One of the reasons for the initial 2006 creation of this website was the large amount of interest that had been generated on the Internet about Cy Walter, both the man and his music. So many websites paid tribute to him, but no websites were devoted to him. On these pages, we give credit to the websites that directly or indirectly keep his legacy alive — either because the performing artist or musical resource site referenced has had some involvement with Cy Walter’s music (or with his son Mark’s efforts to promote it); or because the site listed is viewed as a relevant resource to those who would know the current state of this musical genre of cabaret/café society music of which Cy, historically, was such a vital part.
Mark caveats the inclusion of the performing artists’ websites herein by noting that those collected here, in eclectic fashion, reflect people he has met or heard of over the years. There is certainly no claim to comprehensiveness or completeness, and doubtless many fine performers whom Mark should have included have been, by unintentional oversight, missed. (Suggestions in this regard are welcome.) Additionally, because many of the people Mark has met are not artistically limited to the cabaret world, but are worthy of note for their artistry and knowledge, we include websites from musical genres other than cabaret as well.
The sites listed are thus numerous, and, with the advent of Google, that permeating search engine that has made the researcher’s task infinitely easier, we offer these site listings as merely a starting point for further delving. Where there is not a personal site maintained by individuals or organizations, but we believe that they are worth inclusion, reference is made to them by name and a related website (e.g., Wikipedia, Facebook, IMDB, etc.) is referenced instead.
Some entries are those of household names; others are of less well-known performers or resources. Where personal knowledge or ready research permits, revelatory comments will be included with the brief site description and its link. Note that the brief descriptive phrases characterizing the individual artist’s forté (e.g., pianist, vocal artist, bass player, actor or actress, etc.) are not meant to be exclusive — many of these performers wear distinctly multiple hats!
Our best wishes for your happy browsing. Warning: clicking on many of these links may take you on paths of discovery unknown, both through wonderful performers’ artistry and through musical history … be prepared to get joyously lost or serendipitously sidetracked a bit!!
Harry Allen – Tenor Saxophonist
“Harry has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Flip Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gus Johnson, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Warren Vache, and has recorded with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanagan, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Barron, Dave McKenna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Goldings, George Mraz, Jake Hanna, and Al Foster, among others… ‘[A] practitioner of such dense talent he sounds as if he invented tenor saxophone performance instead of Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. Allen is the Frank Sinatra of the tenor saxophone: a master interpreter of standards’ – C. Michael Bailey” — excerpted from website biography and reviews pages
American Popular Song Society
“The American Popular Song Society (formerly known as “The New York Sheet Music Society”) was established in 1980. It began with a small but dedicated group of collectors, who, through the courtesy of the late Sammy Cahn, president of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, met at One Times Square to exchange sheet music and stories about songwriters, singers, and songs. Now a thriving non-profit corporation, the Society has over 400 members spread across the nation” — excerpted from website homepage.
As recognized by the Society’s recent receipt of the 2013 Mac Award under the category of “Special Production/Variety Production/Recurring Series”, the organization’s second-Saturday monthly afternoon meetings (held at the Local 802 Musicians Hall in the Times Square area) are actually terrific showcases of top cabaret and musical theatre talent, with, of course, an emphasis on American Popular Song.
Elliot Ames – Radio Show Host and Journalist
Elliot has long hosted, each Sunday at 6PM, a radio show focusing on cabaret music entitled The WVOX Radio Golden Apple Cabaret Hour. WVOX is a community broadcast radio station based in Westchester County, New York. Elliot Ames has also long been active in the American Popular Song Society (previously known as the New York Sheet Music Society), and on 13 January 2007 produced an excellent show for the Society in which it saluted the great hotel and lounge pianists of the past. Meant to highlight those artists who brought sophistication and a personal touch to the music performed in New York City café society, the event also honored current performers, including Kathleen Landis and Nancy Winston (of the Pierre), Steve Ross, Peter Mintun, Ronny Whyte, John Wallowitch, and Irving Fields. It was a rousing success; many of the performers focused on Cy Walter’s contributions to that world, and Cy’s family was in attendance, including Cam, his widow; Mark, his son; and Daphne, his daughter.
Nancy Anderson – Vocal Artist and Actress
“[Nancy] has appeared with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall in his Valentine Tribute Concert ‘Hooray For Love Songs’ and is the 2011 winner of the Noël Coward Cabaret Award Competition. Nancy has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and she sings regularly at Town Hall in Scott Siegel’s Broadway by the Year series. She has appeared as a guest vocalist with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks [and] the Bob Hardwick Sound and is frequently seen at the legendary jazz club, Birdland with Ross Patterson and His Little Big Band featuring songs from her debut album, ‘Ten Cents a Dance’ ” — excerpted from website “About” page
Christine Andreas – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Engagements [by Christine] in New York at the Café Carlyle and the Algonquin’s Oak Room prompted the New York Times to extol: ‘She delicately kills with the sheer beauty of her voice’ … ‘She finds a blend of lyricism and sweet sensuality that only the finest Broadway voices can conjure’. Liz Smith was moved to write: ‘Christine Andreas is everything anyone who loves romantic pop music could want — simply sine qua non’. Her Carnegie Hall debut was hailed as ‘brilliant’, ‘delicious’ and ‘sexy’ in Variety” — excerpted from website “About” page
Tony Bennett – Vocal and Fine Artist
Hey, we’re talking about Tony Bennett here, right? Need more be said? Oh, well, let’s add that in conversation with Mark Walter, Tony, patently impressed at the mention of Cy’s name, responded with, “He was one of the greats!” And did you know that Tony is a fine painter as well? Neither did Mark until his mother, Cam, pulled a collection of Anthony Benedetto’s artwork from her bookshelf …
Emily Bergl – Vocal Artist and Actress
“There is no lack of talent among the younger generation of mostly under-40 cabaret performers who occupy the middle ground behind cabaret’s haute and demimondes. High on the list of the most promising is Emily Bergl, a sexy Midler-Madonna hybrid with a tough-cookie chirp who deconstructs pop songs of every genre, and eschews sentimentality. Typical of her irreverence is her inside-out version of ‘It Had to Be You’, which she delivers as a sneer of disgust at finding herself stuck with a creep” — Stephen Holden, New York Times, 28 September 2012 — “Ms. Bergl’s follow-up cabaret, NY I Love You, premiered at the legendary Café Carlyle in May to rave reviews from the NY Times and Wall Street Journal. This deeply personal show explores a life long love affair with New York City, and uses the past to illuminate and understand modern city life. Ms Bergl’s latest show, ‘Til I Get It Right’ debuted at Feinstein’s in San Francisco and New York’s 54 Below in 2014. It is her most personal show to date and offers a diverse musical selection and Ms. Bergl’s signature nouveau cabaret style and acting prowess” — excerpted from website “Cabaret” page
Anna Bergman – Vocal Artist
“Anna Bergman ‘thrills you with the sheer aural sensation of her voice’ (The Wall Street Journal) and has been hailed by The Washington Post as ‘a vocal citizen of the world who has triumphed in everything from Broadway tunes to opera arias and the sultry innuendoes of a chanteuse’. She performs internationally in concerts, theatre, opera, music festivals, with symphony orchestras, on television and recordings …. Anna has paid tribute in concert to such songwriters as Charles Strouse (with Len Cariou & Martin Charnin), Adam Guettel (with Kelli O’Hara & Stephen Pasquale), Richard Rodgers (with Malcom Gets), Noel Coward (with Jim Dale, Rosemary Harris, Haley Mills), and such artists as Patricia Neal, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Patrice Munsel, Tommy Tune and glass artist Dale Chihuly. She has headlined at New York’s Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center and at music festivals including Aspen, Hamptons, Chicago Humanities and International Festival Cardiff, Wales (BBC TV)” — excerpted from website “About The Artist” page
Bob Berkman Piano Roll Expert and Enthusiast (QRS Music Technologies)
QRS Music Technologies is the company that produced the Cy Walter piano rolls; and Bob Berkman, formerly its CEO, graciously recorded these three piano rolls for Mark Walter, adding his enhancing “foot-pumping” technique, in his private studio. (Mark’s initial outreach to Bob at QRS led not only to this happy outcome, but to Bob’s introducing Mark to Judy Carmichael and her wonderful “Jazz Inspired” show, on which Bob and Mark have both appeared as guests.) Bob Berkman’s current piano-roll related efforts involve live and educational performances using the wonderful “pianola” device, which, when appended to a standard piano’s keyboard, permits its playing of vintage piano rolls.
Klea Blackhurst — Vocal Artist and Actress
“Klea Blackhurst is … best known for Everything the Traffic Will Allow, her tribute to Ethel Merman that debuted in New York in 2001. Among many accolades, this production earned her the inaugural Special Achievement Award from Time Out New York magazine …. Klea next turned her passion for musical-theatre history toward the Broadway career of composer Vernon Duke and debuted Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke’s Broadway, at New York’s Café Carlyle, which subsequently played a sold-out engagement at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. In the Fall of 2007 Klea teamed with Billy Stritch to create Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael which they debuted at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room. This performance received a Backstage Bistro Award …. Other notable appearances include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s tribute to Leonard Bernstein; The Paley Center for Media’s tribute to Kay Swift; Jazz at Lincoln Center; 92nd Street Y Lyrics & Lyricist Series (Leo Robin & Cole Porter); The Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel; San Francisco’s Plush Room; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Guild Hall in East Hampton; and multiple appearances at the Chicago Humanities Festival” — excerpted from Wikipedia page
Ken Bloom Author and Record Producer
“Ken Bloom is a leading authority on American popular song and musical theater. His books, ‘American Song’, ‘Hollywood Song’ and ‘Tin Pan Alley’, are seminal works, documenting over 300,000 songs. His other books include ‘Broadway: An Encyclopedic Guide to the History, People and Places of Times Square'; ‘Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time’, written with Frank Vlastnik; ‘Jerry Herman: The Lyrics: A Celebration'; ‘American Songbook: The Singers, The Songwriters and The Songs'; ‘Sitcoms: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time’ (also with Vlastnick); ‘Remember That I Love You’, written with Jerry and Elaine Orbach; and the recent ‘Hollywood Musicals: The 101 Greatest Song and Dance Films of All Time’. For television, Ken was Executive Producer of Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook (PBS). His radio work includes Sirius Satellite Radio, NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ and ‘Morning Edition’, the Canadian Broadcasting Company and 15 years as the co-host of ‘Musical Theater Today’ on WKCR-FM. In theater, Ken spent 15 years at the legendary New Playwrights Theatre of Washington, D.C. His show, ‘A Brief History of White Music’ enjoyed a year-long run at the Village Gate, and the musical revue ‘Metropolitan’, written with Barry Kleinbort and Christophe Mirambeau, premiered in Paris and New York City” — excerpted from website “About Us” page. Ken is also co-producer, along with Bill Rudman, of the wonderful Harbinger Records label, which has been focusing on releasing the music of artists performing the Great American Songbook for the past three decades. In that regard, and in a most exciting project, Ken is currently working with Mark Walter to release all of Cy Walter’s rare recordings on the Harbinger label.
Gilbert Bowers – Pianist
Gil Bowers was a pianist who formed a duo piano team with Cy Walter in 1930s New York, the two playing exclusive clubs, recording Liberty Music Shop records, and making radio appearances together. This website is part of the National Ragtime and Jazz Archive, located in the Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and offers a summary of an oral history interview with Mr. Bowers.
Doug Bowles – Vocal Artist and Actor
Doug Bowles is a Maryland-based tenor, actor, and musical theatre professor who beautifully performed several of Cy’s original song compositions during the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in the Hotel Algonquin’s Oak Room. Doug has also formed a crucial part of the trio called “Three For A Song”, performing with piainst Alex Hassan and soprano Karin Paludin to bring new life to otherwise-lost early Twentieth Century rarities. “Doug Bowles, tenor, is a singer of great vocal flexibility who has performed everything from Rock Opera to Opera to Jazz. As a vocalist he has performed in venues as varied as Shellwood Studios, UK; The John Houseman Theatre, NYC; The Kennedy Center, WDC; The Bahamian National Chorale, Grand Bahama Island; numerous regional opera houses; Signature Theatre; Olney Theatre; [and] a European Tour for the Department of Defense. Doug has music directed nearly 120 musical theatre productions from New York to North Dakota to Yaroslavl, Russia” — excerpt from website “About Doug” page
Joyce Breach – Vocal Artist
A beloved and longtime staple of the New York City cabaret scene, Joyce has performed and recorded Cy’s signature song, “Some Fine Day”, on her “Remembering Mabel Mercer” album. Joyce also performed beautifully during the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in the Hotel Algonquin’s Oak Room. “Joyce Breach pours each song as if the drink order is scotch neat and hold the ice. She never strays far from the standards and gives them their due without trying to call attention to the skilled way she’s doing it” — Dave Finkel, The Village Voice — “The velvet-voiced singer, as Rex Reed recently referred to her, is known for her excellent musicianship and taste, and her sophisticated interpretations of American classic pop — the songs of Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Arlen, and Sondheim, among others. She is the last of a breed of singer from a less-frantic era, following in the footsteps of Rosemary Clooney, Jeri Southern, Doris Day and Peggy Lee, but definitely her own singer and definitely one with class” — excerpted from website reviews and “About Joyce” pages
Carole J. Bufford – Vocal Artist
Carole J. Bufford, a New York City-based singer originally from Georgia with a love for the American Popular Songbook, has successfully captivated audiences for the better part of a decade. Her live performances have proven riveting, and have garnered extensive critical acclaim. Carole’s interpretive powers and stage presence set her distinctly apart from the average vocal artist, and leave one awed and transformed. As Stephen Holden of The New York Times has put it: “The real thing: you know it when you see it. The way her voice, with its blues inflections, cut a swath, leaving nothing standing, tempts me to describe her with groveling hyperbole as an earlier, more acerbic 21st Century Barbra Streisand”. She has recently performed several sold-out solo shows produced by Scott Siegel, and has appeared, along with Christina Bianco and Scott Coulter, in Siegel’s “11 O’Clock Numbers At 11 O’Clock” at NYC’s Birdland jazz club. This is an artist who indubitably falls into the “must see” category, for you’ll have yourself only to blame for missing something very special if you fail to attend.
