Deborah Voigt to Open Lincoln Center's 2008 American Songbook Series

Classic Arts News   Deborah Voigt to Open Lincoln Center's 2008 American Songbook Series
Soprano superstar Deborah Voigt will open the tenth season of Lincoln Center's acclaimed American Songbook series, which celebrates the diversity and richness of the American popular song repertoire. The 2008 season, which runs Jan. 23 through March 1 in the Allen Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, will also feature solo concerts by John Lloyd Young, Christine Ebersole and Kelli O'Hara as well as evenings that celebrate the songs of Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse and David Yazbek.

Voigt's program, with shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, will be a selection of Broadway tunes, the same repertoire with which she made her debut in the series in January 2006. Lincoln Center says that her concert will include "a few vocal surprises."

Opening night with Voigt is the fist of four consecutive evenings of American Songbook concerts. Jan. 24 features a performance by country-folk star Lori McKenna.

"Rob Fisher Celebrates the Leonard Bernstein Songbook" is the title of the Jan. 25 concert, which will be hosted and led by Fisher, who was for years the music director of the Encores! series at New York City Center and is currently the conductor of the New York Pops Orchestra. The 8:30 p.m. performance will feature an array of vocalists to be announced at a later date.

Kelli O'Hara, who will be seen as Nellie Forbush in the upcoming revival of South Pacific, will go it solo Jan. 26 at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. The two-time Tony nominee, for The Light in the Piazza and The Pajama Game, will perform Broadway songs written by classic and up-and-coming composers.

"This Is the Life: Eric Comstock Salutes Charles Strouse @ 80" will be presented Feb. 6 at 8:30 p.m. Comstock will be joined by vocalist Barbara Fasano and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen for an evening that will celebrate the work of the composer of Applause, Annie and Bye, Bye Birdie.

Singer/songwriter/record producer Joe Henry appears on Feb. 7 with jazz piano star Brad Mehldau (who joined Ren_e Fleming for her album of jazz standards), and R&B veteran Bettye Lavette plays the Allen Room on Feb. 8.

Pop songwriter David Yazbek, who composed the scores for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty, will offer an evening of his own compositions Feb. 9 at 8:30 p.m. Yazbek, who will release his fifth album of original songs this winter, will be joined by several friends.

Mandolinist/composer/singer Chris Thile and his new band, Punch Brothers, appear on Feb. 20 to perform Thile's four-movement composition The Blind Leaving the Blind. The following evening features Vermont blues-rock band Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

81-year-old jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott appears on Feb. 22. The vocalist who recorded the hits "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" with the Lionel Hampton Band, "Embraceable You" with Charlie Parker, and "Falling in Love is Wonderful" on Ray Charles's Tangerine label, Scott was named an NEA Jazz Master this year by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tony Award-winning Jersey Boys star John Lloyd Young will perform music from the 1960s and '70s during his Feb. 23 concerts at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. He will be followed on Feb. 29 at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. by another Tony winner, Christine Ebersole, who was most recently seen in Grey Gardens. Ebersole and music director Billy Stritch will perform an all-new show for American Songbook audiences.

Two modern legends of popular music appear during the last week of the American Songbook season. k.d. lang plays the Allen Room for three consecutive evenings, Feb. 26-28, and punk goddess Patti Smith — one of the relatively few individuals to be a member of both the French Legion of Honor and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — provides the grand finale on March 1 with a tribute to the women who inspired her as a young woman, including singers Chris Connor and June Christy as well as Smith's own mother.

The Allen Room of Frederick P. Rose Hall is located at Broadway at 60th Street. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-212-721-6500 or by visiting or in person at the Avery Fisher Hall box office or the Frederick P. Rose Hall/Jazz at Lincoln Center box office.

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