March 1, 2022
Tickets on sale now for the six concert series from June 25 – September 10, 2022
Pasadena, CA – Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS announce the expansion of the POPS Summer Concert series to six concerts beginning Summer 2022 at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. The POPS is also proud to welcome Rusnak Auto Group as the Official Season Sponsor for the POPS Summer Concert Series. The six-concert series will run from June 25, 2022 to September 10, 2022 with a stellar line-up of multiple award-winning guest artists including Grammy-award winning singer Melissa Manchester, SAG Award winner LaChanze (The Help), Tony nominees Tony Yazbeck and Michael Cavanaugh and Tony Award winner Lillias White, plus Michael Feinstein in concert.
Feinstein heats up the summer on June 25 with Sway With Me: Latin Rhythm and Swing, joined by Latin American television and Broadway stars Mauricio Martinez and Margo Rey. The sizzling season opener will feature songs like Brazil, Sway and Girl from Ipanema, made famous by Carmen Miranda, Desi Arnaz, Pink Martini and more. On July 9 Michael takes the stage as soloist to bring the best of Gershwin as only he can for Michael Feinstein Sings Gershwin. Broadway star and sought-after concert artist Capathia Jenkins channels the Queen of Soul on July 23 for Aretha: A Tribute, accompanied by singer Matthew Johnson.
August 13 brings Melissa Manchester with Jazz songstress Nicole Henry and Hairspray Live’s Maddie Baillio to celebrate the centennials of Judy Garland, Doris Day and Peggy Lee, and give a nod to Liza Minnelli and Garland’s legacy for American Icons: Judy Garland & Friends. Back by popular demand, “the new voice of the American Rock and Roll Songbook” (Billboard), Michael Cavanaugh lights up the stage on August 27 for a rockin’ tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John. To close out the season on September 10, Feinstein has curated the best of hit shows that traveled from Broadway to Hollywood for Broadway on Film, featuring an evening of singing and dancing by Tony Award-winning and nominated performers Lillias White, LaChanze and Tony Yazbeck.
The POPS Covid-19 safety protocols are evolving along with public health guidelines and will be updated closer to the summer. For the most up to date venue safety guidelines and ticketing requirements, visit pasadenasymphony-pops.org/covid-19-safety-protocols-pops.
All concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, located at 310 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30pm and performances begin at 7:30pm. Don’t miss the best outdoor dinner party in town with spacious circular table seating with fine linens, or lawn seating for those who want to bring a blanket – each option carries on the tradition of picnic-dining with your family and friends with Michael Feinstein and the San Gabriel Valley’s premier orchestra! Among many venue amenities, concert goers can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet box dinners for on-site pickup just steps from their table or a variety of food truck options. Subscribers may purchase pre-paid onsite parking at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers can purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, with complimentary non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.
Tickets start at $25. Season subscriptions are now on sale, with single tickets on sale March 7, 2022. Both are available by calling the box office at (626)-793-7172, online at PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org or at the Arboretum on concert days.
Sway With Me: Latin Rhythms & Swing!
June 25, 2022
Michael Feinstein, conductor
Mauricio Martinez, soloist
Margo Rey, soloist
Michael Feinstein Sings Gershwin
July 9, 2022
Larry Blank, conductor
Michael Feinstein, soloist
Aretha: A Tribute
July 23, 2022
Larry Blank, conductor
Capathia Jenkins, soloist
Matthew Johnson, soloist
American Icons: Judy Garland & Friends
August 13, 2022
Michael Feinstein, conductor
Melissa Manchester, soloist
Nicole Henry, soloist
Maddie Baillio, soloist
Michael Cavanaugh Sings Billy Joel & Elton John
August 27, 2022
Larry Blank, conductor
Michael Cavanaugh, soloist
Broadway on Film
September 10, 2022
Michael Feinstein, conductor
Lillias White, soloist
Tony Yazbeck, soloist
The Pasadena Symphony Association
Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, leads the POPS as Principal Pops Conductor, succeeding Marvin Hamlisch.
A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) comprised of seven performing ensembles, with over 400 gifted 4th-12th grade students from all over Southern California. The PYSO Symphony has performed at venues across the globe as well as on the television show GLEE.
The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.
Principal Pops Conductor
Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe – in addition to his appearances at iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House – his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.
In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy.
This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” 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.
The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records. The CD features Grammy Award -winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent (Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole). 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 with Broadway 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 interviews and performs 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.
