In addition to his recognition as one of the leading musical entertainers and piano virtuosi of recent decades, Michael Feinstein’s work as an educator, archivist, interpreter and Ambassador of the Great American Songbook have established the popular and honored musician as a pre-eminent force in contemporary music. His dazzling career as a top-selling and critically acclaimed recording artist and a star performer on Broadway, and the world’s great concert stages has earned him five GRAMMY® Award nominations, two Emmy nominations of his PBS-TV specials and acclaim for is NPR series. His live concerts have spanned the globe including such iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House
In 2007, as an extension of his work as a legendary performer and passionate guardian of his nation’s greatest musical traditions, Mr. Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Foundation. The Foundation works to preserve and elevate America’s rich musical legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators and performers; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars, historians and performers; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual high school Songbook Academy®. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board; an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.
Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II:The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded withBroadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein’s CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.
His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook,”the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV Special, “New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room” – written and directed by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry – aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interviewed and performed alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.
Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014.
Michael’s book The Gershwins and Me –the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.
Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein” in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Michael’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, his new club in New York, late in 2015. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012.
He has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.
In 2013 Michael released Change Of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn’s pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael’s late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.
Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously-unreleased tracks.
Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.
For more information, please visit www.MichaelFeinstein.com.
Cynthia Erivo is a Tony®, Emmy®, and Grammy® Award-winning actress who burst onto West End and Broadway stages in “The Color Purple” and has taken the big screen by storm.
In 2019, Erivo will star in Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet”, where she will bring the legacy of Harriet Tubman to the big screen to tell the story of how she helped free hundreds of slaves from the South after escaping slavery herself in 1849. Focus Features will premiere the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by a November 1, 2019 theatrical release.
Upcoming, Erivo will star alongside Daisy Ridley and David Oyelowo in in the highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, “Chaos Walking,” from director Doug Liman. She will also star in John Ridley’s “Needle in a Timestack” alongside Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto, and Leslie Odom Jr. In addition, Erivo is set to executive produce and star in Warner Brothers’ musical take on the American folk tale of “Rip Van Winkle.”
On the television side, Erivo recently wrapped production on her first television project, HBO series “The Outsider,” based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Erivo stars alongside Ben Mendelsohn as “Holly Gibney” in the series, which follows an unorthodox investigator and a seasoned cop investigating a gruesome murder of a local boy.
Continuing to push the boundaries of her versatile career, Erivo stars in John Cameron Mitchell’s music-driven podcast anthology, “Anthem: Homunculus,” which combines music, drama and theater to create a dense and masterful musical journey, in the style of a radio play, produced by Topic. Erivo also leads the voice cast and co-produced the QCode scripted thriller podcast, “Carrier.” Erivo stars as a long-haul truck driver who during her all-night trip across rural America discovers she’s transporting a trailer with disturbing, mysterious contents. The podcast premiered on July 1.
In 2018, Erivo made her film debut in Drew Goddard’s “Bad Times at the El Royale,” which is set in the 1960s in a dilapidated hotel in the Lake Tahoe region of California. 20th Century Fox released the film on October 12, which also stars Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, and Jon Hamm, among others. Erivo also starred as ‘Belle’ in Steve McQueen’s drama, “Widows,” opposite Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki. Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, the film follows four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. 20th Century Fox released the film on November 16 following a successful premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Erivo rounded out the year with a 2019 BAFTA EE Rising Star Award nomination for her exceptional work in film and on stage.
Erivo made her Broadway debut reprising her starring role as ‘Celie’ in the critically acclaimed revival of “The Color Purple.” She first played the role in 2013 at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, earning rave reviews and an Evening Standard Theatre Award® nomination for Best Musical Performance and a WhatsOnStage Award® nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Her performance on Broadway earned her several awards, including the Tony Award® for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, a Grammy award® as a principal soloist on original cast recording of “The Color Purple” (Best Musical Theater Album), a Daytime Emmy Award® for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program, the Drama Desk Award®, Theatre World®, and Outer Critics Circle Awards®.
In spring 2015, Erivo appeared as ‘Puck’ in the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” directed by Nick Bagnall. In fall 2014, she returned to her classical roots in the Donmar Warehouse's acclaimed all-female production of “Henry IV,” opposite Dame Harriet Walter, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. In summer 2014, she played the lead in the European premiere of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical, “Dessa Rose,” at Trafalgar Studios.
Erivo’s additional theatre credits include the Perfect Pitch musical, “Lift,” directed by Steven Paling; Kneehigh Theatre's production of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” at the Gielgud Theatre; the starring role of ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ in the UK tour of Jerry Zaks' production of “Sister Act;” Harry Hill and Simon Cowell's critically acclaimed musical, “I Can't Sing,” at the London Palladium in the West End; Simon Stephens' “Marine Parade,” which premiered at the 2010 Brighton Festival, John Adams' experimental song play, “I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky,” at Theatre Royal Stratford East; and Dominic Hill's “The Three Musketeers and The Princess of Spain” at Traverse, Belgrade and English Touring theatres.
