MIC.JPG

Vocalist Kathryn Allyn has been called "a vocally lustrous earful” by The Philadelphia Enquirer," note perfect" and "a charismatic presence" by the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, "musically superb" by BistroAwards.com and, in a personal favorite, "grandly libidinous" by Opera News. 

Kaye has been heard at New York City's Café Noctambulo, The Cutting Room, The Underground, The West End Lounge, TomiJazz, Somethin' Jazz, Stage72 and the Metropolitan Room, singing the standards we know and love, alongside rarities virtually never heard, all arranged in collaboration with noted NYC jazz pianist and bandleader Frank Ponzio.

In her former life as a classical singer, Kaye was seen in leading roles at New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, The Tokyo Symphony, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Orchestra New York and others, in productions running the gamut from Carmen (Carmen) and Mahler’s  Symphony. Nr. 2 (Alto Soloist), to Oklahoma! (Ado Annie). 

| Performing Next |


CAFÉ NOCTAMBULO AT PANGEA

78 2nd Ave (11th & 12th Streets) NYC |  212 995 0900

A tale of woe & naughty bits, with songs of Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Cy Coleman, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Bill Zeffiro & others.

Frank Ponzio - piano
Hayes Greenfield - sax
Tom Hubbard - bass

Wednesdays: September 21, October 12, November 16 & December 21
All Shows 8:00pm
TICKETS
$20 Music Charge | $20 Food/Beverage Minimum
Cocktails & Dining 6-11PM

spotlight.jpg

|shows|


THE GIFT OF THE VAGI: bad decisions make good stories

After a vigorous debate (over much wine) on the subject of what is “Traditional Cabaret”, I decided that, for me, a traditional cabaret tells a deeply personal story and chooses songs designed to illuminate the story.  Me being me, the story closest to my heart involves faux vaginas, flummoxed bankers, irritated policemen and financial catastrophe. This is a tale of woe & naughty bits, with the songs of Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Cy Coleman, Hoagy Carmichael, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Randy Newman, Bill Zeffiro & others.   see more

REACHING FOR THE MOON: songs of Irving Berlin

Join Kathryn Allyn and Trio, led by jazz pianist and bandleader Frank Ponzio for an exploration the songs of a towering figure in American music.  George Gershwin called him "the greatest songwriter that has ever lived"; Jerome Kern said that he “has no place in American music—he is American music."  In a 60-year career, Irving Berlin gave us a staggering 1,500 songs, 19 musicals and 18 Hollywood films.  His songs have been recorded by every musician you’ve ever (and never) heard of, hitting the top of the charts time and time again, year after year, decade after decade. The biggest challenge was choosing. see more

V IS FOR VICTORY DISC: Doing it for Defense

During WWII, the Pentagon waded into a musicians' strike to be its own record company, to produce morale-boosting records for the troops. Ultimately, the great acts of the day -- Hoagy, Louie, Glenn, Dinah, Peggy, Frank, Jo, Ella, Tommy, Martha, Betty, everybody who was anybody-- laid down tracks for the Army. In all, the Army recorded, pressed and shipped 8,000,000 records to soldiers scattered all over three continents. It's a great story, and the soundtrack to this story features many of the standards we know and love, plus a selection of rarities, which thanks to the smuggling efforts of our soldiers and the preservation by the Library of Congress, have not been lost to time. Join Kathryn Allyn and Trio, led by jazz pianist and musical director Frank Ponzio, as they tell the tale and sing these great songs. see more

PLAYING HARD TO GET

Over the years, on public radio, public television and sundry online locales, I heard great singers singing songs that surprised me and lingered in my memory. Too often, I went looking for sheet music only to find it unavailable; my favorites were inevitably out of print. Having accumulated a list of orphan songs, I decided to take them down from the recordings and arrange them -- getting help early and often from friends and, after the charts were made, turning to the band for advice and expertise. In many cases, significant reductions were needed; the songs had to be entirely re-conceived. But after a yeoman's work, we had a set of the unknown jewels and neglected gems of the Swing Era: tunes from Jo Stafford, Julia Lee, Billy Holiday and Betty Hutton, all arranged for single voice and trio. Hence the name of the set -- Playing Hard to Get – a sheet music joke. see more

ON DIRTY BLUES

“Spinach has vitamins A, B and D. spinach never appealed to me.
But one day, having dinner with a guy, decided to give it a try.
didn’t like it the first time…. Oh, how it grew on me!”