Resident Pops Conductor
Resident Pops Conductor, Larry Blank is one of the most prolific and sought after composers, conductors, and orchestrators in the entertainment business today. His work has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and top television and film projects.
He was the Music Director/Conductor and/or vocal arranger for many shows on Broadway and in Los Angeles including They’re Playing Our Song, Evita, Sugar Babies, La Cage Aux Folles, Phantom Of The Opera, Onward Victoria, Copperfield, Colette, A Chorus Line and A Little Night Music. He has been nominated three times for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his orchestrations in The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and with Marc Shaiman for Catch Me If You Can. Larry received a Drama Desk Nomination for orchestrations for A Christmas Story
Larry contributed to the orchestrations for both the stage and film production of The Producers, the film Chicago and is a regular conductor and arranger for BBC RADIO 2 Friday Night Is Music Night in the UK. Larry is also the Music Supervisor and Orchestrator (along with Mark Cumberland) for the Olivier Awards in London.
Blank has worked with top talent from varied fields of the entertainment world, notably as personal conductor to Michael Crawford. He has also worked with Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Bernadette Peters, Kelsey Grammar, Christine Baranski, Roberta Flack, Pete Fountain, Peabo Bryson, Sally Kellerman, Nancy Dussault, Marc Shaiman, Jerry Herman, Ann- Margaret, Davis Gaines, Bette Midler, George Benson, Placido Domingo, Randy Newman, Trisha Yearwood, Tom Scott, Quincy Jones, Michael Bolton, John Raitt and Diana Rigg.
Blank’s background includes orchestrating and arranging songs for South Park and was Music Supervisor and Orchestrator for Jerry Herman’s movie, Mrs. Santa Claus starring Angela Lansbury and Charles Durning. Some of the films he lent his talent to include The Kid, Kiss The Girls, The American President, Forget Paris, City Slickers II, The Net, That¹s Entertainment III, North, I¹d Do Anything, and Stuart Saves His Family. Blank’s music can be heard on the animated feature films, Cats Don’t Dance and All Dogs Go To Heaven as well as the 101 Dalmations Christmas Special.
Mr. Blank’s television work includes orchestrating and composing music for several of the Grammy Awards and Academy Award shows as well as numerous television movies and shows.
Mr. Blank has guest conducted most of the orchestras throughout the world, including The San Francisco Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Palm Beach Pops, Auckland Symphony, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Symphony, New Orleans Symphony and Toronto Symphony.
Mauricio Martinez is a Mexican Actor & Recording Artist who starred as Emilio Estefan in the Broadway Musical On Your Feet! The Story Of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. Martinez is also known for his role in the Emmy-winning NBC Universo’s original TV series El Vato on Netflix.
A household name in Mexico and Latin America, Mauricio starred as the leading man in the Mexican productions of the Broadway musicals Beauty & The Beast, Saturday Night Fever, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweet Charity, the premiere Spanish versions of Off Broadway’s The Last 5 Years, Songs From An Unmade Bed and in plays such as Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge & Toyer, a thriller by Gardner McGay, before crossing over to the US.
On the American stage, Mauricio originated the starring role in the world premiere of Children Of Salt, a New Latin Musical at the New York Musical Festival in 2016 and went on to play the iconic role of ‘Che’ in Evita at the prestigious Kansas City Repertory Theatre that same year, before making his Broadway debut as music mogul Estefan in the summer of 2017. In 2020, he will be perform in Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed and choreographed by Joann M. Hunter at Paper Mill Playhouse.
Martinez’s TV credits include Bailando Por Un Sueño (Mexico’s Dancing With The Stars) and the telenovelas (Latin soap operas) CLAP, La Mujer Del Vendaval & Atrévete A Soñar, all of which aired in the US on Univision. He was recently seen in Señora Acero 2 on Telemundo in the US and has appeared on CBS performing a tribute to Gloria Estefan at the 40th Annual Kennedy Honors in Washington, DC, as well as on The Talk and The 2019 Gershwin Prize on PBS, performing next to artists like Cindy Lauper, Rita Moreno, Andy García and Gloria Estefan.
Mauricio has also recorded two Latin Pop albums: Desde 1978 (2012) and his follow up Desde 1978…Lado B (2014) with e35 Music Group. Both albums are available on iTunes worldwide and his music videos can be seen on YouTube.
Whether in TV, music or theatre, in English or Spanish, Mauricio Martinez enjoys one of the most multifaceted careers in entertainment.