Linda Amiel Burns – Vocal Artist And Coach
Over the course of several decades, Linda has taught legions of aspiring cabaret artists through her “The Singing Experience” program. Linda is also the longtime President of The American Popular Song Society, formerly known as The New York Sheet Music Society, an excellent organization of collectors and performers whose monthly shows, held at the NYC Local 802 Musicians’ Hall, are well-worth seeing.
Ann Hampton Callaway – Vocal Artist and Pianist
“Ann Hampton Callaway is one of the leading champions of the great American Songbook, having made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. A born entertainer, her unique singing style blends jazz and traditional pop, making her a mainstay in concert halls, theaters and jazz clubs as well as in the recording studio, on television, and in film. She is best known for [her] Tony-nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical ‘Swing!’, and for writing and singing the theme song to the hit TV series ‘The Nanny’. Callaway is a Platinum Award winning writer whose songs are featured on seven of Barbra Streisand’s recent CDs. The only composer to have collaborated with Cole Porter, she has also written songs with Carole King, Rolf Lovland and Barbara Carroll to name a few. Callaway’s live performances showcase her warmth, spontaneous wit and passionate delivery of standards, jazz classics and originals. She is one of America’s most gifted improvisers, taking words and phrases from her audiences and creating songs on the spot, whether alone at a piano or with a symphony orchestra” — excerpted from website biography page
Liz Callaway – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Liz Callaway is a Tony nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer and recording artist. She made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’, received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in ‘Baby’, and for five years, won acclaim as Grizabella in ‘Cats’. She has also starred in the original casts of ‘Miss Saigon’, ‘The Three Musketeers’, and ‘The Look of Love’ …. Ms. Callaway has also established a major career as a concert and recording artist. The award-winning ‘Sibling Revelry’ (created with sister Ann Hampton Callaway) was presented to great acclaim at the Donmar Warehouse in London. ‘Boom!’, a celebration of the music of the 60’s and 70’s, also created with her sister, was recorded live at Birdland …. Recently she had the pleasure of singing ‘Chances Are’ with singing legend Johnny Mathis in Vancouver. She also co-starred with Jimmy Webb & Paul Williams in their critically acclaimed engagement at Feinstein’s in New York and joined Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder at Hal David’s 90th Birthday Celebration Concert at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles …” — excerpted from website biography page
Valerie Capers – Pianist
“Dr. Valerie Capers was born in the Bronx and received her early schooling at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. She went on to obtain both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School of Music. She served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and from 1987 to 1995 was chair of the Department of Music and Art at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY), where she is now professor emeritus” — excerpted from website biography page. Valerie and Mark Walter made acquaintance when she reached out to him after learning of Mark’s collection of recordings from the 1944-1952 ABC Piano Playhouse radio show, on which Cy was an anchor pianist; as Valerie explained to Mark, she listened to the program regularly when it aired, and it was a constant source of inspiration to her.
Tony Caramia Pianist
A Piano Professor at the Eastman School of Music, Tony has regularly and impressively performed Cy’s challenging piano solos in concerts given at the University of Rochester and elsewhere. Tony Caramia has also made promoting awareness of Cy and his music a major multimedia project, with an excellent International Association For Jazz Education presentation given by him in New York City in early 2007. As an happy dividend of that event, Tony and Mark Walter made the happy acquaintance of attendee Denny Zeitlin, a California-based jazz pianist and psychiatrist whose early 1960s New York City career included being mentored and encouraged by Cy (see Guestbook entry by Denny elsewhere on this site).
Judy Carmichael – Pianist and Vocal Artist and her Jazz Inspired Show
Judy Carmichael, a marvelously-gifted stride pianist and vocalist, is also the host of a terrific radio show, Jazz Inpsired, which airs on NPR and Sirrius satellite radio. Besides being a performer in world-wide demand, Judy has made it her mission to meet, and interview, persons from all walks of life for whom jazz music has had a profound influence. Judy’s Jazz Inspired NPR radio program thus offers an archive of past interview shows that are treasures not to be missed (including one in which Judy interviews Mark Walter on his efforts to share his father’s legacy). “Grammy-nominated pianist Judy Carmichael is one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride piano and swing. Count Basie nicknamed her ‘Stride’, acknowledging the command with which she plays this technically and physically demanding jazz piano style. Judy’s newly released CD “Come and Get It” features her singing debut on everything from Peggy Lee inspired standards, to humorous takes on Fats Waller tunes. A native of California, Judy Carmichael moved to New York in the early 80’s and has maintained a busy concert schedule throughout the world ever since” — excerpted from biography page of Judy’s personal website, www.judycarmichael.com
Barbara Carroll – Pianist and Vocal Artist
Barbara has long been a vibrant fixture of New York’s cabaret and jazz performers, dazzling audiences with her sophisticated piano and singing. Closely associated for decades with the sorely-missed Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room, she currently performs at NYC’s Birdland jazz club each Saturday evening. In dialogue with Mark Walter, Barbara has recalled the heady days of Cy’s playing and the New York music scene as then it existed. Barbara was also one of the many terrific guest pianists on the ABC Piano Playhouse radio program that Cy originally anchored with Stan Freeman and others, appearing on the show broadcast on 20 January 1952 (by which point Forrest and Margaret Perrin were the show’s anchor pianists).
Jim Caruso – Vocal Artist and Actor
“Jim Caruso made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the smash hit Liza’s At The Palace!, singing, dancing and celebrating the music and arrangements of the late, great Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. The show was honored with a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Event and the recording was nominated for a Grammy. For his nightclub work, Caruso has won six MAC Awards and two BackStage Magazine Bistro Awards for sold-out shows at Birdland, Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel, Arci’s Place, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, and The Russian Tea Room. He has also performed in runs at the Cinegrill and Gardenia in Los Angeles, The Vic Theater and Davenport’s in Chicago, Libby’s in Atlanta, the Colony Palm Beach Hotel in Florida and the Connaught Room in London” –excerpted from website biography page. Jim’s fame has further grown for his “Jim Caruso’s Cast Party” show, held at NYC’s Birdland’s jazz club each Monday evening. Monday being the dark night in the theatre world, with no shows playing, one never knows who may turn up to spontaneously perform at Jim’s Cast Parties, to evident audience delight.
Paul And Rochelle Chamlin – Vocal Artists
“Paul Chamlin has established his reputation over many years as a New York-based musical director, coach, accompanist, singer, and repertoire specialist. Rochelle Chamlin is a classically trained singer who has performed extensively in opera and oratorio. After meeting several years ago at a singing gig, Rochelle and Paul went on to form a romantic relationship that evolved into an inspired musical partnership, delighting audiences and critics alike. Rochelle and Paul entertain regularly at numerous venues, including The Metropolitan Room, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Don’t Tell Mama, The Triad, The 92nd Street Y, and many libraries, community and senior centers, and clubs” — excerpted from website “About” page
Warren Chiasson – Jazz Vibraphonist
“Warren Chiasson is a highly regarded musician in the jazz world who has been called ‘one of the six top vibraphonists of the last half century’ by the New York Times. Originally a member of the George Shearing Quintet, he has emerged as his own man with a distinctive four-mallet technique that he weaves into a percussive, melodic style. Prior to forming his own group, Chiasson was for many years best known for his creative contributions to the Chet Baker Quartet, the Tal Farlow Trio, and jazz/pop diva Roberta Flack. In addition to recording his own albums, he has played on over 100 recordings with such artists as Eric Dolphy, Bill Dixon, [and] Hank Crawford, and was featured on a Grammy Award winning album with B.B. King” — excerpted from website biography page
Alexis Cole – Vocal Artist
“Called ‘one of the great voices of today’ by Jonathan Schwartz, Alexis Cole has been compared to classic jazz singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Anita O’Day. She’s performed with the Boston Pops and New York Philharmonic on stage at venues from Avery Fisher Hall to the Kennedy Center. She records for Mot�ma Music, NY, Chesky Records, NY, and Venus Records, Japan. Her nine recordings, which feature musical luminaries such as Fred Hersch, Eric Alexander, Matt Wilson, Harry Pickens, Don Braden and Pat LaBarbara, have received high praise in the jazz press and are spun on radio world-wide. In addition to her many performances on great stages, Alexis can be seen at top jazz venues like Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, The Jazz Standard, Blues Alley, and Billboard Live, Tokyo” — excerpted from website “About” page
Eric Comstock – Pianist and Vocal Artist
Oft-characterized as a walking, singing, and piano-playing encyclopedia of American Popular Songbook musical history knowledge, Eric’s passionate pursuit and performance of this genre has been delighting New York City audiences for decades. Eric has also frequently performed Cy’s signature song, “Some Fine Day”. Married to superb vocal artist Barbara Fasano (see below and www.humanchild.com), the two often create marvelous music together. Barbara and Eric beautifully graced the rapt audience with their artistry at the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in the sadly-closed Hotel Algonquin’s Oak Room. ” ‘Suave, smart, funny and utterly delightful … The aesthetic heir of Bobby Short … Complementing Mr. Comstock’s suppleness as a performer is an ingenious musical wit … An ideal balance between swinging precision and good-humored warmth … Excellent taste in material, keen interpretive intelligence and a knack for storytelling … An unusually insightful interpreter of lyrics … romantic eloquence … Meet the new fun couple on the cabaret block. Mr. Comstock and Ms. Fasano are turning the neighborhood into a hotbed of pleasure ‘ — Stephen Holden, New York Times” — excerpted from website home page
Rich Conaty – Radio Host and Musicologist
“Richard Brian ‘Rich’ Conaty (born November 30, 1954) is a New York City disc jockey, who was originally from Astoria, New York. He is an important figure in FM broadcasting of jazz and popular music of the 1920s and 1930s. Conaty hosts his weekly music radio show, ‘The Big Broadcast’, on Fordham University’s FM radio station, WFUV, in the Bronx, New York. The show features jazz and popular music recordings from the 1890s through the 1930s Conaty founded ‘The Big Broadcast’ when he was a freshman at Fordham University in January, 1973 …. Conaty brought ‘The Big Broadcast’ and his Saturday program, ‘The Big Bandstand’, to WQEW in December, 1992. In July 1997, Conaty brought his show back to WFUV. It airs live every Sunday from 8pm-12midnight (ET) and streams live on the internet” — excerpted from above Wikipedia page. Rich, along with Bryan Wright of Rivermont Records, has also released several excellent “Big Broadcast” albums on that label.
Barbara Cook – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Barbara Cook’s silvery soprano, purity of tone, and warm presence have delighted audiences around the world for more than 50 years. Considered ‘Broadway’s favorite ingenue’ during the heyday of the Broadway musical, Miss Cook then launched a second career as a concert and recording artist, soaring from one professional peak to another. Whether on the stages of major international venues throughout the world, or in the intimate setting of New York’s Café Carlyle or Feinstein’s at the Regency, Barbara Cook’s popularity continues to thrive — as evidenced a succession of 7 triumphant returns to Carnegie Hall (the most recent being her celebratory 85th Birthday concert) where she made a legendary solo concert debut in 1975, and an ever-growing mantle of honors including the Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, her citation as a Living New York Landmark and her induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame” — excerpted from website biography page
Scott Coulter – Vocal Artist and Actor
“In 1995, [Scott] Coulter, [Denene] Mulay and other old classmates staged their [University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music] senior showcase in New York, and the cabaret bug bit. Following that were one-man gigs, collaborations and international tours with Stephen Schwartz (composer of musicals from ‘Godspell’ to ‘Wicked’), and awards from cabaret associations and publications” — excerpted from above website article. Scott is a truly talented and frequent performer in the New York City Cabaret scene, excellently participating, by way of only one example, in Scott Siegel’s recent production of “11 O’Clock Numbers At 11 O’Clock” at Birdland with Christina Bianco and Carole J. Bufford. He has also acted as producer for a number of other talented artists’ shows, including Michael Feinstein’s Carnegie Hall “Standard Time” series. To the immense gratitude of the Walter Family, Scott is also producing The Cy Walter Centennial Celebration, to be held at the NYC Birdland jazz club in September, 2015.
