American Songbook

Lincoln Center's acclaimed series American Songbook returns in January for its twelfth season celebrating the diversity of American popular song. For 16 nights of pop, folk, cabaret, country, rock, and show tunes, the series will explore the best of the golden age of musical standards through to today's most dynamic contemporary songwriting. The 2010 season - January 13 through March 6 - will bring to the stage some of today's most gifted interpreters of song, including top jazz artist Dee Dee Bridgewater and rock's gritty queen, Marianne Faithfull. It will feature opportunities to hear the acclaimed stage actress Martha Plimpton and Broadway star Leslie Uggams in intimate concert settings. Two of the hottest composers on the theater scene - Jeanine Tesori ("Shrek The Musical" and "Caroline, or Change") and Michael Friedman "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and "Gone Missing") - will perform evenings of their music along with special guests. The growing presence and influence of Latin music in the American Songbook canon will be represented by David Hidalgo and Louie Perez, two of the founding members of the band Los Lobos. Hidalgo and Perez will explore their four decades of writing and performing songs that are some of the best in Latin roots-rock. The series will close with an evening with one of Broadway's most enduring divas, the fabulous Chita Rivera.

American Songbook will be presented in the spectacular Allen Room of Frederick P. Rose Hall. The Allen Room possesses one of New York's greatest settings - a stunning vista of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline that provides an evocative backdrop for the performers.

TICKETS can be purchased online beginning November 1st at Lincoln Center's website, via CenterCharge at 212-721-6500, at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall Box Office. Tickets for The Friends of American Songbook go on sale October 27th.

Suzanne Vega, Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent, Gabriel Kahane, and Nellie McKay are also playing shows as part of the series.

Dirty Projectors' most recent NYC show was a short set at the Bell House as part of the New Yorker Festival. Their next NYC shows are sold out gigs at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Full Lincoln Center schedule below...


Lincoln Center's American Songbook 2010 Season
January 13 - March 6, 2010
The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street

Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 8:30 pm: MARIANNE FAITHFULL has a four-decade career covering rock's greatest era. She started singing sweet pop in the 1960s with a voice that matched. Her well-documented professional and personal involvements with the various members of the Rolling Stones brought her quickly into darker territory, and her addictions changed her voice into a smoky instrument layered with life and pain. Faithfull has performed standards, country, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and has recorded 21 albums, including her astounding 1979 comeback, Broken English. She is currently touring for her latest, Easy Come, Easy Go, produced by the great Hal Willner, who also produced her 1987 hit, Strange Weather.

Thursday, January 14, 2010, 8:30 pm: REBECCA LUKER Currently the star of Mary Poppins, for which she was nominated for Tony and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Luker has starred in Nine, The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Music Man, Showboat, and The Secret Garden. Her pure, lyric soprano and sweet vulnerability have made her a favorite of Broadway directors and audiences alike, and her career has expanded to include opera, television, film and a dizzying number of concert dates with the country's leading symphony orchestras. Luker has recorded more then 20 CDs, from Broadway cast albums to celebrations of the songs of Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Lerner and Lowe, Stephen Sondheim, and others.

Friday, January 15, 2010, 8:30 pm: DAVID HIDALGO & LOUIE PEREZ of LOS LOBOS: An Evening of Storytelling and Songs With nearly forty years of songwriting and performing under their belts, Hidalgo and Perez have a lot to say and even more to sing about. From their high school days in East L.A. to their continuing participation in Los Lobos, they have written great songs that have become part of the American roots rock repertoire. With 18 albums and three Grammy awards to their credit, Los Lobos are still successfully touring and recording. Hidalgo and Perez will perform some of their favorite songs and discuss their collaborative creative process, the influences on their music and the enduring challenge of writing and performing.

Saturday, January 16, 2010, 8:30 and 10:30 pm: MARTHA PLIMPTON: A Woman of Color Three-time Tony and Emmy nominee Martha Plimpton has astonished audiences with her limitless range as an actress. In the past four years, Plimpton has starred in Shakespeare's Cymbeline (Lincoln Center), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Public), Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia (Lincoln Center), Top Girls ( Manhattan Theatre Club), Pal Joey ( Roundabout) and is a respected member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. Plimpton has appeared in more than 30 films including The Goonies, Mosquito Coast, Running on Empty, Beautiful Girls, Parenthood and 200 Cigarettes. Her recent television appearances include Law & Order: SVU, Grey's Anatomy and The Good Wife, as well as co-starring in the upcoming HBO series How to Make it in America. Martha's role in Pal Joey put her on everyone's list of great musical performers, and she has a club act that is wry, delightful and brimming with interesting musical choices

Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 8:30 pm: HAL WILLNER'S I GOTTA RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES? Music and Readings from A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs featuring Rufus Wainwright, Bill Frisell, Van Dyke Parks, Marc Anthony Thompson, Roy Nathanson and Steven Bernstein Celebrated music producer Hal Willner is credited with creating the modern tribute concert. For the American Songbook series he's put together a one-evening musical exploration of David Lehman's book, A Fine Romance (Nextbook Press.) The book shows how the American Songbook is largely the work of Jewish songwriters, so the terrific Rufus Wainwright, Bill Frisell and others will perform songs by Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, et al., arranged by superb musicians/composers including Steven Bernstein, Van Dyke Parks, and Roy Nathanson. The arrangements will be new, the band fantastic, and the songs - timeless.
This performance is sponsored by Nextbook Press.

Thursday, January 28, 2010, 8:30 pm: SUZANNE VEGA Vega started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager, quickly developing a contemporary folk sound while singing about city life in a clear, cool voice described as "a dry, sandpaper-brushed near whisper." After signing with A&M in 1985, Vega's superb debut album sold 1 million copies worldwide and eventually nearly 500,000 in America, cementing her place as an influential new voice in the music scene. Her follow-up album two years later went platinum and the song "Luka" entered the cultural vernacular. Continuously recording, performing and collaborating with diverse artists worldwide, Vega is considered one of the most gifted songwriters of her generation.

Friday, January 29, 2010, 8:30 pm: ST. VINCENT Talent can come from anywhere, and the flatlands of Texas are no exception. Annie Clark, the Oklahoma-born and Dallas-raised auteur behind St. Vincent, writes quirky, intricate pop songs. Her first album, Marry Me, came out in 2007 and it attracted attention for its elegant lyrics and precocious arrangements. On her current CD, Actor, she begins each song as a secret film score and builds from there - each track telling a story as vivid as the movie inside your head. St. Vincent has garnered tremendous critical acclaim for her uniquely engaging live performances over the last year, appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the storied PBS series Austin City Limits.

Saturday, January 30, 2010, 8:30 pm: MICHAEL FRIEDMAN: Adventures in Reality, featuring Norm Lewis, Michael Esper, and de'Adre Aziza Composer and lyricist Michael Friedman is a founder of the theater troupe The Civilians, which casts a sometimes jaundiced eye at contemporary society. While his music can be in any number of musical styles - pop, jazz, Latin, and folk - his lyrics are playful covers of emotional messages. He has put together an evening of songs based on actual dialogue from both everyday people and historical figures. Along for the ride is Broadway performer Norm Lewis (Les Misérables, The Little Mermaid), Passing Strange star de'Adre Aziza, and other special guests.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 8:30 pm: DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER: To Billie with Love - A Celebration of Lady Day Dee Dee Bridgewater is American jazz royalty. A two-time Grammy winner, she has sung in concert and in recordings with Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Clarke and Dexter Gordon among other jazz giants, and she counts Ella Fitzgerald as her greatest artistic inspiration. While some can hear Ella in the way she scats and swings, the way Bridgewater acts each lyric is uniquely her own. That she has been a huge success in musicals is no surprise, and she won a Tony for The Wiz and an Olivier for Lady Day, along with critical acclaim for roles in Sophisticated Ladies and Cabaret. Her thrilling theatricality, beauty and musicianship carry the day. In this evening of song, Bridgewater will perform songs from her new CD, Eleanora Fagan (1917-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.

Thursday, February 18, 2010, 8:30 pm: NELLIE MCKAY As a songwriter Nellie McKay is critically acclaimed for her genre-crossing compositions, brilliant wordplay and terrific melodies. She has made two critically acclaimed albums of original songs, and she won a Theater World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of Threepenny Opera. For her new CD McKay is doing something different: Normal as Blueberry Pie - A Tribute to Doris Day. The songs - produced, arranged and performed by McKay - are from the 1940s big band era through to Day's later film career. McKay interprets a selection of songs drawn from more than 600 of Day's recordings and finds the reservoirs of deep feeling behind the sunny smile.

Friday, February 19, 2009, 8:30 pm: DIRTY PROJECTORS Six LPs in and Dirty Projectors still defies categorization. Described as everything from "New England soul music" to "completely strange and oddly familiar at the same time," the Brooklyn-based band plays experimental rock that references everything from Congolese music to medieval antiphonal singing, synthesizing them into something altogether new. The group, whose collaborators include Bjork and David Byrne, is led by David Longstreth, whose soaring vocals are paired with intricate guitar work, tight harmonies and more than a dose of genius.

