"Quiet Please"—which includes songs by Gershwin, Porter, Ellington, Stevie Wonder and Adam Guettel—had its genesis in an impromptu performance of jazz standards at a party. Producers Jamie Bernstein and Harold Chambers were determined to capture the particular energy of the singer and pianist’s spontaneous collaboration. The songs were recorded with a minimum of advance planning; liner notes describe the resulting tracks as "two musicians at their most unguarded and unpremeditated."
The intimacy of the recording experience will be replicated in the chamber music-scaled auditorium at Merkin Hall. De Haas and Blier will include material not heard on the CD, some of which will be a surprise even to the producers. Blier—whose motto at the New York Festival of Song is "No song is safe from us"— will likely ad lib. commentary from the stage. The audience is invited to join the performers for wine and hors d’oeuvres in Merkin Hall’s upper lobby after the show.
De Haas has performed on Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman, Carousel and Rent; in Actors’ Fund benefit concerts of Hair and Dreamgirls; and out-of-town productions of Children of Eden and Jesus Christ Superstar. For the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, he has presented concert tributes to Billy Strayhorn and Stevie Wonder.
Blier is the artistic director of the New York Festival of Song and has programmed, performed, translated and annotated over 125 vocal recitals. He and de Haas have worked together over the last ten years on NYFOS concerts including "At Harlem’s Height" and "Songs of Peace and War."
The Merkin Concert Hall is located within The Kaufman Center at 129 West 67th Street. For more information and tickets, call (212) 501-3330 or visit www.kaufman-center.org. "Quiet Please" is distributed by Bridge Records.