Cynthia Crane – Vocal Artist
The very talented Cynthia Crane accurately-but-inadequately bills herself as “a saloon singer of the old school”. “A fixture in New York’s performing world in clubs here and gone, (Tavern-On-The-Green, Eighty-Eights, Don’t Tell Mama, Danny’s Skylight Room, Barney’s Mad 61, JanWallman’s, Royal Roost, Palsson’s, the Fives, Panache, etc.), she returned to a singing career in the 80’s after 10 years and 100 shows as founder/producer of the Impossible Ragtime Theatre (IRT). Crane has performed cabaret concerts in French at the American Embassy on the Place de la Concorde and the Musée de Montmartre in Paris, played Helen Morgan at the Russian Tea Room, [and] sung for the Dutch Treat Club, the National Arts Club, the Players and the Friars” — excerpted from website biography page
Harold Danko – Pianist
Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, Harold has long held Cy’s music in high regard. Mark Walter and Harold had the pleasure of meeting during Harold’s presentation at a 2007 International Association of Jazz Educators conference in New York City. “Harold Danko is well recognized from long-term associations with impressive jazz legends including Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Lee Konitz and Woody Herman, in performances at major jazz venues throughout the world as well as on recordings, television and video. During the last two decades he has become increasingly known as a band leader, composer, and solo pianist, and is well documented in those capacities on more than thirty CDs on the SteepleChase and SunnySide labels” — excerpted from above website page
David Demsey – Saxophonist
A longtime fan of composer Alec Wilder, David has both performed, written about, and recorded Alec’s music, and it was through the excellent Friends Of Alec Wilder organization that David and Mark Walter met. “David Demsey is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University. He earned a doctorate at the Eastman School of Music and received a Master of Music in Saxophone from the Juilliard School. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic since 1995, including their 2000 Millennium European Tour and 1997 Latin American Tour, and with the Kirov Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. His solo recording Demsey Plays Wilder includes chamber music and jazz by composer Alec Wilder, and his Centaur CD features music for improvising saxophonist and computer music systems. Member of the American Saxophone Quartet since 1993, he appears on the CDs Spanning the River and The Commission Project, featuring Paquito D’Rivera. He has appeared with such diverse artists as the National Orchestral Association, trumpeter Clark Terry, bassists Milt Hinton and Rufus Reid, pianists James Williams and Jim McNeely, drummers Alan Dawson, Steve Smith and John Riley, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra” — excerpted from above website page
Jamie DeRoy – Vocal Artist and Actress
Jamie DeRoy has long worked collaboratively on screen and stage with many other musical theatre artists. Her active live performing and producing schedule also includes presenting such delightful collaborations with other artists. “Jamie deRoy has won eight MAC Awards, four Back Stage Bistro Awards, eleven Telly Awards, and CaB Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive work on both stage and screen. In addition, she has been honored by Theatre Works/USA and Primary Stages. Jamie has appeared onstage with Joan Rivers and Norm Crosby, and has headlined at many of New York’s major clubs. She has produced nine CDs in the Jamie deRoy & friends series on Harbinger and PS Classics labels. [She is also a] three-time Tony Award winning producer” — excerpted from website biography page
Baby Jane Dexter – Vocal Artist
Baby Jane, so named because her mother was also a performer named Jane Dexter, has literally spent her lifetime singing in and around NYC, and recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs. “More than ever, Ms. Dexter, who has been playing clubs for four decades, is a mama lion in the Janis Joplin mold. But she is also a song connoisseur and an astute interpreter with a lecturer’s impulse to explain lyrics. Breaking songs into short, emphatic phrases, she forcefully clarifies their messages” — from link on website “Acclaim” page to review of Stephen Holden, New York Times, 28 November 2013.
Jed Distler – Pianist
“Called ‘an altogether extraordinary pianist’ by Michael Redmond in the Newark Star Ledger, ‘the Downtown Keyboard Magus’ in the New Yorker, and ‘a witty, genial and adventurous pianist and composer’ in the New York Times, Jed Distler has premiered works by Frederic Rzewski, Lois V Vierk, Wendy Mae Chambers, Simeon ten Holt, Richard Rodney Bennett, Alvin Curran, William Schimmel, Virgil Thomson, Andrew Thomas and Virko Baley, among many others” — excerpted from website “Pianist” page. Jed has also been a wonderful longtime accompanist to vocal artist, KT Sullivan, including, most recently, their excellent performance on the newly-launched PBS series, “66th and Broadway”.
Natalie Douglas – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Natalie Douglas is a Nightlife, Backstage Bistro & seven-time MAC Award Winner, who The Times’ Clive Davis called, ‘a true force of nature’, in his Five Star review of her Feb 2014 run at London’s Crazy Coqs. In June, she received The 2014 Margaret Whiting Award onstage at Carnegie Hall from the Mabel Mercer Foundation & My Ideal Music. In September 2014, Natalie’s portrait was added to the legendary Birdland Jazz Club Wall of Fame. Her recent performances include concerts across the U.S. (Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Cafê Carlyle, and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room) and on three continents (NYC, London, Buenos Aires, Recklinghausen). In November, Natalie enjoyed her third weeklong run in less than two years at her London concert home, The Crazy Coqs with her brand new critically acclaimed show, ‘Hello Dolly … the music of Dolly Parton’ …. Natalie is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of USC with a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with certificates in Theatre and Women’s Studies and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA. Natalie is utterly thrilled to kick off her new weekly residency at her New York concert home by hosting ‘Birdland Jazz Party with Natalie Douglas’ on Sundays at 6pm at Birdland Jazz Club, 315 West 44th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues” — from website biography page
Shana Farr – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Ms. Farr began her career in operetta and musical theater performing critically acclaimed leading roles with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and most recently, she has been enjoying the intimate world of cabaret. In March, 2015, she received the Bistro Award for Outstanding Concept Show for her one-woman musical monologue ‘In The Still Of The Night’. She has been lauded in many reviews for bringing ‘… something surprising new’ (Wall Street Journal) to the art of cabaret. She is an intelligent performer who not only has an excellent singing voice, but she proves to be ‘a first-rate actor who is exciting to watch’ (Bistro Awards)” — excerpted from website biography page
Michael Feinstein – Vocal Artist And Musicologist
Performer and dedicated musical archivist/preservationist/historian extraordinaire Michael Feinstein has been a true catalyst for the Walter family’s and Mark Walter’s efforts to preserve and augment awareness of Cy Walter’s musical legacy. As detailed elsewhere on this site (see “About This Site”), without his initial outreach to Cam Walter and his subsequent gracious and generous support, few, if any, elements of this ongoing effort would ever have been realized. For that, and for the happy friendship that has evolved, Mark is deeply grateful.
David Finck – Bassist
” ‘There is no one who is as good a jazz bass player and collaborator’ — Sir André Previn. Music can only be described with words, but for David Finck, music is a language all its own. ‘I hear music as a spoken language’, he says. ‘When I listen, I’m conscious of the breaths that are taken during a phrase; I hear the vocabulary, the inflection, and the syntax. I listen for all of it’. It’s a statement that makes sense given David’s skills as a bassist and the diverse artists he has played and recorded with – among them: Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, Sinead O’Connor, Natalie Cole, Rod Stewart, Herbie Hancock, Ivan Lins, Al Jarreau, Tony Bennett, Paquito D’Rivera, George Michael, Rosemary Clooney and Andre Previn, to name just a few” — excerpted from website home and biography pages
Tedd Firth – Pianist
“[Michael Feinstein] had a new musical director, the prodigiously gifted and versatile pianist Tedd Firth …”; Stephen Holden, New York Times, 18 December 2013 review. Tedd’s ubiquitous presence as a sought-afer accompanist/music director by performers across the spectrum of NYC’s cabaret and jazz world is a testament to the marvelous talent this modest pianist brings to the ivories.
James Followell – Pianist
As a music director and accompanist, perhaps Mr. Followell’s name says it all. He has long been an highly-respected presence on the New York City cabaret scene. His recent stellar collaborations with vocal artist Jennifer Sheehan furnish proof positive of Mr. Followell’s talented artistry: “[Jennifer Sheehan’s] musical director and pianist James Followell and bassist Jered Egan provided superb support for her” — Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz Review, 10 March 2011. Indeed, no less discerning a judge of pianistic talent than Cy Walter’s widow and Mark’s mother, Cam, had only praise for the high caliber of James’ playing, something she emphasized in dialogue with Mark. If you’ve the chance to hear James play, grab it!
Liam Forde – Vocal Artist, Pianist and Actor
“The boy wonder singer-pianist-arranger (and occasional flutist and composer) … can be simple or complicated, ironic or sincere, witty or touching, but he never fails to find precisely the right note for a wide range of material …” — Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal, 21 August 2014 review. Liam bills himself as an actor, singer, pianist, arranger, and vocal coach, and the acclaim that has followed his performances, from audiences and critics alike, suggests that this extremely talented young artist will continue to blossom as all of these. A performer to be watched, indubitably as an audience member, but also by anyone intent on enjoying the growth of a new group of young cabaret artists who will be, assuredly to everyone’s delight, ruling the roost in the decades to come.
Lauren Fox – Vocal Artist and Actress
“… [T]he evening’s most transfixing performance: Lauren Fox, a beautiful spectral presence, brought the house to dead silence with searching, eerily intense renditions of ‘Woodstock’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ ” — Stephen Holden, New York Times, 18 October 2012 review of the 2012 Cabaret Convention. “Lauren’s last two shows, ‘Love, Lust, Fear & Freedom: The Songs Of Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen’, and ‘Canyon Folkies: Over the Hills & Under the Covers’, both at the Metropolitan Room, NYC, received critical acclaim from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall (NYC), The Crazy Coqs (London), Subculture NYC, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, The Kate (Katherine Hepburn Performing Arts Center), The Pollack Theater at Monmouth Center for the Arts, and various performing arts centers and colleges around the country …” — excerpted from website “Press” and biography pages
Will Friedwald – Author, Music Crtic and Producer
“Will Friedwald (born 1961) is an American author and music critic. He has written for such newspapers as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Newsday, The New York Observer, and The New York Sun, and for such magazines as Entertainment Weekly, Oxford American, New York, Mojo, BBC Music Magazine, Stereo Review and Fi(Delity). His books include ‘Jazz Singing: America’s Great Voices from Bessie Smith to Bebop and Beyond'; ‘Sinatra! The Song is You: A Singer’s Art'; ‘Stardust Melodies: the Biography of Twelve of America’s Most Popular Songs'; ‘Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: An Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons'; and ‘A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers’. His Sinatra bio was awarded the 1996 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Criticism” — excerpted from above Wikipedia page. Mr. Friedwald also produces an ongoing music video program entitled “Will Friedwald’s Clip Joint”, in which he provides in-depth surveys of rare footage of musical performers of the past.
The Friends of Alec Wilder
An organization composed of fans of Alec Wilder’s music, this group is dedicated to augmenting awareness of this singular composer’s life and work. (Alec Wilder and Cy Walter were close friends and musical collaborators.) For thirty years, each Spring a performance focusing on Alec’s music has been given by The Friends of Alec Wilder in New York City; this annual event includes both Wilder’s classical and popular works. Rob Geller, the organization’s San Francisco-based Communications Director and an excellent audio engineer, maintains a superb website offering a plethora of Alec Wilder recordings for visitors’ listening and downloading pleasure — do not miss www.wilderworld.podomatic.com. Rob also produces the Friends of Alec Wilder’s terrific newsletter, copies of which can be obtained through the organization’s website. Mark Walter has also been active with the organization, which, amongst its performing roster and supporters, includes an extremely impressive list of musical luimnaries.
Eric Yves Garcia – Pianist, Vocal Artist, and Actor
Claimed as a “discovery” around 2013 by Heather and KT Sullivan, this versatile young artist had been performing regularly at NYC’s Chez Josephine restaurant before his terrific talents became better known to the cabaret community in general. Eric’s ability to interpret songs, be they sad, humorous, or joyous, evince heartfelt emotions that inevitably carry his audience with him; his growing musical and stage presence are such that he will surely be delighting fans for years to come. “[Mr. Garcia] … is more than an agreeably polished musician and singer knowledgeable about pop-jazz esoterica. In the show, ‘One Night Standards’, he revealed himself to be an amusing storyteller with the timing of a standup comedian. His tales of absurd encounters with fans are funny, self-deflating reflections on the entertainer’s lot …” — Stephen Holden, New York Times review, 3 December 2013. Eric, another artist to be closely watched, career-wise and as an audience member, continues to regularly perform at Chez Josephine’s — be sure to catch him there, or anywhere!
