twice-weekly concerts, offering work to beloved performers, and bringing life back to West 44 Street!
For tickets and more visit events.broadwayworld.com!
The first four performances are as follows:
David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Tuesday, August 11, at 7pm EDT
Inspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and their colleagues, David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band breathes life and passion into America’s own great art form. Legendary record producer George Avakian describes the band in this way:
“There has never been a band quite like this one. Most groups, past and present, stick to one style. Some current groups attempt to recreate early recordings in their entirety. These guys do neither. Inspired by divergent bands of the 1920s and 30s, you’ll hear them swing a variety of styles in music by a wide range of composers, always true to the joy and heart of the music.”
Tuba player David Ostwald leads a rotating lineup that features talents such as clarinetist Anat Cohen, trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Ehud Asherie, drummer Marion Felder and more!
Max Von Essen
Thursday, August 13 at 7pm EDT
Tony nominated leading man, Max von Essen, embraces his love of the golden age of Broadway and the American Songbook in this Birdland Theater solo show. Inspired by an era long past, Max works his leading man charm and breathes new life into music we’ve loved for decades. From the Gershwins to Lerner and Loewe, From An American in Paris to Jersey Boys. He’s joined by Grammy winning songwriter and famed musical director, Billy Stritch, as well as very special guest, Nick Adams.
An Evening with Monty Alexander
Tuesday, August 18 at 7pm EDT
In a rare solo performance for Radio Free Birdland legendary jazz pianist Monty Alexander shares stories and songs from his six decade career. Monty has has melded the sounds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, performing and recording along the way with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare and many more. His recordings — over 60 albums to date — have reinterpreted the music of a diverse collection of his favorite artists including Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, and Bob Marley.
Natalie Douglas: Singin' in the Wire
Thursday, August 20 at 7pm EDT
Twelve-time Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Winner, Natalie Douglas, has been called “a true force of nature,” by Clive Davis of The Times (UK). She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Cafe Carlyle, The Town Hall, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Pheasantry in London, and at Birdland Jazz Club where her award-winning TRIBUTES monthly residency (Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Elvis, Dolly Parton, Nat “King” Cole, Dame Shirley Bassey, Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack and more) is now in its fourth year. She has released three albums, including the MAC Award Winning “Human Heart. Natalie has also made her mark as a much sought after educator & actor – she is a Master Teacher for both the Mabel Mercer Foundation & the 2020 Eugene O’Neill Cabaret & Performance Conference. Natalie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from USC in Psychology, Theatre and Women’s Studies and a Master’s Degree from UCLA in Psychology and Theatre.