“I Didn’t Like it the First Time” has been my mother's earworm all my life.  Periodically, she’d nudge, “You should do the Spinach Song!”  The tune was a favorite of her parents; my grandparents were known to roll up the rug in the living room and dance the night away. I gave in, took a look at it and called home. “So, Mom, the song about the spinach.  I don’t think it's about spinach..." Her, exasperated, "Well, of course not, honey; it's about sex. [sigh]"  The Spinach Song turns out to be an example of a whole sub-genre of Blues: There were dozens of  “Dirty Blues”, which typically performed live or heard on jukeboxes; they were mostly banned from radio (admittedly, for cause).  See more

spotlight.jpg

|reviews|

PLAYING HARD TO GET:  Kathryn Allyn has the sort of smoky velvet soprano that sounds too natural, too unforced to have been operatically trained. In fact, there are many operatic credits to her name, but that hasn’t cut her off from her Kansas City roots and the “dirty blues” that singers with big, far less perfect voices used to shout in the dives of that city before and through the Second World War. Her program at the Triad of fine, forgotten tunes from that era provides the sensuous pleasure of Jo Stafford, the moody nuance of Billie Holiday, the jazzy energy of Betty Hutton in songs recorded by those ladies, but with a sassy wink and a toss of hip that make them Miss Allen’s own. In an era that has forgotten the fun of double-entendres, she knows how to be subtle and sexy and musical all at one time. --John Yohalem, Parterre Box.

| JAZZ |

INDESTRUCTIBLE:
REMEMBERING ANITA O'DAY

When Kathryn Allyn took the stage at The Cutting Room last Tuesday night, she was all va-va-voom in a curve-hugging Valentine red dress…. She joined her crackerjack band-musical director Frank Ponzio, bassist Tom Hubbard, and drummer Vito Leszack-to perform homage to Anita O'Day…Throughout the show, Allyn delivered a wealth of personal and musical history about O'Day with an intelligence and conversational style that was like taking a master class at your bestie's kitchen table…Hoagy Carmichael's classic "Skylark" was originally performed as an instrumental piece. During Ponzio's demonstration the tinkling keys of the piano mingled pleasantly in my ears with the ice water clinking in the carafe at the next table.  Leszack brushed the snare and cymbals, creating a sandy windswept sound as Allyn sang, without pretension, a gentle, lovely version of the standard…She followed with a song that she admitted was never performed by O'Day… proffering "Moody's Mood for Love," a vocalese set to an improvised jazz saxophone solo played by James Moody at a concert in Sweden one night when he was too drunk to remember what he was actually supposed to play. Allyn proceeded to slay this beast with virtuosic agility…There was something transporting about the evening…[Allyn] magnetized me into a world of musicianship and subtle but deep passion.” Remy Block, BroadwayWorld.com

 

V IS FOR VICTORY DISC:
DOING IT FOR DEFENSE

Singer Kathryn Allyn, with a huge assist from musical director, co-arranger (with Allyn) and pianist Frank Ponzio, stands ready to educate us on the subject of V-Discs in this musically superb set of early 1940s period songs...Tom Hubbard on bass, Hayes Greenfield on saxophone and Scott Neumann on drums each have solos in virtually every number, as does Ponzio. All four men are splendid contributors to the proceedings, which is all the more remarkable since they came together only for this world-premiere event and had not worked together previously...  Allyn has a personal soft spot for Jo Stafford, and she does credit to two songs associated with her: "I Remember You” and "Manhattan Serenade".... beautifully pays tribute to Dinah Shore with "I Fall in Love Too Easily"...  Allyn sings in a strong, sure voice and internalizes lyrics well beyond her years. When she does a number associated with a legendary artist (...Martha Tilton, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee) Allyn doesn't impersonate them, but does give just a slight suggestion of their styles. Only when she summons up Ethel Merman singing "Why Do They Call a Private a Private?" does Allyn go all out in delicious imitation.  - Robert Windeler, BistroAwards.com