Hilary Gardner – Vocal Artist
“…[A]n absolutely first-class singer. She swings effortlessly without making a big deal of it, and she has a knack for hunting down off-center tunes… Yet she’s just as adept at making something fresh and surprising out of an oft-heard chestnut” — Terry Teachout, Arts Journal. “I’m a singer and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. I share my August 22 birthday with Dorothy Parker, John Lee Hooker, Claude Debussy, and Kristen Wiig. My first gigs were in Wasilla, Alaska, where I sang Patsy Cline tunes in dive bars. Classical voice study helped build my musical foundation, but equally formative was the time I spent singing along with records by Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Joni Mitchell, and Tom Waits, to name just a few. I was indeed willing to be lucky when I moved to New York, and New York has been very generous to me. Since my arrival in 2003, I’ve sung with orchestras, big bands, small bands, a vocal jazz quartet, and a country band. In 2010, I was the female vocalist (and Frank Sinatra’s duet partner) in Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away” — excerpted from website “About” and “Press” pages
James Gavin Author and Journalist
James Gavin’s acclaimed musical biography and musical theatre-themed books include “Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of New York Cabaret” (1991 and 2006); “Deep In A Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker” (2002); “Stormy Weather: The Life Of Lena Horne” (2009)”; and “Is That All There Is? The Strange Life of Peggy Lee” (2014). “Manhattan-born and a graduate of Fordham University, Gavin is a much-published freelance journalist. Aside from his dozens of features in the New York Times, he has written for Vanity Fair, Time Out New York, the Daily Beast, and the Huffington Post. His subjects have included Annie Lennox, Elizabeth Taylor, Nina Simone, John Legend, Peggy Lee, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Miriam Makeba, Marilyn Monroe, Gal Costa, Mae West, Ned Rorem, Edith Piaf, Karen Carpenter, and Jacques Brel. He has contributed liner notes to over 400 CDs, including many reissues he produced himself for Verve, Blue Note, and Koch Jazz. His essay for the GRP box set Ella Fitzgerald — The Legendary Decca Recordings earned a 1996 Grammy nomination” — excerpted from website biography page
Vince Giordano – Multi-Instrumentalist, Bandleader, and Musicologist
As profiled on this site’s home page, Vince’s superb artistry and profound knowledge of his musical genre is in a class by itself. As with Michael Feinstein, Alex Hassan, and Peter Mintun, Vince is committed to ensuring that this music is preserved and lives. With his extraordinary band, The Nighthawks, Vince continues to vibrantly perform the wonderful music of the 1920s and 1930s in a way that is not only an authentic recreation of the music of that time, but a joyous celebration of it today. Vince and the Nighthawks have beautifully performed Cy’s music, something for which the Walter family will always be grateful; and Vince himself participated with his saxophone marvelously in play during the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, beautifully accompanying Daryl Sherman in what was (unbeknowsnt to us then) to be the last private event held in th Algonquin Hotel’s sorely-missed Oak Room.
Richard Glazier Pianist
“Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Glazier began studying piano when he was 6 years old. Trained in the classics, Glazier earned Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance from Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington, where he studied with famed pianist and teacher, Menaham Pressler, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Music … Glazier has received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music for his contributions to the American Popular Song. He also won several major international piano competitions including the Pro Musicis International Award and the National Federation of Music Clubs’ Grand Prize …” — excerpted from website biography page. Richard has also impressively performed, and recorded, Cy’s challenging arrangements.
David Hajdu – Journalist and Musicologist
“David Hajdu is the music critic for The Nation and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Nation in January, 2015, he served for more than ten years as the music critic for The New Republic. He is currently at work on a history of popular music, to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux” — excerpted from website “About” page. David is married to singer and actress Karen Oberlin.
Tom Hampson – NPR Radio Host
Rochester, New York Tom Hampson hosts his weekly jazz program, “Jazz from the Cellar”, streamed live on wxxi.org/listen on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00pm. The show is ninety percent music, complemented by commentary and humor. “With a wealth of recordings to draw from, the program gives listeners the opportunity to hear selections rarely played on commercial radio stations. Hampson draws from his vast collection of CDs to broadcast a fabulous live program of music, stories and anecdotes” — excerpted from above website page. Tom is also a longtime friend of composer Alec Wilder and pianist Marian McPartland, and founded the excellent “Friends Of Alec Wilder” organization following Wilder’s death.
Sean Harkness – Guitarist
“Harkness is a wonderfully inventive accompanist who also sparkles during his solo interludes. He sounds at times like a one-man orchestra” — Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz review. “Sean Harkness left Burlington, VT for New York City in 1994 to immerse himself in their music scene. Known especially for duets and ensemble work with singers from Broadway, television, and screen, Harkness is now a first-call guitarist who compliments an exhaustive client list of artists and productions worldwide. Sean performs extensively both as a solo artist and sideman in New York’s finest jazz, rock, folk, cabaret, blues, R&B, and singer/songwriter venues” — excerpted from website “About” page
Jeff Harnar – Vocal Artist
“Where Mr. Harnar in younger days embodied the polite, starry-eyed acolyte of a bygone musical theater tradition, at 53 his polished light baritone has lost some of its creamy early-’60s gloss … To sum up: Jeff Harnar is now a suave man about town who has been through the fire. As they say, ‘What doesn’t kill you …’ ” — Stephen Holden, New York Times, 23 January 2013 review. “Jeff Harnar is an Award-winning New York cabaret and recording artist who is known for his critically acclaimed engagements at The Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room; Feinstein’s at The Regency; The Metropolitan Room; and most recently at Birdland and Iridium. His Carnegie Hall appearances include both the Cole Porter and Noël Coward Centennial Galas. He appeared at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in a sold-out solo concert and ‘A Talent To Amuse’ hosted by Sheridan Morely. Most recently he was Michael Feinstein’s special guest in his Jule Styne tribute at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall” — excerpted from webpage biography and reviews pages. Jeff also recently collaborated with KT Sullivan in a terrific show, “Our Time: Sullivan and Harnar Sing Sondheim”, which not only won critical acclaim for their innovative interpretations and stunning performances, but also garnered Stephen Sondheim’s own attendance and praise.
Alex Hassan – Pianist and Musicologist
Alex Hassan’s pianistic talent, combined with his love of Cy’s artistry, has meant that he has long been a wonderful friend of Mark Walter and avid supporter of all efforts to preserve Cy’s music. Alex’ depth of knowledge about the early Twentieth Century’s novelty piano era, and his extensive sheet music collection from that musical genre, place him in the rarified cadre of expert performers/musicologists exemplified by Michael Feinstein, Vince Giordano, and Peter Mintun. Cam Walter once paid Alex the high compliment of describing his piano playing (to her son Mark) as “genuine” — a word of praise that Cam, a discerning judge if ever there were one, never lightly made about any pianist. In collaboration with Peter Mintun, Michael Lorenzini, and others, Alex also produced the excellent (and now-collectors’ item) Shellwood CD, “Cy Walter — The Park Avenue Tatum”, the first-ever digital recording of Cy’s music from early in his career. Alex regularly performs as a solo artist and with his trio, “Three For A Somg”, which includes terrific vocalists Doug Bowles and Karin Paludan. Mark is deeply grateful to Alex for the great friendship that has evolved between them and for his ongoing artistic contributions in keeping Cy’s legacy alive.
Geoffrey Haydon – Pianist
A Professor of Piano at Georgia State University, Geoffrey Haydon, in tandem with University of Illinois Professor of Piano Emeritus James Lyke, form a duo piano team; both are fans of Cy’s music who have also written new arrangements of some of Cy’s original compositions for piano pedagological programs.
Ritt Henn – Bassist and Vocal Artist
“Another jazz artist, singer-songwriter-bass player Ritt Henn, has also recently made his solo debut: He’s been performing his act at The Duplex and will likely bring it back again later this year. This tall drink of jazz is the next generation’s Jay Leonhart. His songs are quirky, fresh, and wonderfully entertaining — and so is he” — Barbara & Scott Siegel, 21 January 2005 review, TheatreMania.com . “Ritt Henn plays bass, writes songs and lives in New York City. In 2005, he received both the prestigious Back Stage Bistro Award (for Outstanding Songwriter Instrumentalist) and a MAC Award (from the Manhattan Association of Clubs, for Best New York Debut-Male). He began playing the bass in the 5th grade when they were looking for a tall kid to play upright in the school orchestra. By high school, hip teachers were letting him write songs in lieu of taking tests. He began performing in coffeehouses; upon graduating from Bucknell University with a degree in music and psychology, he bought a white 3-piece suit and joined a lounge band …” — excerpted from website biography and “Buzz” pages. And since then, Ritt has become one of the most-sought-after and talented bassists in New York City’s cabaret and jazz scene, an artist well worth hearing, solo or with others, on any possible occasion.
Ian Herman – Pianist
A classically-trained pianist and musical director, “Ian has been passionately coaching singers and actors from the New York Broadway and Off Broadway stage as well as the pop and jazz worlds for many years and continues to do so: cultivating new and upcoming talents as well as continuing long and fruitful relationships with seasoned performers” (from LinkedIn biography). Those relationships have given birth to several excellent performances with various top cabaret vocalists which have been attended by Mark Walter, who enthusiastically advises that this is one pianist and music director you’ll really enjoy seeing.
Maud Hixson – Vocal Artist
“Maud Hixson is a singer of classic jazz and popular songs of the 20th century, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She became a full-time musician after being presented as “Best New Voice” at the KBEM Winter Jazz Fest in Minneapolis in 2003, and now works with a variety of musicians, including the continental sextet French 75, which she founded with clarinetist Tony Balluff. She made her Guthrie Theater debut in ‘Coward’s Women’ in 2010 with singer Erin Schwab, performed at the New York Cabaret Convention in 2011 at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, and in 2012 appeared in concert with composer and pianist Richard Rodney Bennett as part of the Midtown Jazz Series in New York. A two-time recipient of the Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, she recently launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her newest album, ‘Don’t Let A Good Thing Get Away’. The first album [was] devoted to the music of Broadway composer Michael Leonard, with arrangements by pianist Tex Arnold[.] [T]he CD also features bassist Steve LaSpina, cornetist Warren Vachê, and guitarist Gene Bertoncini. Recorded at Nola Recording Studios in Steinway Hall, New York City, the CD was released May 1st, 2013 and placed in the Minneapolis StarTribune’s Twin Cities Critics Tally of the best recordings of the year …. ‘Maud Hixson is one of the best, most sensitive and creative song stylists to come out of the pages of the Great American Songbook in the last decade. She has taste and sophistication, she is full of surprises, and boy can she sing!’ — Rex Reed — ‘Her vocal style is so warm, intimate and compelling;it’s clear that she cares about the words and telling the story, with clarity and without artifice-practically a lost art these days’ — Michael Feinstein” — excerpted from website “About” page
Frederick Hodges – Piainist
“Classically trained as a concert pianist, Frederick Hodges has established a reputation as a truly versatile artist equally sought after as soloist, singer, guest soloist with the California Pops Orchestra, and dance band pianist with Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra. His extensive repertoire includes all the best ragtime, stride, and novelty piano solo pieces. He has appeared on national television, radio, and in several Hollywood films. He is also a much sought-after silent film accompanist for both live performances and on DVD. He performs regularly at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum” — excerpted from website biography page. Based in San Francisco, Frederick has long been enamoured of Cy’s music, and has been very supportive of all efforts to keep it alive.
Stephen Holden – Author and Music Critic
Stephen Holden (born July 18, 1941) is an American writer, music critic, film critic, and poet. Holden earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University in 1963. He worked as a photo editor, staff writer, and eventually became an A&R executive for RCA Records before turning to writing pop music reviews and related articles for Rolling Stone, Blender, The Village Voice, The Atlantic, and Vanity Fair, among other publications. He first achieved prominence with his 1970s Rolling Stone work, where he tended to cover singer songwriter and traditional pop artists. He joined the staff of The New York Times in 1981, and subsequently became one of the newspaper’s leading theatre and film critics. Holden’s experiences as a journalist and executive with RCA led him to write the satirical novel ‘Triple Platinum’, which was published by Dell Books in 1980. He is the recipient of the 1986 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes for ‘The Voice: The Columbia Years’, a Frank Sinatra anthology. His poetry has been featured in The New Yorker and is included in the anthology The New Yorker Book of Poems. Holden has appeared on ’60 Minutes’, ’20/20′, and Entertainment Tonight, and has provided commentaries on National Public Radio” — excerpted from above Wikipedia page
Lindsey Holloway – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Lindsey Holloway began her professional performing career as a teenager doing theatre in her native Dallas, Texas, and has since relocated to New York City to pursue show business … During last year’s 2014 MetroStar [Vocal Artist] Talent Challenge, Lindsey rounded out as a Top 5 finalist. Lindsey looks forward to continuing to pursue the work she loves so much in the city she loves so much” — excerpted from NYC Metropolitan Room’s biography for Lindsey’s recent show, “Make Someone Happy”.