In addition to her stage career, Cynthia is an accomplished songwriter, having written the song, "Fly Before You Fall," for the 2014 feature film “Beyond the Lights.” In March 2015, she made her solo concert debut with the show entitled “Hear My Soul” at Kings Place in London. In September 2016, Erivo starred as ‘Cathy’ alongside Joshua Henry in a one-night benefit concert performance of Jason Robert Brown's “The Last Five Years,” with proceeds going to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In February 2017, Erivo performed alongside John Legend at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. She also performed at the Governors Ball, the official post-Oscars celebration, on February 26, 2017 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles.
A UK native, Erivo graduated from the famed Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 2010
Anaïs Mitchell is a Vermont and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and the Tony award-winning creator of the Broadway musical Hadestown. Dubbed by NPR as 'one of the greatest songwriters of her generation', Mitchell comes from the world of narrative folksong, poetry and balladry. She recorded for Ani Difranco's Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are six full-length albums, including the original 2010 studio album of Hadestown, a folk opera based on the Orpheus myth; 2012's Young Man in America, which was described by the UK's Independent as 'an epic tale of American becoming’; 2013’s Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer, which won a BBC Radio Two Folk Award, and the forthcoming Bonny Light Horseman (as part of the band Bonny Light Horseman). Mitchell has headlined shows worldwide as well as supporting tours for Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, Patty Griffin, Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers. She was the winner of a Folk Alliance 2018 Spirit of Folk Award, and her music has featured in year-end best lists including NPR, Wall Street Journal, MOJO, Uncut, Guardian, Sunday Times, and Observer.
Mitchell's stage show of Hadestown, which was over a decade in the making, was first produced off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop and in Canada at Edmonton's The Citadel, with record-breaking runs at both. In 2018 the show opened at London's prestigious National Theatre, before transferring to Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in April 2019. The show went on to win 8 Tony Awards, the highest of any show of the season, including Best Musical and Best Score for Mitchell. The New York Times called it “inventive, beguiling and spellbinding” while Vogue declared that “Hadestown will be your new theater obsession.” If there’s a common thread in Mitchell’s work – from her earliest acoustic records to the Hadestown show – it’s that she’s as interested in the world around her as the one inside her. She has a way of tackling big themes with the same emotional intimacy most artists use to describe their inner lives. That’s perhaps why the New York Times noted that her songs “address contemporary angst with uncanny vision…. a formidable songwriting talent.”
GAVIN CREEL received a Tony Award for his performance as “Cornelius Hackl” in Hello, Dolly starring Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce. Gavin made his Broadway debut originating the role of “Jimmy Smith” in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which he received his first Tony Award nomination. He has since created such memorable performances on Broadway as “Jean-Michel” in La Cage Aux Folles, “Claude” in Hair, which earned him a second Tony Award nomination, and “Stephen Kodaly" in the Roundabout Theater Company’s production of She Loves Me, which was filmed live and is available on BroadwayHD. No stranger to London audiences, Gavin most notably originated the role of “Elder Price” in the West End production of The Book of Mormon, for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He also starred as “Bert” in Disney’s Mary Poppins and reprised his performance as “Claude” in Hair. Other stage credits include opposite Sara Bareilles in the Broadway production of Waitress, The Book of Mormon (on Broadway and originating the First National Tour), and the world premieres of Stephen Sondheim’s Bounce at The Goodman Theatre and The Kennedy Center, and Prometheus Bound at A.R.T. On television, Gavin co-starred alongside Julie Andrews in ABC’s Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime. He has released three original albums Goodtimenation, Quiet (which landed on “Billboard’s Top Heat Seekers”) and Get Out, and his single “Noise” raised money and awareness for marriage equality. Creel was a co-founder of Broadway Impact, the first and only grassroots organization to mobilize the nationwide theater community in support of marriage equality. A native of Findlay, Ohio, he is a proud graduate of University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
ARIANA DeBOSE will next be seen as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Summer. She recently wrapped up her run as Jane in Chazz Palminteri's A Bronx Tale directed by Jerry Zaks and Robert De Niro. Her other credits include Hamilton (Off-Broadway and original Broadway cast), Leading Player in the Tony Winning revival of Pippin, Mary Wilson of the Supremes (Diana Ross cover) in Motown, Nautica in Andy Blankenbuhler's Bring It On the Musical and Sondheim's Company with the NY Philharmonic. Her TV credits include: “BlueBloods” (CBS), “The Breaks” (VH1), “SYTYCD” top 20 season 6 (Fox) & “OLTL” Star Crossed LoversSeries. Instagram & Twitter @arianadebose