Margo Rey is an 8x Billboard Top 20 chart topping artist, singer, songwriter, composer and producer based in Los Angeles. Additionally, she is the co-founder of the L.A. based independent record label, Organica Music Group™ (OMG), which bears the same name as her self-defined, musical genre, Organica. Margo defines Organica as a ferociously nuanced hybrid of Adult Alternative Pop music with deeply rooted Jazz grooves that deliver texturally, ambient guitars and layered with Margo’s lush vocal arrangements and it is all made by humans not machines.
She is known for the #1 most played indie original Christmas song of the last six years, “This Holiday Night”, which was written and recorded by Rey and has since been elevated to the holiday Gold Charts where it is in good company with the most iconic Christmas classics of the 20th century.
One of Margo’s most notable songwriting partners is John Oates of Hall & Oates. Rey and Oates penned and charted Margo’s first Billboard hit, “Let The Rain” which remained in the Top 20 for 23 weeks. Oates and Rey continue to write and record together and produced another Top 20 hit, “Never 2 Late”.
Margo’s acting credits include Beverly Hills Chihuahua, the voice over sound-alike for Eva Longoria and Selma Hayak, the voice of TLC Network and Broadway’s hit show, The Bee Gee’s Saturday Night Fever. Margo has toured and performed her original songs throughout North America, the UK and South Korea. Prominent Jazz Festival performances of Rey include, Play Boy Jazz and Sea Breeze. She has sung in 8 languages and has performed with and opened for artists such as, Marc Anthony, Prince, Dave Koz, comedian, Ron White, Kenny Loggins, John Oates, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
Margo’s return to her roots as a Jazz musician on her latest album, The Roots Of Rey, with multi- Grammy winning arranger, Oscar Hernandez, is a timely testament that her formidable talent is perpetually evolving. The album is a Modern American and Latin American Songbook that is seamlessly curated for the times in English and Spanish for a re-shaped and re-imagined America.
Born in Acapulco, Mexico, Rey grew up in Dallas, Texas, where she received 13 years of classical music and voice training. Due to her classical education and diverse musical interests, Margo has performed in multiple languages and many countries. By her teens, Rey was the lead singer in the all-female rock band, Debutante, and developed a strong following by touring the United States and overseas. Rey also fronted several successful bands, including The Ritual and the Down-tempo Latin-Jazz quintet, Miss Margo & The Lost Souls.
Actor Edward James Olmos discovered Rey’s talent and recommended her for the role of Marcella, in the Broadway production of Selena Forever, which was based on the life of the late Tejano pop star. This led Rey to a career in Broadway’s 1st National, Saturday Night Fever, and a string of lead roles in productions like Latin Heat, Like Jazz, Zorro: The Musical, Canta Luna, Senor Discretion Himself and she worked alongside such musical icons as Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Cy Coleman, Jo Loesser, Patti Austin, Jack Sheldon and Oscar Hernandez.
Put simply, Margo Rey’s voice is aural luxury at its finest. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to turn out the lights and drift. As in: forever – past time zones and continents. Margo has charted a new course; in high heels no-less so, the best advice is to settle in and enjoy this splendid voyage.
Margo is a 2x Cancer Warrior and holds this cause near and dear to her heart. She currently lives happily in Los Angeles where she writes, records and tours.
The Brooklyn-born and raised singer/actor, Capathia Jenkins, most recently released her single “I Am Strong” and her critically acclaimed CD Phenomenal Woman the Maya Angelou Songs with her collaborator Louis Rosen, sold out the world-famous Birdland Theatre in NYC for 3 nights. She starred as ‘Medda’ in the hit Disney production of Newsies on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in The Civil War, where she created the role of Harriet Jackson. She then starred in the Off-Broadway 2000 revival of Godspell, where she wowed audiences with her stirring rendition of “Turn Back, O Man” which can still be heard on the original cast recording. She returned to Broadway in The Look of Love and was critically acclaimed for her performances of the Bacharach/David hits. Ms. Jenkins then created the roles of ‘The Washing Machine’ in Caroline, Or Change and ‘Frieda May’ in Martin Short-Fame Becomes Me where she sang ‘Stop the Show’ and brought the house down every night. In 2007 she went back to Off-Broadway and starred in (mis) Understanding Mammy-The Hattie McDaniel Story for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. She was also seen in Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore.