Mark Eden Horowitz – Musicologist and Author
Mark, a Senior Music Specialist at the Library of Congress, is not only an expert on Stephen Sondheim’s creative processes but a longtime fan of Cy’s music (as he modestly suggests, he even attempts to play Cy’s compositions — quite competently, we’re sure!). Mark has provided great encouragement and support to Mark Walter’s efforts to ensure that Cy’s musical legacy is available to all at the Library (and thus to all around the world), and continues to do so, much to the Walter family’s undying gratitude. Mark is also the author of the excellent 2003 work, co-published by the Library of Congress and Scarecrow Press, “Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions”. “The author, Mark Eden Horowitz, is a senior music specialist in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, where he has been the archivist for the collections of the papers of composers Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Kern, Frederick Loewe, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers. He co-produced the Library’s 70th Birthday Concert for Stephen Sondheim in 2000, and in 2002 presented the lecture series “Six by Sondheim,” a joint presentation of the Library and the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program. He also taught “The American Musical on Stage and Screen” at Georgetown University and presented the lecture series “Masters of the Musical” for the Smithsonian. His articles and reviews have appeared in the Kurt Weill Quarterly and The Sondheim Review” — excerpted from the above website page.
Wayne Hosford – Pianist and Vocal Artist
“In the current crop of young pianists and singers, I can think of no one more entertaining than Wayne Hosford. His broad range explores the gamut … his irrepressible enthusiasm is firmly backed up by his thoroughly musical craftsmanship” — Bobby Short — “Wayne Hosford is an award-winning and critically acclaimed entertainer, singer, musician, comedian, actor and composer. Whether he performs in a theatre, on the concert stage, in an intimate cabaret, at a major music festival, or for a corporate or private event, audiences and the media alike give this extraordinary artist rave reviews. In addition to his original songs and unique comedy, his vast repertoire spans the Great American Songbook, Broadway, Adult Contemporary, and American Popular Song from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Wayne conceives, writes and performs his individualized shows for any performance venue, whatever the occasion” — excerpted from website “About” and “Press” pages.
Elsie Houston – VocalArtist
A website on the singer Elsie Houston, whom Cy accompanied in NYC as part of a two-piano team with Gil Bowers in the late 1930s, and on whose Liberty Music Shop disc Cy performed as musical director.
Mark Hummel – Pianist
“Mark Hummel was most recently the Music Director/Conductor/Dance Music Arranger for Disney’s Newsies, and recently wrote arrangements for Hugh Jackman; Back on Broadway, and dance music for Sister Act (Broadway and worldwide). As Music Director for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, Mr. Hummel composed three songs for their 75th celebration in 2007. A three-time Emmy Award nominee, he has conducted and/or composed dance music for fifteen other musicals on Broadway; highlights include the Jerry Zaks’ 1992 revival of Guys & Dolls, The Boy From Oz, and Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life. Mr. Hummel has also played the White House twice with Karen Akers and written arrangements for two Academy Award telecasts and three Tony Award telecasts. Mr. Hummel also enjoys creating music with Tommy Tune, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine, Donna Murphy, Rufus Wainwright, Barbara Cook, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Amra-Faye Wright” — excerpted from website biography page. Mark also, to the Walter family’s eternal gratitude, performed as accompanist to Julie Wilson at the Cam Walter Memorial Celebration on 17 October 2011, the last private event held at the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room before its untimely closing.
Dick Hyman – Piainst
“Throughout a busy musical career that got underway in the early ’50s, Dick Hyman has functioned as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in a long career involving film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name …” — excerpted from website biography
Ethan Iverson is best known as the pianist with the innovative piano trio the Bad Plus, but he had an extensive career prior to the formation of the group. Born in 1973 in Menomonie, Wisconsin, he moved to New York in 1991, where he took private lessons from Fred Hersch. Iverson made his recording debut in 1993 on School Work, matching ideas with Dewey Redman. He was the musical director for the Mark Morris Dance Group, performing with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Yo-Yo Ma. He has also worked with Mark Turner, Bill McHenry, Patrick Zimmerli, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Charlie Haden. Iverson’s trio recorded Construction Zone (originals) and Deconstruction Zone (standards) during 1998. Iverson knew bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King when they were teenagers in the Midwest and they played together on one occasion in 1990, but the Bad Plus was not formed until 2000. However, after they played a weekend at a club in Minneapolis, it became apparent that the Bad Plus had something special. Since that time they have helped to revitalize the piano trio, performing rock songs as creative jazz but with the sensibility and spirit of rockers, achieving quite a bit of popularity and influence on the modern music scene. While the Bad Plus has been Ethan Iverson’s main musical activity of the past eight years, he continues occasionally freelancing, playing, among other places, at the Village Vanguard in a trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. Ethan Iverson is also a Cy Walter fan, whose excellent February, 2007 Downbeat magazine review of the Shellwood CD “Cy Walter — The Park Avenue Tatum” may be viewed via the link on this site’s homepage.
Lars Boye Jensen – Pianist
Lars is a marvelous Danish pianist who has long performed and recorded Cy Walter’s music. As profiled on this site’s homepage, Lars’ efforts include his terrific CD containing his performances of Cy’s solo piano arrangements, “Isn’t It Romantic?” Lars and Mark Walter became friends as a consequence of Mark’s filing all of Cy’s sheet music with the Library of Congress, which then appeared online as “The Cy Walter Songbook”. Lars reached out to Mark from Denmark after seeing that online entry to obtain a copy, and shortly thereafter he and his wonderful musical family visited New York — with, most happily, new friendships aborn. Lars continues to record piano wonders on his own record label, Piano Passion Records.
Jack Jones – Vocal Artist
“The crowd at Feinstein’s reacts most excitedly to Jack Jones’s big high notes and other displays of vocal virtuosity. At an age when most of his heroes began losing their chops, that’s nothing to take for granted. Yet it isn’t the pure power of his voice that’s most impressive; it’s the sensitivity with which he animates a lyric, a sensitivity that only increases with age …” — Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal, 28 June 2012
Michael Kanan – Pianist
“Michael Kanan hails from Boston, Massachusetts where he first began to play the piano at age 7. He started improvising at the keyboard early on, and by age 10 he was listening to jazz. His first instructor was pianist Harvey Diamond, a student of jazz innovator Lennie Tristano. During his years at Boston College, Michael had the opportunity to perform with several jazz greats including Tal Farlow, Lee Konitz, Al Cohn, and Alan Dawson. After graduating college and doing some freelance work around Boston, he moved to New York in 1991 to study with another Tristano student, the pianist Sal Mosca. He established himself in New York, playing and recording with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, and Jorge Rossy, among others. He also developed a growing reputation as a vocal accompanist. In 1996, he joined the band of legendary singer Jimmy Scott, touring the US, Europe, and Japan and recording 4 CDs. In 2001, Michael became the accompanist and arranger for one of today’s most celebrated vocalists, Jane Monheit. With Ms. Monheit’s group, he has toured all over the world, recorded several CDs and DVDs, and made many TV appearances, including The David Letterman Show and The Conan O’Brien Show” — from website biography page. Michael is also a devoted fan of Cy Walter’s music, and his beautiful article on Cy’s artistry can be read via a link on this sites’s hompeage.
Russ Kassoff – Pianist
“Russ Kassoff is an accomplished jazz pianist, conductor, composer, orchestrator, and arranger, whose varied talents are much valued and on display in the music world. His 2nd solo/trio release “Bird Fly By” began its radio flight on June 14, 2010 followed by a release concert in NYC at Steinway Hall on 9/13/10. His first solo/trio CD “Somewhere” was released in concert also at Steinway Hall on September 12, 2006 … Russ is one of the most highly regarded musicians in New York and was praised by the New York Times in 2004 as possessing a ‘precision and enthusiasm that is riveting’. In the words of the Chairman of the Board, ‘You are the best’ — Frank Sinatra, ’87. Russ recently concluded a successful run as music director/conductor pianist for Come Fly Away, (www.comeflyaway.com) — Twyla Tharp’s Broadway Show tribute to Frank Sinatra, featuring 15 magnificent world class dancers and a spectacular 17-piece live big band performing to the recorded Sinatra tracks, plus live vocals by Hilary Gardner and Rosena M. Hill” — excerpted from website biography page
Larry Kerchner – Composer and Arranger
“For me, the music of Larry Kerchner is an oasis of joy in a world where most music comes and goes very quickly. His songs embody the essence of the classical writers in a contemporary fashion. It is lovely to be associated with him” — Michael Feinstein (from website music page)
Nicolas King – Vocal Artist
“Nicolas King has been performing since age 4. He was seen first on Broadway in ‘Beauty & The Beast’, then in ‘A Thousand Clowns’ opposite Tom Selleck, and ‘Hollywood Arms’ directed by Hal Prince, all before age 13. Other credits include 8 consecutive annual performances on The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, ABC’s ‘The View’, NBC’s ‘Today’ show, ‘Liza & David’, and twice on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno. Nicolas went on the road with Liza Minnelli to perform as the opening act during her 2006 tour. The Mabel Mercer Foundation awarded Nicolas their coveted ‘Julie Wilson Award’ at the 2010 Cabaret Convention at Rose Hall at Jazz @ Lincoln Center” — excerpted from website hompage. Described by Stephen Holden as “the precociously polished crooner” in his 8 October 2009 New York Times review of that year’s Cabaret Convention, Nicolas was then 18 years old. Fortunately for those of us lucky enough to have heard and seen him perform, he’s still going strong, all these years later …
Karen Kohler – Vocal Artist and Actress
“You want to know what sends me? The dark, sexy irony of European cabaret. What makes my toes wiggle? The happy-go-lucky wit of American jazz and blues. I’ve sung both of these songbooks and more for 15 years and feel uniquely suited to them, having spent my life in Europe and the U.S. I seek intimate spaces in which to reveal the songs that give me the range and versatility I desire as singer and actress. The songs I sing are the ones that mesh with my outlook and understanding of things, and with my experiences, and I live to continually broaden these so I can incoporate more lyrics and more songs …” — “As cosmopolitan a work of musical theater as I can remember. Little Death realizes the headiest ambitions of the cabaret art form. But it is Ms. Kohler’s exquisite taste in songs and her band’s ability to play them in any style that leaves you open-mouthed with admiration!” — Stephen Holden, The New York Times (excerpted from website “About” and reviews page)
Hilary Kole – Vocal Artist
“Long a beloved staple on the NYC jazz scene and world-renowned as a multi-faceted concert hall and symphony performer, Hilary Kole has emerged triumphantly from a difficult three-year legal struggle to put out a recording — and found her true musical heart in the process. On her new independent full-length album, the acclaimed vocalist and musician paints A Self-Portrait with illuminating stylistic brushstrokes and an expansive repertoire that takes her far beyond her storied roots as a purveyor of the Great American Songbook. Back, better than ever and baring her jazz and pop soul like never before, Hilary celebrates life free of limitations and full of optimism” — “By offering an honest, no holds barred glimpse into her musical soul, Hilary Kole has created a true contemporary jazz masterpiece …” January, 2015 Jazz Monthly review by Jonathon Widran of “Hilary Kole: A Self-Portrait” CD — excerpted from website biography and review pages
Barbara is a Staten-Island based pianist who has long been active in the Friends of Alec Wilder organization, through which she and Mark Walter have become friends.
Quinn Lemley – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Quinn Lemley is more than a bunch of burly-q bumps and grinds and glittering, sexy costumes. She has an affinity for brassy classics and a winning personality that reaches far, far across the footlights … She not only turns the heat up in Burlesque to Broadway but also winningly delivers the goods!” — Ellis Nassour, Vanity Fair (excerpted from website reviews page)
Alex Leonard Pianist and Vocal Artist
“Featured in venues from Manhattan to Las Vegas, Europe and Japan, Alex has performed on stages such as Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, The Bruno Walter Auditorium, Joe’s Pub, Below 54 and The Cutting Room. A two-time MAC Award nominee, Alex was a finalist in the Noël Coward Competition and a performer in the Cabaret Series at the National Arts Club hosted by Donald Smith. His recordings have received national airplay and reviews from publications such as Jazz Now, Cabaret Scenes, Cadence and All About Jazz. He has been a featured guest on many programs including Bloomberg Radio’s The Business of Show Business” — “The kind of smooth, urbane voice that fits Porter to a tee … Leonard is a swinging, sexy pianist …” — Jerome Wilson, Cadence Magazine (excerpted from website biography and review pages)
Jay Leonhart – Bassist and Vocal Artist
“Leonhart is the Fred Astaire of jazz, a crafstman so seamlessly smooth that casual observers often fail to grasp the immensity of his talent” — Don Heckman, LA Times (excerpted from website home page). Conummate musicianship and creative intelligence are the hallmark of this tremendous performer; hearing him live is a joy. Often performing as an accompanist with stellar artists such as Barbara Carroll, Jay is equally at home performing solo — and fully in command of his rapt audiences as he does so. Hear him whenever, and wherever, you can!