Saturday, February 20, 2010, 8:30 and 10:30 pm: LESLIE UGGAMS Uggams has been captivating audiences of stage, screen and TV since her debut at the age of 6. As a child she opened for acts including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington at the Apollo Theater, then appeared at age 15 on Name That Tune on television, catching the eye of Mitch Miller. Impressed with her vocal ability, Miller put her on Sing Along with Mitch and she entered American pop culture history, becoming the first African-American to be a regular on a national, prime-time series. Uggams went on to Broadway, earning a Tony for Hallelujah, Baby! and accolades for her work in On Golden Pond, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes and King Hedley II. She had her own musical variety show on CBS in 1970, was Emmy-nominated for her role as Kizzy in Roots, won an Emmy for her show "Fantasy" on NBC, and appeared in numerous feature films. Uggams has not stopped - she tours the country appearing with major symphony orchestras and records in her splendid voice, most recently On My Way to You - The Songs of Marilyn and Alan Bergman.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 8:30 pm: GABRIEL KAHANE Composer, singer and pianist Kahane writes and performs music that bridges the classical, pop and theatrical worlds. One hears folk song strumming and string quartets, pop piano and brass chorales in his self-titled debut album. The Public Theater's inaugural Musical Theater Fellow, Kahane is currently writing a musical called February House, and his piano piece, Django: Tiny Variations on a Big Dog was premiered by his father, classical pianist Jeffery Kahane, at Alice Tully Hall. The most resonant work thus far in his short, impressive career is his song cycle, Craigslistlieder, sung in his mesmerizing baritone.

Thursday, March 4, 2010, 8:30 pm: TODD SNIDER Known for the wry humor in his work, Snider is an Americana singer/songwriter whose lyrics are sad and funny, vulnerable and entertaining, all at the same time. His musicianship is the equal to his top-shelf lyrics, as he plays piano, harmonica, harp and stellar guitar in addition to vocals. On the music scene since his debut CD in 1994, Snider's latest release, produced by veteran producer Don Was, is entitled The Excitement Plan. Critics say that it shows Snider to be "the sharpest and funniest protest singer working today."

Friday, March 5, 2010, 8:30 pm: JEANINE TESORI Four of Tesori's scores for Broadway shows have been nominated for Tony Awards: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Caroline, or Change (in a formative collaboration with Tony Kushner), Twelfth Night (at Lincoln Center Theater) and Shrek The Musical. She received the Olivier award for Caroline, or Change in London, and she has received Drama Desk and Obie awards in addition to being cited by ASCAP as being "the first woman composer to have two musicals currently running on Broadway." Tesori also writes for films, including the scores for Nights in Rodanthe, Winds of Change, and Show Business. Of her music Tesori has said she writes music to illustrate the story, the words. "I need something to illuminate"- indeed.

Saturday, March 6, 2010, 8:30 and 10:30 pm: CHITA RIVERA One of the greatest entertainers of our time, the legendary Broadway star has won two Tony Awards - for Kiss of The Spider Woman in 1993 and The Rink in 1984, and received seven additional nominations for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Bring Back Birdie, Merlin, Jerry's Girls, Nine and Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life. Rivera started out as a ballet dancer and was chosen by George Balanchine to study at the School of American Ballet. A chance audition with a friend got her a part in the chorus of Call Me Madam and her theater career was born. But it was her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway production of West Side Story in 1957 that made history, and she has continued to be the toast of Broadway ever since. The first Hispanic to be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor (2002), in 2009 she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.


At The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall
Broadway at 60th Street

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Marianne Faithfull
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Rebecca Luker
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Friday, January 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm
David Hidalgo & Louie Perez of Los Lobos: An Evening of Storytelling and Songs
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 8:30 and 10:30 pm
Martha Plimpton: A Woman of Color
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Wednesday, January 27, 2010, at 8:30 pm
Hal Willner's I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues? Music and Readings from A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, featuring Rufus Wainwright, Bill Frisell, Van Dyke Parks, and more
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Suzanne Vega
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Friday, January 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm
St. Vincent
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Michael Friedman: Adventures in Reality
Featuring Norm Lewis, Michael Esper, and de'Adre Aziza
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 8:30 pm
Dee Dee Bridgewater: To Billie with Love - A Celebration of Lady Day
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95

Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Nellie McKay: Normal as Blueberry Pie - A Tribute to Doris Day
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Friday, February 19, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Dirty Projectors
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 8:30 and 10:30 pm
Leslie Uggams
Tickets: $45, 65, 85, 95

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Gabriel Kahane
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Todd Snider
Tickets: $35, 50, 60, 75

Friday, March 5, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Jeanine Tesori
Tickets: $40, 55, 70, 85

Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 8:30 and 10:30 pm
Chita Rivera
Tickets: $45, 65, 80, 95


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