An active concert artist, Ms. Jenkins has appeared with numerous orchestras around the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony (with Marvin Hamlisch), National Symphony, Cincinnati Pops (with John Morris Russell), Philly Pops, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, San Diego Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and many others. She was also a soloist with the Festival Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic multiple times. Capathia had the great honor of performing in the ‘Broadway Ambassadors to Cuba’ concert as part of the Festival De Teatro De La Habana. She will be returning to Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops for Get Happy: That Nelson Riddle Sound and also sang in a Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch at the Library of Congress.
Her Television credits include 30 Rock, the Practice, Law & Order SVU, the Sopranos, Law & Order. She can be seen in the film Musical Chairs directed by Susan Seidelman. Ms. Jenkins was also seen in The Wiz in a live performance on NBC. She can be heard on the following film soundtracks: Nine, Chicago, Legally Blonde 2. www.capathiajenkins.com
The multi-talented Matthew Johnson is an actor, singer, dancer, and musician who has performed with the likes of Pharrell, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Childish Gambino, and Stevie Wonder. His musical theater roots were cultivated at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and through his mentor, Debbie Allen, who helped mold him into the triple threat performer he is today. Matthew has done vocal arrangements for the Grammy Awards as well as performed at the Emmys and the Billboard Awards. He honed his skills as a vocal chameleon on some of the world’s most watched television shows such as American Idol, The Voice, X Factor and Late Night with James Corden. He’s shared the stage and studio with some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Kelly Clarkson, Sam Smith, Demi Lavato, and Jennifer Hudson. On the big screen, Matthew stars as Mack in Warner Brother’s Christmas on the Square starring Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski which received an Emmy nomination this year.
In 1980, Melissa Manchester became the first recording artist in the history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a single year, “Through The Eyes Of Love” from Ice Castles and “I’ll Never Say Goodbye” from The Promise, and to perform them both on the Oscar telecast. Melissa starred in the national tours of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Music Of The Night and Song And Dance, and created the role of Maddy, the title character’s mother, on the NBC hit TV series Blossom.
Nominated for a Grammy in 1980 for “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” she won the Grammy Award for “Best Female Vocalist” in 1982 singing “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Melissa has composed music for the animated features The Great Mouse Detective and Lady And The Tramp II, the sequel to the Disney classic. In addition to composing the scores for the theatrical musicals I Sent A Letter To My Love and Sweet Potato Queens, Melissa also co-wrote the radio mainstays “Midnight Blue”, “Come In From The Rain” and “Whenever I Call You Friend.”
Melissa celebrated her forty-five-year career with the release of her 21th album, The Fellas, a tribute to the iconic male singers who set the platinum standard for the music of the great American songbook. Her new album, RE:VIEW, rolling out song by song in 2021, features previously unreleased songs as well as fresh takes on several of Melissa’s enduring classic hits.
Since her debut, Nicole Henry has established herself among the jazz world’s most acclaimed performers, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance.
Her passionate, soulful voice and heartfelt charisma have earned her a Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance,” and three Top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums. Heralded by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, El Pais, Jazz Times, Essence and more, Ms. Henry tells real stories through peerless interpretations of repertoire from the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, popular standards, blues and originals.
She has captivated audiences in over 20 countries, headlining at venues in cities including New York, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Miami. Ms. Henry has also performed in more than 30 music festivals worldwide and in some of the world’s most famous venues including Blue Note; Jazz at Lincoln Center; Blues Alley; Arsht Center; Feinstein’s; Green Mill; Jazz St. Louis; Madrid Jazz Festival; the Regattabar; and Catalina Jazz.
She has recorded with some of today’s musical greats including Kirk Whalum, Julian Lage, Gerald Clayton and Gil Goldstein and has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra and Michael Feinstein.
In late 2019, Ms. Henry returned to the theatrical stage and garnered critical praise in the musical version of The Bodyguard, and in 2021 will be in the world premiere of the new musical A Wonderful World, on the life of Louis Armstrong.
Growing up in a musical family in Bucks County, PA, Ms. Henry immersed herself in the arts early on, singing in school and church, and studying cello and ballet. After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in Communications and Theatre, she launched a successful acting career, appearing in national commercial roles as well as a series of voiceover assignments. However, she directed her strongest passion toward the development of her full-time singing career which was quickly rewarded when the Miami New Times named Nicole “Best Solo Musician.”