Dan Levinson – Clarinetist and Saxophonist
“The Mississippi Rag calls Dan Levinson the ‘in-demand reedman’. A specialist in traditional jazz and swing, Dan is indeed one of the most prolific musicians on the scene today, equally at home as both a leader and sideman. During a twenty-year career, he has appeared alongside such prominent artists as Dick Hyman, Mel Tormé, Wynton Marsalis, Ed Polcer, Howard Alden, Joe Ascione, Dan Barrett, Jon-Erik Kellso, Randy Reinhart, Mark Shane, Kevin Dorn, Dick Sudhalter, Frank Vignola, Randy Sandke, and John Cocuzzi. Though based in New York City, Dan’s busy schedule often takes him across the country and around the world. He has performed in Brazil with the Bunk Project, a band organized by Woody Allen and banjoist Eddy Davis, in Italy with the Manhattan Rhythm Kings, in Scotland with David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band, in Germany with the Barrelhouse Jazz Band, in Paris at the Bilboquet Jazz Club, in Japan with the New York Ragtime Orchestra, and in Los Angeles at the Playboy Mansion …” — excerpted from website “About” page. Dan has been a member of the esteemed Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks orchestra since 1993, and has performed Cy Walter’s music with them. He is also contributing mightily to the 2015 Cy Walter Centennial Celebration. Dan is married to the talented vocal artist, Molly Ryan.
Bob Levy – Trumpeter
“Over the past thirty years [Robert Levy’s] life has crossed many musical boundaries as trumpet performer, conductor, teacher, composer, and recording artist. Robert Levy has performed throughout the United States, in Canada, Australia, Portugal, China, Jamaica, and Haiti as either trumpet soloist, chamber musician, clinician, guest conductor, or guest artist” — excerpted from website homepage. Bob is also the President of The Friends of Alec Wilder organization, through which Mark Walter and have become very good friends.
Paul James Lewis Pianist
Principal Pianist/Music Administrator at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, Paul James Lewis has long been a fan of Cy’s music. He has placed on his MySpace page a recording of his playing Cy’s arrangement of “Isn’t It Romantic?”, characterizing Cy as the “Rachmaninoff of cocktail pianists”. “Showing how it’s really done was the tall, lanky, sophisticated duo of Victoria Jaiani and Fabrice Calmels, strutting to an appropriate tune, Rodgers’s ‘My Funny Valentine’. Their section was slower and more sensual, and Jaiani was especially adept at mastering Lubovitch’s jazzy, contemporary movement. Paul James Lewis’s masterful piano prowess took the piece to another dimension for both the dancers and the patrons” — Laura Vernaci, 6 April 2011 review of Joffrey Ballet’s Kansas City performance of Lar Lubovitch’s “Smile With My Heart”, at http://kcmetropolis.org/issue/april-6-2011/article/joffrey-ballet-dazzles-and-delights.
Jenny Lin – Pianist
To the great gratitude of the Walter family, Jenny Lin has both beautifully recorded her playing of Cy’s “Begin The Beguine” arrangement on her “Get Happy” CD, and performed it for a rapt audience during the 30 April 2013 Cy Walter Celebration in NYC’s Sofia’s Restaurant. “Jenny Lin is one of the most respected young pianists today, admired for her adventurous programming and charismatic stage presence. Her ability to combine classical and contemporary literature has brought her to the attention of international critics and audiences. She has been acclaimed for her ‘remarkable technical command’ and ‘a gift for melodic flow’ by The New York Times. The Washington Post praises ‘Lin’s confident fingers … spectacular technique …’, ‘… surely one of the most interesting pianists in America right now …’ and Gramophone Magazine has hailed her as ‘an exceptionally sensitive pianist’. Martha Argerich wrote: ‘Miss Jenny Lin is a very gifted young musician and a brilliant pianist’ — excerpted from website biography page. “… Lin’s confident fingers scampered over the keyboard in Nordschow’s ‘Detail of Beethoven’s Hair’, making the frenetic free-jazz phrases look effortless … spectacular technique …” — Gail Wein, The Washington Post (excerpted from website review page)
Barry Lloyd – Pianist and Vocal Artist
Barry Lloyd is a San Francisco-based cabaret artist who, happily, sometimes makes it to the East Caost, albeit on too rare an occasion. From Jenna Esposito, Cabaret Chronicles review, 17 October 2009: “On Monday evening, it was off to the Metropolitan Room to catch Bay-Area singer/pianist Barry Lloyd in his show Slumming On Park Avenue: A Celebration of Bobby Short. Accompanying himself on piano and supported by Saadi Zain on bass and David Silliman on drums, Mr. Lloyd exuded charm and style from the moment he entered the room and continued to enchant the audience throughout the course of the evening … From top-to-bottom, it was a classy, enjoyable show that kept the audience bopping, grinning, and eagerly awaiting a return visit from Mr. Lloyd!”
Mark Lopeman Saxophonist
“Saxophonist Mark Lopeman personifies the class and style that once defined jazz. On his newest album, ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’, Lopeman delivers one spirited performance after another, both uplifting and touching the heart with tracks that convey love and happiness as well as emotional reflection. It’s a well-balanced affair, and Lopeman never ceases to move the listener” — JazzTimes, excerpted from website reviews page. “Mark Lopeman took up the saxophone at an early age in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The beneficiary of a strong public school music program, weekly organ concerts and singing during services at his local church, and his parents’ otherwise-annoying habit of leaving FM radio constantly playing, Lopeman quickly acquired a strong musical foundation. His saxophone teacher, Bob Cole, noting his interest and ability, gave Lopeman books on arranging and improvisation. Lopeman responded by writing arrangements and learning to improvise. Lopeman saw a glimpse of the future when his father took him to hear a concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra (then directed by Buddy DeFranco)” — excerpted from website “About” page. Mark has also long performed as a member of the stellar group, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, and is providing critical assistance to the 2015 Cy Walter Centennial Celebration.
Rebecca Luker – Vocal Artist and Actress
“An early career triumph for Ms. Luker was her portrayal of Lily in the 1991 Broadway show ‘The Secret Garden’, whose songs by Lucy Simon (music) and Marsha Norman (lyrics) strive for the kind of soaring, unadorned lyricism found in certain Richard Rodgers ballads. To hear Ms. Luker perform ‘Come to My Garden’ and ‘How Could I Know?’ from that show, back to back, is to hear a singer shoot the moon not only technically but also dramatically as she locates the songs’ eerie romantic mysticism and rides it heavenward” — Stephen Holden, New York Times, 11 May 2006. Beyond her vocal artistry, Rebecca has had an extensive career as an actress at venues around the world.
James Lyke – Pianist
A Professor of Piano Emeritus, University of Illinois, James Lyke, in tandem with Georgia State University Professor of Piano Geoffrey Haydon, form a duo piano team; both are fans of Cy’s music who have also written new arrangements of some of Cy’s original compositions for piano pedagological programs.
The Mabel Mercer Foundation
Mabel Mercer, chanteuse extraordinaire and continuing inspiration to countless performers (Frank Sinatra once stated, as has been attributed to him many times and is believed to have originated in a McCall’s magazine article, “Mabel Mercer taught me everything I know”), was a dear friend of Cam and Cy Walter and Mark Walter’s godmother. The Mabel Mercer Foundation was established by her longtime friend and supporter, Donald F. Smith, after Mabel’s 1984 passing to ensure that the cabaret musical genre of which she was so critical a part continued as a vibrant entertainment art. Under the initial stewardship of sorely-missed Donald Smith, and now led by its talented Artistic Director KT Sullivan, the Foundation has organized annual week-long Cabaret Conventions for many years. These Conventions, now held at Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre, serve both as a performance venue for well-established artists and as an excellent showcasing of new up-and-coming talent.
Maude Maggart – Vocal Artist
“The chanteuse who started her performing career in the clubs of New York and Los Angeles has exploded into one of today’s most compelling international concert artists. She has been hailed as ‘bewitching’ by The New York Times, ‘utterly enchanting’ by the New York Post, ‘stunning’ by the Los Angeles Times and ‘transfixing’ by New York Magazine. Maude is the scion of an acclaimed show business family: grandmother starred in the George White Scandals of 1926, grandfather was the star vocalist for the famed Harry James Big Band, parents met while performing with Lauren Bacall in the Broadway musical Applause, and her sister is Fiona Apple. Born and raised near 125th Street in New York City, … [and] [f]ostered by Andrea Marcovicci and Michael Feinstein, Maude has performed at Feinstein’s in Manhattan, the Plush Room in San Francisco, the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, and the Savor Room in St. Louis” — excerpted from website biography page.
“Imagine Alice in Wonderland as a beautiful dreamer besotted with old movies and vintage love songs. That enchanting, slightly unstable creature materialized at Café Carlyle on Tuesday evening in the person of Maude Maggart, a child of show business, whose new show, ‘The Door Opened’, sprinkled fairy dust into the room. If you inhale too much of it, God help you. But in small amounts, it is an extremely seductive perfume” — Stephen Holden, The New York Times, 26 Fenruary 2014
Boots Maleson – Bassist
“For over 30 years, Boots Maleson has been one of the top in-demand bassists in New York City in nearly every genre of music. He has worked with such jazz greats as Milt Jackson, Elvin Jones, Jaki Byard, Archie Shepp, Kenny Barron, Dexter Gordon, Stanley Cowell, Jack Wilson, and Benny Carter. He has played in the Big Bands of Harry James, Jimmy Dorsey, Bob Alexander, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He has performed for many years with jazz artists Ronny Whyte, Daryl Sherman, and Marlene Verplanck … [and] Cabaret artists Baby Jane Dexter, Christine Andreas, Cynthia Crane, Marieanne Meringolo and Leslie Orofino. For over 25 years Boots has been the double bassist in ensembles led by the legendary bassist Ron Carter” — excerpted from website biography
Trudi Mann – Vocal Artist
“Vocalist Trudi Mann’s signature style lends elegance to songs that are uniquely hers. A singer’s singer, her extensive repertoire includes lovely ballads, novelty tunes, witty vocalise paraphrases and the all-time favorite standards of the American Popular songbook” — excerpted from website’s homepage
Andrea Marcovicci – Vocal Artist and Actress
“In a career spanning over four decades, Andrea Marcovicci — glamorous, sophisticated, witty raconteur, actress, singer, and model — has laughed with Woody Allen, tussled with Sir Michael Caine, and smooched with Tom Selleck. She’s played Broadway, sold out Carnegie Hall, and ushered in the millennium with the Chicago Symphony. She has created over thirty cabaret shows, and many full-cast variety shows across the country” — excerpted from website hompage. “Opera singers have tremendous chops, but most would have no idea how to hold an audience spellbound with just a piano and a bass fot 70 minutes. Ms. Marcovicci, famously, is just the opposite. She sings the way Peter Pan flies, with the aid of invisible wires or strings … She not only makes you believe she can sing, she teleports you around the world through the magic of song …” — Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal (excerpted from website review page)
Peter Marshall – Vocal Artist and Actor
Best-known for hosting the five-time Emmy Award winning game show, Hollywood Squares, Peter Marshall has long had a passion for singing and acting. Mark Walter had the good fortune to hear Mr. Marshall perform at Feinstein’s At The Regency several years back, and in dialogue afterwards about Mark’s father (whom he knew personally), Peter waxed effusive. “He was an inspiration to us all”, Peter exclaimed.
Ward Marston (And Marston Records) – Pianist and Audio Engineer
Ward Marston, noted pianist, performer, and audio engineer, in a 9 August 2005 New York Times article, was profiled as follows: “As a former concert pianist turned saloon player, Mr. Marston is a fan of Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum and Erroll Garner, but he reserves the top spot in his pantheon for Cy Walter, a club pianist of a few years back. ‘He is my God’, Mr. Marston said. He also admires the late Bobby Short, for whom he occasionally substituted at the Café Carlyle in Manhattan”. Mark Walter and Ward had the pleasure of meeting some years back at Ward’s home in Pennsylvania; he had previously gifted a rare Liberty Music Shop album featuring Greta Keller and Cy Walter in his possession to Mark’s mother, Cam, when he learned through mutual friend and pianist Buddy Barnes that Cam did not have it. Ward is a fine artist and a generous spirit whose taste in pianists, in Mark’s opinion, is indubitably excellent!
