REACHING FOR THE MOOn:
songs of Irving Berlin

Friday, April 15: Café Noctambulo

278 2nd Avenue, @ 11th/12th Streets

2 sets:
7-8:15pm or 9-10:15pm
$20 cover, $20 minimum

Friday, April 15, Frank Ponzio and I will reprise our December 9 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...

The set list includes hits like "Blue Skies", Cheek to Cheek", "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow" and others, plus a few favored targets for jazz instrumentalists' creativity, including "How Deep is the Ocean".  We have lovely trio arrangements of tunes from "White Christmas" and "Annie Get Your Gun" on offer, and a handful of rarities, including "Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil" and "Not for all the Rice in China".

I've invited 3 colleagues to join me in the singing: Tenor Sam Kinsey, vocalist Anna Marie Sell and bass-baritone Larry Long will give us a number of songs.  We’ll have Hayes Greenfield on Sax (“an Inspired, open-minded, risk taking improviser with a pungent tone and a penchant for melodicism…” – Jazz Times) and bass player Christian Fabian (“lays down a groove and digs deep” - Cheryl Bentyne, Manhattan Transfer)  for a set of songs we know and love, plus rarities you’ll love at first sight.

We're delighted to debut this set at the Lower East Side's fabulous Cafe Noctambulo at Pangea. Boasting a roster of artists that includes Andy Bey, Hilary Kole, Eric Comstock and others, Cafe Noctambulo occupies...

"...what was previously a popular party space at the back of Pangea, a casual Mediterranean-Italian restaurant and mainstay in the East Village... Cafe Noctambulo is the vision of its Artistic Director Christopher Gines, who has spent more than two decades as a crooner of classic American Songbook and jazz standards and has toured the U.S. and internationally for many years.  “I wanted to create a special place that was affordable and fun and not pretentious and stuffy, a great spot to hang out with friends and enjoy sensational food and a wide array of music and entertainment by world class performers in a fun, relaxed and informal setting,” he says. With an eye towards fostering great musical versatility, Cafe Noctambulo has a newly built stage and a rebuilt and reconditioned 1960s era Baldwin Grand Piano."

About the artists:

Kathryn Allyn (Jazz Vocalist/Co-Arranger) has appeared at New York City's The Cutting Room, TomiJazz, Somethin' Jazz, Stage72, La Mediterranee and the Metropolitan Room.  In her former life as a classical singer, Kaye was seen in leading roles or as a solist at New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, The Tokyo Symphony, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Orchestra New York, and many others, in productions as diverse as Carmen (Carmen), Mahler’s  Symphony. Nr. 2 (Alto Soloist), and Oklahoma! (Ado Annie).  

Frank Ponzio is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and teacher. He has performed and collaborated with a variety of well-known artists, including Ben Vereen, David Amram, Phil Donahue, Jacques d’Amboise, Joe Beck, Nancy LaMott, Baby Jane Dexter, Bob McGrath of Sesame Street, Rosemary Loar, and Aisha Morris (Stevie Wonder's daughter).  He performs solo concerts and leads his own bands at the legendary Birdland, the Metropolitan Room, The Museum of Modern Art, Trinity Church, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Town Hall. As a music director, composer, and arranger, Frank has worked on numerous productions, including shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the Paramount Theater at Madison Square Garden.  Kaye and Frank’s recent cabaret projects include: Doing it for DefensePlaying Hard to Get, and Indestructible, an examination of the songs and style of Anita O'Day.

Anna Marie Sell is an actor and singer, with credits ranging from Shakespeare to Rodgers & Hammerstein. She has appeared in concert with Urban Stages Winter Rhythms Festival (2015 Bing Crosby & Jim Henson tributes), The Greene Touch (a benefit to honor vocal arranger Herb Greene), and in a solo cabaret of WWII music, Good Night Soldier.  Her stage credits include work with the Barnstormers, Bickford Theatre, American Shakespeare Center, Wayside Theatre, Barter Theatre, New Jersey Theater Project, Inwood Shakespeare Festival, and Out of the Box Theatre Company. She is currently working with the Peccadillo Theater Company for their December production, A Wilder Christmas. Anna Marie is a native of Pennsylvania; raised outside of Philadelphia, with a summa cum laude B.A. in Theatre and English from Towson University. 

Hayes Greenfield is a producer, composer, saxophonist, filmmaker, bandleader, and educator – has been active on the New York City jazz scene since the late ‘70s. As sideman, he has built enduring associations with such notable artists as Jaki Byard, Rashied Ali, Paul Bley, Barry Altschul, and Richie Havens. As bandleader, Hayes has recorded and produced a number of critically acclaimed CDs and played throughout the U.S. and Canada, headlining in such popular New York City clubs as the Blue Note, Birdland, the Knitting Factory, and CBGB’s. European tours have taken him and his bands to Vienna, the Aalen Jazz Festival in Germany, Brighton Jazz Festival in the U.K., the Albi, Coutances, Bordeaux, Amiens, Hyeres, and Avignon Jazz Festivals in France, and the Aarhus Jazz Festival in Denmark.

 

Jazz bassist Christian Fabian was born in Sweden and moved to Germany at the age of six. He attended the Maastricht Conservatory in the Netherlands and there formed the band Time Design, which released three albums.  Fabian relocated to the U.S. to study at the Berklee College of Music, from which he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in performance and film scoring. He founded the Fabian Zone Trio as a piano/bass/drums group, initially with pianist Andy LaVerne and drummer Danny Gottlieb for the album Across the Tracks, released on the CAP Records label on April 3, 2006. The second Fabian Zone Trio album, Curtain of Life, was a jazz fusion effort and featured Fabian on electric bass, keyboardist Steve Hunt, and drummer Steve Michaud. The third album, The Masters Return! (released November 6, 2007), went back to an acoustic format as Fabian was joined by Mike Longo (piano) and Lewis Nash (drums) on a set of bebop standards and originals.

Larry Long's singing has taken him to stages all over the U.S., Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain and England; most notably at the tragically defunct New York City Opera where he was honored to sing in Paul Dukas’ Ariane et Barbe Bleue, Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata, the World-premiere of Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories and some others.