Through Nicole Henry’s career accomplishments and active commitment to supporting community non-profits such as Miami Children’s Initiative, YoungArts and Miami Music Project, she has been recognized by the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County with proclamations of “Nicole Henry Days” in 2011, 2016 and 2017. She also served two terms on the Board of Governors of the Florida Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Maddie Baillio, from League City, Texas, served as the 2014 Songbook Youth Ambassador. A sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, she recently starred as Dracula in Dracula, the Musical and Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress at the York Theatre. Madelyn has performed to capacity audiences at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Grand 1894 Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Birdland Jazz Club with Michael Feinstein.
Maddie was selected to perform the role of Tracy Turnblad in NBC’s Hair Spray Live! (2016) and played Millie Mitchellchuck in the Netflix comedy film Dumplin’ in 2018. More recent credits include her role as Malvolia in Amazon Prime Original movie Cinderella (2021).
Michael Cavanaugh is the new voice of the American Rock & Roll Songbook and a charismatic performer and musician made famous for his piano/lead vocals in the Broadway musical Movin’ Out. Handpicked by Billy Joel to star in Movin’ Out, Cavanaugh evokes a style rivaling the Piano Man. He appeared in the show for 3 years with over 1,200 performances, and received multiple accolades. The show culminated in 2003 with both Grammy and Tony award nominations.
Michael began playing at age 7, when his parents bought their first piano. Encouraged by family and friends, and inspired by his hero Billy Joel, Michael formed his first band at age 10 and began playing local functions, fine-tuning the craft that would become his chosen career. His first full time gig as a musician was an extended engagement in Orlando, Florida at a piano bar called Blazing Pianos. In January of 1999, Michael received an offer that would unknowingly change his life: an opportunity to play Las Vegas at the famed New York, New York Hotel and Casino. It was there that Billy Joel spotted Michael and joined him on stage one fateful night of February 2001. It only took 2 songs before Billy was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man: Michael Cavanaugh. Michael closed up shop at New York, New York and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp, to shape the Broadway Musical that would be called Movin’ Out. In the lead role, he received both Tony and Grammy nominations.
With the close of Movin’ Out at the end of 2005, Michael began touring in his own right, creating a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook. Michael soon became one of the hottest artist’s in the private events market and he continues to perform worldwide for company and charity events as well as sporting events including countless PGA tour events, the SuperBowl, and the Indy 500. His interpretation of the modern rock/pop songbook led to Billboard calling him “The New Voice of the American Rock and Roll Songbook” and he was recognized by Reuters as “Entertainer of the Year” for the private events market.
It wasn’t long before Symphony Orchestras discovered Michael’s talents and audience appeal. He accepted his first orchestral booking, Michael Cavanaugh – The Songs of Billy Joel and More which debuted in April 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony and continues to tour today. In October 2008, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD, In Color. In June 2010, Michael debuted his second symphony show in the Generations of Rock series entitled Michael Cavanaugh: The Songs of Elton John and More and then debuted his third symphony show Singers and Songwriters: the Music of Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Taylor, in 2012. In 2015, He debuted his fourth symphony show: Rockin’ Christmas with the Pops. He continues to tour all four symphony productions along with performing with his band in Performing Arts Centers and other public venues.
The Way I Hear It, his second commercial album, was released in April 2017 and it debuted at #17 on the Billboard Heatseakers chart.
Without question, LaChanze is one of the brightest stars and voices to ever hit Broadway. She currently stars as Diva Donna in the high voltage production Summer The Donna Summer Musical at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Of her performance, The Hollywood Reporter says, “LaChanze brings class” with Vulture proclaiming, her voice “might in fact be able to bring plaster down from the ceiling.”
Her volcanic performance landed her nominations for the 2018 Tony Award nomination for ”Leading Actress in a Musical”, 2018 Drama Desk Award “Outstanding Actress in a Musical” and 2018 Drama League Award for “Distinguished Performance Award”. In addition to her consistently brilliant stage work, LaChanze continues to make her mark in film and television and concert stages across the U.S.
In television and film, she stars in writer/director Marishka Phillips’ suspense filled film Melinda. She also appeared in the award-winning film The Help where she landed a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Other screen projects include Side Effects, Heartbreak Hotel, For Love or Money, Leap of Faith and My New Gun. On television, she appeared in the award-winning HBO special The Night of, Person of Interest, Law & Order: SVU, One Life to Live, Lucy, Sex and the City, The Cosby Show, among others.