Karen Mason – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Karen has headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Feinstein’s at The Regency, Rainbow & Stars, the Algonquin, Arci’ Place, The Supper Club and The Ballroom in NYC; The Cinegrill and the UCLA/ASCAP Concert Series in Los Angeles; The Plush Room in San Francisco; and Davenport’s in Chicago. She has shared concert stages with Michael Feinstein, Jerry Herman, Chita Rivera, Luciano Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, Liza Minnelli, and John Kander & Fred Ebb, among others” — excerpted from website biography
Richard Masters – Pianist
“Praised by critics as ‘extraordinary’ (The DCist) and ‘astounding’ (CVNC), Richard Masters is a soloist, opera coach, chamber musician and orchestral pianist based in Blacksburg, VA, where he recently joined the faculty at Virginia Tech … He is an enthusiastic performer of the Great American Songbook: at a recent recital, he revived the virtuoso song transcriptions of mid-20th century cocktail pianist Cy Walter; a close friend of Walter’s described the performances as ‘damn[ed] good’, saying that it was the first time since Walter’s death that he had been so moved by a rendition of the transcriptions” — excerpted from website biography page. This “close friend” is Chilton Ryan, who was also a lyricist with Cy. Richard Master’s performance of one of Cy’s arrangements (“This Nearly Was Mine”), which Richard transcribed from a commercial recording of Cy’s as no sheet music existed for it, may be heard on the Soundcloud site (https://soundcloud.com/richard-masters-2).
Marilyn Maye – Vocal Artist
“In the years since Marilyn Maye first appeared in the spotlight as a tiny pre-teen vocalist in a series of amateur contests in Topeka, Kansas, she has received an endless stream of kudos. The late Johnny Carson called her ‘Super Singer’. Ella Fitzgerald dubbed her ‘The greatest white female singer in the world’. The Houston Chronicle termed her ‘A National Treasure’. And the prestigious Smithsonian Institution chose her recording of ‘Too Late Now’ (from her RCA Lamp Is Low album) for inclusion in its Best Performers of the Best Compositions of the 20th Century permanent collection, along with such other singing greats as Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland” — excerpted from website biography page. “Marilyn Maye has everything. She can belt, and she can sing ballads with the kind of warmth that makes your heart smile. She has a theatrical flair that captivates and enthralls, and jazz-sized chops that can reach notes most singers a third her age can’t even hit in their dreams. She’s the real deal, the surviving artist of the American Popular singer” — Rex Reed, New York Observer — excerpted from website homepage
Bill Mays – Pianist and Vocal Artist
“In his interpretations of standards, Mays’ experience as a vocal accompanist and a composer-arranger were ever-present in his solos. Well-crafted, filled with intriguing melodic counter phrases, his choruses unfolded with the logic and the connectiveness of preconceived compositions … The most entertaining number in Mays’ set was a humorous but musically engaging combination of Bach and Charlie Parker, ‘Bach Meets Bird’, in which he blended elements of the Bach Two Part Invention in F and Parker’s ‘Ah-Leu-Cha’, with bits and pieces from other bop tunes tossed in for good measure. It was a good example of the sort of lightheartedness that serves jazz well opening up the music to listeners leery of improvisational journeys through more discordant musical landscapes” — Don Heckman, LA Times (excerpted from website review page)
Audra McDonald – Vocal Artist and Actress
“Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry, as both a singer and an actress. With a record six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and a long list of other accolades to her name, she is among today’s most highly regarded performers. Blessed with a luminous soprano and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth telling, she is equally at home on Broadway and opera stages as she is in roles on film and television. In addition to her theatrical work, she maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world” — excerpted from website biography
Colleen McHugh – Vocal Artist
“Colleen is a singer, writer, actor, and comic. Since leaving her post at Second City’s National Touring Company and moving to New York in 2003, she has appeared on television’s The Colbert Report and in several comedy sketches on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. She has also made her Carnegie Hall debut as a Special Guest Artist in Michael Feinstein’s Now and Then concert series, and made her Lincoln Center debut at Rose Hall/Jazz at Lincoln Center” — excerpted from website biography page. “Colleen McHugh has found a fresh approach to the catalog of Cole Porter, perhaps the most frequently celebrated Great American Songbooker. She is at her best when overtly theatrical, not to mention funny, funny, funny (she’s a Second City vet), and boasts an outstanding quartet with Tedd Firth, Aaron Weinstein, Steve Doyle, and Matt Munisteri” — Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal, 2011 — excerpted from website reviews page
Sylvia McNair – Vocal Artist
“Two-time Grammy Award winner and regional Emmy Award winner, Sylvia McNair, lays claim to a three-decade, stellar career in the musical realms of opera, oratorio, cabaret and musical theater. Her journey has taken her from the Metropolitan Opera to the Salzburg Festival, from the New York Philharmonic to the Rainbow Room, from the Ravinia Festival to The Plaza, from the pages of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to The London Times and the cover of Cabaret Scenes. Having appeared as a soloist multiple times with nearly every major opera company and symphony orchestra in the world, this songbird has flown the classical coop. She’s retracing her star route now with Gershwin, Porter, Sondheim and Bernstein” — excerpted from website biography page. “Sylvia McNair sang several of Gershwin’s great songs with affecting style and vocal purity. A widely admired opera and concert singer earlier in her career, McNair was no less cherishable in a poised, not sentimentalized, account of Summertime” — Mark Kanny, Trib Total Media — excerpted from website reviews page
Tony Middleton Vocal Artist
A longtime New York City-based vocal artist who moved to the city from Virginia in the ’50s, Tony told Mark Walter that he recalled Cy Walter’s stature and performances well — characterizing him as a key part of the NYC music scene of that time.
Peter Mintun – Pianist and Vocal Artist
A tremendously talented New York City pianist who has performed at the Hotel Carlyle and elsewhere, Peter has long admired Cy’s music and done all he can to ensure that others of similar ilk would discover it. Peter, like Vince Girodano, Alex Hassan, and Michael Feinstein, possesses an exceptional knowledge of the musical genre and era of which Cy was a part, and maintains an awesome collection of music and memorabilia from it. Peter continues to perform this music regularly and has significantly contributed to its ongoing vitality; he is one of the few pianists capable of playing Cy’s complex arrangements and compositions in the unique style in which Cy played them. Peter also beautifully performed, to the Walter family’s great gratitude, during the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in the Hotel Algonquin’s Oak Room. Be sure to revel in Peter’s YouTube performances, where, coupling such extensive knowledge with exquisite pianistic skill, Peter breathes new life into songs long unheard. A live Peter Mintun performance is an event not to be missed!
Jane Monheit – Vocal Artist
“The acclaimed Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit returned to New York City’s iconic Birdland jazz club this week, a place she describes as her second home, for a weeklong run starting this past Monday. Her latest show is in two parts: the first set, ‘Hello Bluebird’, is dedicated to all things Judy Garland; the second, ‘To All the Men I Love’, is a collection of songs written and performed by the male musicians, singers and composers that have inspired and influenced Monheit throughout her career” — CenterOnTheAisle.com review, 14 January 2015 (excerpted from website homepage). Jane has also long been accompanied by the extraordinary pianist and Cy Walter fan, Michael Kanan.
Gregory Moore – Vocal Artist and Bandleader
“Born in Detroit, Gregory Moore has had a widely varied career in music, theatre and opera. He sang for several years with The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Opera, and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera. In 2007, Moore formed his own 12-piece, 1930’s-themed jazz orchestra, ‘Gregory Moore and his Cosmopolitan Orchestra’, which is based in New York City. He was awarded the first ‘Dorothy Loudon Award’ at the 2008 Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall. He has written and performed several ‘tribute’ shows to the performers Russ Columbo, No�l Coward and Arthur ‘The Street Singer’ Tracy, which premiered at the Bruno Walter Theatre at Lincoln Center, followed by two runs at Jermyn Street Theatre in London’s West End, co-starring with noted cabaret singer/pianist, Steve Ross” — from IMDb Mini Biography
Marissa Mulder – Vocal Artist and Actress
A Syracuse native and SUNY Genesee graduate who recently turned thirty, this supremely-talented singer and actress has been likened to Blossom Dearie — for both the beauty of her voice, and for the wonderful impressions she creates of the diverse songs that she chooses to perform. As Stephen Holden of the New York Times has written in describing a recent performance by her, “The strong, spare arrangements of her pianist, Nate Buccieri, left room to savor the remarkable subtlety of her interpretations, in which every word and inflection in her deceptively light, girlish voice is made to count”. On the Listen page of Marissa’s website, you can hear a marvelous collaboration between she and awesome pianist Jon Weber, in his role as host of his NPR Piano Jazz show featuring Ms. Mulder. Not only does Marissa do the songwriters of the Great American Songbook beautiful justice, but Marissa’s courageous presentations of current songwriters’ work, including her shows on Tom Waits’ oeuvre and her “Living Standards” review, have garnered her naught but effusive praise from audiences and critics alike. This gal’s got it, no error, and if you miss any opportunity to see, and hear, her perform, more fool ye!
Lee Musiker – Pianist
“Lee Musiker, a pianist, conductor, music director, arranger, and orchestrator, is known for his wealth of experience working with premiere artists in the jazz, classical, Broadway, and pop genres. These include Mel Tormé, Barbara Cook, Maureen McGovern, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joel Grey, James Taylor, Ren\ée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Dawn Upshaw, Deborah Voigt, Kathleen Battle, Denyce Graves, Nathan Gunn, Sylvia McNair, Julia Migenes, Joshua Bell, Buddy Rich, Doc Severinson, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti, and John Pizzarelli. Since 2001 Mr. Musiker has been touring with Tony Bennett; he served as music director and pianist for the Grammy Award-winning album Tony Bennett: Duets — An American Classic, and for the recent Duets 2″ — excerpted from biography on above site
Mark Nadler – Pianist and Vocal Artist
“Mark Nadler is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist, tap-dancer and comedian. His recent off-Broadway hit, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, has been honored with the 2013 Nightlife Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and two Broadway World Awards. The show was presented at The Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Adelaide, Australia, where it was nominated for the prestigious Helpmann Award. Additionally, Mark Nadler’s Broadway Hootenanny has become a staple of the Adelaide Festival, where Mark has performed an unprecedented six times” — excerpted from website’s “About” page
Rada Neal – Pianist
Rada is a Colorado pianist and composer enamored of Cy’s music who reached out to Mark Walter some years ago, catalyzing their friendship ever since. “Rada Neal began her life in a refugee camp in Germany, the daughter of two Yugoslavian refugees. Her family survived, and her parents realized their dream of moving their family to a safe and prosperous environment, moving to Indiana soon after World War II. Rada has loved music all her life. She began playing violin in the 3rd grade, but soon began playing the piano when her neighbors moved away, leaving their heavy upright grand piano as a gift to Rada’s family …” A music teacher and recording and performing artist, Rada notes: “I like to write lyrical, melodic and romantic melodies. I don’t need to have lyrics, yet I love how a good lyric will set the tone of a piece. My favorite lyricists would probably be Marilynn and Alan Bergmann together with Michel Legrand’s gorgeous melodies” — excerpted from website’s biography page
Will and Anthony Nunziata – Vocal Artists
“Singers, actors, funny-men and advocates of arts in education — Will & Anthony sing fresh takes on timeless songs from pop standards, Broadway, and Italian music to Billy Joel, Motown, and beyond. Hailed as ‘a nearly impossible pairing of talent, stage presence and charisma’, [brothers] Will & Anthony continue to win critical and popular acclaim for their concert performances throughout the United States and around the world” — excerpted from website’s “About” page
Karen Oberlin – Vocal Artist and Actress
” ‘Telling the story, both musically and lyrically, is what I find most exciting and galvanizing as a performer’, Karen Oberlin was quoted saying in an interview. [Karen has been] [h]ailed as one of premier interpreters of the Great American Songbook by both The New York Times and London’s Classical Source … In one of her numerous raves in The New York Times, Stephen Holden said, ‘Beyond having a pretty voice, poise and interpretive insight … Ms. Oberlin has impeccable classic pop style (and) musical intelligence’. Rex Reed, in the New York Observer, called her performance ‘thrilling’, and continued, ‘Oberlin is as lovely to look at as she is to hear — subtle, elegant and musically spot on. She’s a keeper!’ The music critic for The Nation, David Yaffe, says Ms. Oberlin ‘reaches into the minds and muses of our golden repertoire to teach us, dazzle us, and send us to a Tin Pan Alley nirvana, as deep as the ocean and high as the sky. She is truly a marvel’ — excerpted from website’s biography page. Karen is married to journalist and musicologist David Hajdu.
Karin Paludan – Vocal Artist
“Soprano, Karin Paludan, performs regularly in the Washington, DC area and throughout the country in recitals, opera and operetta. A Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Award winner, she has sung with the New York City Opera National Company, the Utah Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Annapolis Opera and at the Kennedy Center, among others, and has toured with Community Concerts. Ms. Paludan recently performed ‘George, Ira and Friends’ at both the Harman Shakespeare Theater and the National Gallery of Art and continues to tour the show throughout the country. A singer with an ‘outstanding voice’, according to The Washington Post, she works extensively with the Washington Performing Arts Society as an educational outreach artist passing on her love of opera and musical theater to audiences of all ages” — excerpted from above webpage. Karin is, along with vocal artist Doug Bowles and pianist Alex Hassan, the third member of the terrific trio “Three For A Song”.