Particularly strong performances were heard in “Mood Indigo,” “You Go to My Head” and "Mood Indigo” were easily the bluest of the blues songs on the program.  The phrasing was luxurious, and backed by her superb band—Ponzio (piano), Tom Hubbard (bass), Hayes Greenfield (saxophone), and Scott Neumann (drums)—she conveyed the atmosphere of a dark and smoky gin joint."... Coax Me a Little Bit ... was perfectly delivered.  With the relaxed pacing of a catchy samba, Allyn was at once assertive and flirty... Kathryn Allyn has a powerful voice, a wide range, a satirical sense of humor, presence, directness and sex appeal.  The attractive, smart and talented singer appears to be on the path toward becoming a full-fledged member of the jazz community. - Jerry Osterberg, Cabaret Scenes

 

| classical |


MALCOLM (LA DONNA DEL LAGO),
OPERA ORCHESTRA NEW YORK

For all the excellence of [the] singers, it was Kathryn Friest [Allyn] in the pants role of Malcolm who won the audience. Every time she came onstage, she knocked off another amazing vocal feat of fioritura, embellishment, or expressive slow singing. Her voice has that richly creamy mezzo sound that at times hints at true alto quality. Yet she nailed high notes in the range of all sopranos... Since Malcolm is the young love interest of Elena, the music is meant to suggest the same bravura as the two "older" tenors show. As fabulously as they sang, she did them one better.”  —Daniel Vezza,Classical New Jersey Society Journal

 

CARMEN, ANCHORAGE OPERA

Saucy vixen Carmen, played by the comely Kathryn Allyn, coupled the fiery gypsy thing with that old borderline personality man-eater behavior that would ruin any guy lucky enough to ... And her voice wasn't bad either!" —Mark Muro, Anchorage Daily News Online

 

ROSALIND (THE MINES OF SULPHUR),
NEW YORK CITY OPERA

Kathryn Friest [Allyn], was a vocally lustrous earful.” —David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Enquirer

 

PRINCE ORLOVSKY (DIE FLEDERMAUS),
SYRACUSE OPERA

Kathryn [Allyn] was the most lovable, perhaps, of all characters, mixing a thick Russian accent (delivered with magnificent diction) with a rich mezzo that dazzled the ears, particularly in her whimsical aria 'Chacun a son gout'.”—David Abrams, Syracuse Post-Standard

 

TEODATA (FLAVIO),
NEW YORK CITY OPERA

In spite of a costume that resembled a cupcake, Allyn provided luxurious vocalism, good looks and theatrical poise...”—Opera News Online

 

NIKLAUSSE/THE MUSE
(LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN),

PALM BEACH OPERA

As the Muse who masquerades as Nicklausse, Kathryn Friest [Allyn] was note-perfect, providing the most satisfying performance of the night. The petite mezzo was a consistently engaged and charismatic presence and sang with a clear, well-focused tone, making the famous Act 3 Barcarolle bloom beautifully.”  —Lawrence A. Johnson, The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

ALOES (L'ETOILE),
NEW YORK CITY OPERA

Kathryn Friest [Allyn] was the stylishly sung, grandly libidinous Aloès.”
—M. Lignana Rosenberg, Opera News

ARIODANTE,
NEW YORK CHAMBER OPERA

...most impressively sung and acted by Kathryn [Allyn]....[she] served as the vocal and histrionic backbone of the performances, displaying a richly burnished voice, wide vocal range, and excellent coloratura technique.”
—Howard J. Levin, OnlineReview