LaChanze is an accomplished and sought-after concert performer who has the honor of appearing in the PBS special and cast album Handel’s Messiah Rocks: A Joyful Noise. This appearance resulted in her earning the covenant Emmy Award for her performance her electric and highly praised tour Feeling Good continues to raise roofs and touch the heart of audiences’ worldwide. With her tour and album of the same name, LaChanze’s Feeling Good mixes the perfect blend of emotional intensity with sultry vocals leaving onlookers feeling every pain, joy and excitement she felt during those moments of her life.
With a long list of accolades to her name, she is among today’s most highly regarded performers. Hailed by the New York Times as “magnetic,” LaChanze theatre credits are vast, including The Color Purple (2006 Tony Award for ”Best Performance by a Leading Lady in Musical”), Once on this Island (nominations, Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle), If/Then, Ragtime, Company, and Uptown It’s Hot. Some of her Off-Broadway credits include The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds her Chameleon Skin (Drama Desk nomination), Dessa Rose (Obie Award), Inked Baby, Spunk and From the Mississippi Delta.
Not one to rest on her laurels, LaChanze is the author of Little Diva (with illustrations by Brian Pinkey). Released in May 2010, Little Diva offers a realistic and endearing view of a little girl’s dream of taking to the stage like her mother, a Broadway star.
Described by The New York Times as a “one-of-a-kind performer who combines the sass of a classic blues mama with the skill of a Broadway star,” Lillias White is world-renowned for her “glorious” voice and “slightly superhuman” ability to communicate the heart of a song (The New York Times).
Her performance in Cy Coleman’s Broadway musical, The Life, won her the TONY® Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She was nominated for a second TONY® Award for her brilliant work in Fela! Additional Broadway credits include: Barnum, Dreamgirls, Cats, Carrie, Once on This Island, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Chicago. Other Off-Broadway and Regional Credits include The Public Theater’s Romance in Hard Times, for which she won the OBIE® Award, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (directed by Phylicia Rashad), for which she won the NAACP Award, and the Carnegie Hall Concert version of South Pacific, starring Reba McEntire, which was also broadcast on PBS’ Great Performances.
In addition to receiving Broadway acclaim, Lillias is internationally-recognized for her TV and film work.
Lillias received the DAYTIME EMMY® Award for her role as Lillian Edwards for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series on Sesame Street in 1992, and is beloved by audiences around the world for voicing the lead muse Calliope in Disney’s animated feature Hercules. Film credits include Pieces of April (starring Katie Holmes) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (starring Jim Carrey). Recent TV credits include the Baz Luhrmann-directed Netflix series The Get Down, as well as Russian Doll and Search Party. She has appeared in cabarets and concert halls around the world, including The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.
She can be heard on several Broadway cast albums, in addition to her acclaimed From Brooklyn to Broadway. Get Yourself Some Happy! is Lillias’ debut solo studio album, released in July 2021.
Born in Riverside, CA, Tony Yazbeck moved to Bethlehem, PA at age 4, when he first saw Fred Astaire dance on a black and white TV screen. Tony danced around the living room, pretending he was Mr. Astaire, so his mom and dad put him in dance class right away.
At age 11, he auditioned to be a replacement “Newsboy” in the Tyne Daly Gypsy, directed by Arthur Laurents. For the next two years, his mother drove him two hours in each direction, six days a week, from Bethlehem, PA to the stage door of The St. James Theater.
A year after closing Gypsy, at age 14, his family moved to The Poconos, where Tony worked on a farm to make extra money. He moved to Orlando at age 16, where he studied at Dr. Phillips Performing Arts High School. He attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh for two years, working at Disney his first summer and in the ensemble at the PCLO his second. He then transferred to Cincinnati Conservatory of Music for his third year of college. In April of 2000, he was cast in the national tour of Annie Get Your Gun.
In 2001, Tony made the dream of being a true New Yorker a reality, when the tour closed and he officially moved to the city. Various Broadway/Off-Broadway/Encores!/Regional Theatre/Television/National Tours/London Concerts have subsequently ensued, culminating most recently in a Tony Award Nomination for “Best Leading Actor in a Musical” for his turn as “Gabey” in the Broadway revival of On The Town.
Tony is exceedingly passionate about directing, choreographing and writing in new and creative ways for stage and TV. The first incarnation of these efforts is his solo show The Floor Above Me. Tony is also a devoted teacher, most frequently at the National Young Arts Foundation, where he is a master teacher, panelist and assistant director to the legendary Bill T. Jones.
The most important achievement of his life-to-date, however, happened in October 2014, when, right after opening in the aforementioned revival of On The Town, Tony married the love of his life, actress, dancer, singer, choreographer and budding director Katie Huff.