Roberta Piket – Pianist
” ‘An extremely talented young pianist. I predict she’ll go far as a jazz pianist and composer ‘ — Marian McPartland) — ‘Piket plays with a studied abandon … she’s completely familiar with the entire history of jazz piano which she translates into a comfortably post-modern attitude …. What a gift to evoke everyone from Jelly Roll Morton to Stanley Cowell! ‘ (Jan P. Dennis, Audiophile Audition)” — excerpted from website home page
Bucky Pizzarelli – Guitarist and Banjoist
Indisputably a legend in his own time, and the father of John Pizzarelli (see below), Bucky’s consummate musicianship is not to be missed. During a break in a performance at Small’s jazz club in Greenwich Village some years back, Bucky shared his happy memories of Cy with Mark Walter.
John Pizzarelli – Guitarist and Vocal Artist
“John Pizzarelli, the world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer, was called ‘Hip with a wink’ by Town & Country, ‘madly creative’ by the Los Angeles Times and ‘the genial genius of the guitar’ by The Toronto Star. When he perform[ed] with his wife, singer/actress Jessica Molaskey, and his father, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, they were labeled ‘the First Family of Cool’ by the San Francisco Chronicle and ‘the von Trapps on Martinis’ by The New Yorker. According to The New York Times, ‘the Pizzarelli-Molaskey duo are as good as it gets in any entertainment medium’ ” — excerpted from website biography page
David Goldin and The Radio Gold Index
The University of Missouri-Kansas City houses, in its Marr Sound Archives, “the J. David Goldin Collection of nearly 10,000 radio programs on 16″ discs broadcast from the 1930s through the 1950s. The programs include variety shows, radio plays, political speeches, news programs, documentary programs, advertisements, and music programs. The collection contains transcription discs as well as aluminum and glass-based instantaneous-cut discs …. When David Goldin was six, his mother asked him what he wanted for his birthday. In response, young Goldin cupped his ear and replied, ‘radio station WOR New York or a big brother’. He never got a big brother, but over the years he amassed the most comprehensive collection of radio programs in the world, becoming known as ‘the man who saved radio’…. [Over a life-long radio career, Goldin wore a variety of hats, including producer of old-time radio programs and operating engineer for NBC, Mutual, and CBS networks.] He won a Grammy in 1981 in the Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording category for his reissue of Donovan’s Brain by Orson Welles. Over the years, Goldin amassed a collection of over 95,000 radio programs. Goldin indexed the programs in his book The Golden Age of Radio, and on his website RadioGoldIndex [see www.radiogoldindex.com, an invaluable resource for old-time radio reseach]’ ” — excerpted from above website page.
Shaynee Rainbolt – Vocal Artist
“Shaynee Rainbolt’s sumptuous tone & instrumentally oriented jazz chops have made her a New York audience favorite & Critic’s Pick since she relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2005. Described as ‘smooth, sultry, sophisticated, and swinging’, it’s no wonder that Time Out NY said: ‘Talent, Charm, Sheer Magic ~ Rainbolt’s got it!’, and the Siegels of Theatermania.com declared: ‘San Francisco’s loss is New York’s gain. The arrival here [of] Shaynee Rainbolt is cause for celebration’ ” — excerpted from website biography page
Lee Roy Reams – Vocal Artist and Actor
“Lee Roy Reams (born August 23, 1942) is an American musical theatre actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, and director. Born in Covington, Kentucky, Reams earned a Master of Arts degree and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He made his Broadway debut in Sweet Charity in 1966. Reams was nominated for both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in the original production of 42nd Street in 1980. He played the role of Frank Schultz in the 1989 Paper Mill Playhouse production of Show Boat, which was televised on Great Performances by PBS. Reams has appeared on concert stages and in cabarets throughout the country. At present he is serving as the resident director of the Theatre at Sea program sponsored by the Theatre Guild” — excerpted from Wikipedia entry. Mark Walter had the distinct pleasure of seeing and talking with Lee Roy during his stellar 2014 performance at The Laurie Beechman Theatre of “The Astaire Songbook: Celebrating the Music Fred & Adele Astaire Made Famous” with chanteuse Jennifer Sheehan and pianist/music director James Followell. Lee Roy’s artistry is unquestionably of long standing, but it is also indubitably just as terrific as ever!
T. Oliver Reid – Vocal Artist and Actor
“A Native of the small town of Gastonia North Carolina, T. Oliver has been performing since he could walk and talk …. His Broadway credits include ‘Chicago’, ‘Kiss Me Kate’, ‘Follies’, ‘Thoroughly Modern Milllie’, ‘Never Gonna Dance’, ‘La Cage Aux Folles’, ‘The Wedding Singer’, ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘Damn Yankees’. and the 25th Anniversary concert of ‘Dreamgirls’. T. Oliver has been lucky enough to work with some of the Great White Way’s brightest and best performers including Chita Rivera, Bryan Stokes Mitchell, Jane Krakowski, Karen Ziemba, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, Marin Mazzie, Sutton Foster, and Robert Goulet. The list of Directors, Choreographers and Musical Directors he has had the great fortune to work with include the likes of Michael Blakemore, Kathleen Marshall, Rob Marshall, Rob Ashford, Casey Nicolaw, Matthew Warchus, Jerry Zaks, Ann Reinking, Jerry Mitchell and Sir Richard Eyre. T. Oliver Reid is the winner of the Metropolitan Room’s ‘2010 Metrostar Challenge and was also a featured artist in The 21st New York Cabaret Convention” — excerpted from website “About Me” page
Mike Renzi – Piainist
“Mike Renzi (born Michael E. Renzi on April 28, 1946) is an American pianist, arranger, and musical director. He is best known for his collaborations with some of the legends of pop-jazz singing, notably Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, Mel Tormé, Cleo Laine, Blossom Dearie, and Jack Jones. In 2010, Stephen Holden of The New York Times noted Renzi’s ‘gorgeous long-lined runs’ and his ‘extraordinary grace as a pianistic arranger whose accompaniments have a panoramic orchestral sweep’. Renzi is also a seven-time Daytime Emmy-winning composer of soundtrack music for such TV shows as Sesame Street and All My Children” — excerpted from Wikipedia entry
Jimmy Roberts – Pianist
“Jimmy Roberts is a composer for the musical theater as well as a pianist and entertainer. His musical scores include: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (1996) and The Thing About Men (2003), both with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro. He is a 1977 graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with the noted pianist, Constance Keene” — excerpted from above Wikipedia entry. Jimmy also performed, in the years following Cy Walter’s passing, at the erstwhile NYC Drake Hotel.
Dan Rosengard – Pianist
“A native of Boston, Dan studied piano privately and at the New England Conservatory of Music. He later attended Columbia University, and graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a degree in Piano Performance. As a pianist/keyboardist, Dan has appeared with artists as diverse as Billy Joel, Deborah Gibson, Anthony Newley, choreographer Jennifer Muller, The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, and Tavares. Dan has also acted as musical director for an impressive list of theater and television including ‘Saturday Night Live’ ” — excerpted from above website
Kurt Rosenwinkel – Guitarist
“There are artists who uphold what’s already been defined in music and then there are artists who do the defining. Guitarist, composer, and educator Kurt Rosenwinkel undisputedly sits among the trailblazers in the latter group. With a career spanning almost twenty-five years, collaborating with dynamic peers like Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, and esteemed jazz elders like Joe Henderson, Paul Motian and Gary Burton, Rosenwinkel’s indelible mark in music is the consummation of being steeped in the rich and deep traditions of jazz, springing off of the shoulders of such vital underpinnings to elevate his own art to new heights, evolving the language in a way no other guitarist has since his arrival” — excerpted from website biography page
Steve Ross – Pianist and Vocal Artist
A revered New York City-based cabaret performer, often referred to as “The Crown Prince of Cabaret”, Steve has long been associated with first-class performances celebrating the American Popular Songbook. Recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, Steve has been a true supporter and friend of Mark Walter and of the latter’s efforts to promote Cy’s music. He has both performed and recorded some of Cy’s original song compositions; and he also performed beautifully at both the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration (the last private event held in the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room, which Cy Walter opened with Greta Keller as The Hotel Algonquin Supper Club in 1939, and Steve Ross resurrected as a performance venue after its long dormancy in 1980), and also at the 2013 Cy Walter Celebration at NYC Sofia’s Restuarant. Put simply, Steve is a gem of a person, and a gem of an artist. “Sreve Ross rose to fame as a cabaret entertainer during his lengthy sojourns at New York’s fabled Algonquin Hotel and Ted Hook’s Backstage in the late 1970’s. He has spent the ensuing decades singing and playing in smart clubs and swank parties all over the world. The Ritz in London, the Crillon in Paris and the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, in addition to festivals in Hong Kong, Perth and Spoleto — these are but highlights of Steve’s appearances on six continents. On the airwaves Steve has been the performer/host for radio series for both the BBC and National Public Radio …. He continues to tour in solo concerts, master classes, theatrical engagements and symphonic Pops appearances” — from website “Professional Biography” page
Craig Rubano – Vocal Artist
“At Yale University, Rubano sang with the a cappella groups Redhot & Blue and The Whiffenpoofs … It didn’t occur to him to sing professionally[, but] … after earning his master’s degree he took a leave from his Ph.D. program and ‘decided to go for it’. Within a year Rubano had landed a role in the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers, his first major show. Not long after, he made his Broadway debut as Marius Pontmercy in Les Misérables, a role he played for more than two years in seven hundred performances. Following his four-year stint on Broadway, Rubano focused on giving concerts and recording, producing three albums, Finishing the Act: Act One Finales from Broadway, Change Partners, and The Night They Invented Champagne: Operetta and its Musical Legacy” — excerpted from biography on above website. Craig is a 2011 graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary, and is now pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.),in Pastoral Theology (expected 2016) there. He also is an Intern Minister with the UU Congregation of Monmouth County and Youth, Campus, and Younger-Adult Minister with the UU Congregation of Princeton.
Catherine Russell – Vocal Artist
“Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was born in Panama, emigrated to New Orleans and then New York City, becoming a legendary pianist/bandleader/arranger/composer, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time collaborator and musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering bassist/guitarist/vocalist and holder of advanced degrees from Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Ruth Brown. Not surprisingly considering her pedigree, Catherine Russell is a one of a kind musician and vocalist. A graduate of American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Catherine has toured the world, performing and recording with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Carrie Smith, and many others” — from website “About” page
Molly Ryan – Vocal Artist
” ‘A critic’s favorite’ — so proclaims author and music writer for The Wall Street Journal Will Friedwald in reference to Molly Ryan. He goes on to say, ‘Molly swings the melody — as well as the words — without affectation of any kind. She brings a straight-ahead innocence and total believability to the music that refuses to admit that sixty or seventy years of distractions have ever happened. She sounds worldly wise beyond her years, wonderfully gentle and lyrical’. Indeed, Molly’s silvery voice and lush, elegant vocal style evoke the big band singers of the 1930s and breathe new life into familiar old standards” — excerpted from website’s “About” page. Molly is married to clarinetist and saxophonist Dan Levinson.
Alex Rybeck – Pianist
“Alex Rybeck is a pianist, arranger, composer, and music director, internationally recognized for his work on Broadway, in cabarets and concerts, and on recordings …. [H]e has worked with such stars as Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, Faith Prince (Tony Winner, Guys & Dolls), Donna McKechnie (Tony Winner, A Chorus Line), Karen Mason (Sunset Blvd, Mamma Mia!), Rita Gardner (The Fantasticks), Tommy Tune & The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, ‘Voice of Hollywood’ Marni Nixon, Michael Feinstein, Australia’s David Campbell, Metropolitan Opera star Roberta Peters, and the legendary Kitty Carlisle Hart, to name a few. Additionally, he has been music director for every solo album by Liz Callaway… and Jeff Harnar …” — excerpted from biography at http://www.singingschool.org.nz/files/Alex_Rybeck_CV.pdf .
Phil Schaap – Producer and Musicologist
“Phil Schaap (born April 6, 1951) is an American jazz disc jockey, historian, archivist and producer. He hosts a daily morning radio program on 89.9 FM New York, WKCR, the radio station of Columbia University, his alma mater, in New York City. The show, called ‘Bird Flight’, is broadcast from 8:20 am-9:30 am on weekdays and devoted to the music of Charlie Parker. ‘Bird Flight’ has been running since 1981. Schaap also hosts the weekly ‘Traditions In Swing’ on Saturday evenings from 6-9 pm, which likewise has been on the air for thirty-two years …. Since February 2, 1970 he has broadcast Jazz on the radio (primarily on WKCR). He is known for his marathon festivals on one artist, birthday broadcasts, and memorials …. From 1984 to 1991, Schaap was the archivist for the Savoy Jazz label. Schaap has been involved with the re-release of many archival recordings on CD, releases of artists including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Machito and the Afro-Cubans and Duke Ellington. For his efforts in engineering, production, and liner notes, Schaap has won at least seven Grammy awards, including three for producing, three for historical writing, and two for audio engineering …. As an educator Schaap has taught Jazz at the graduate level at Columbia University and Rutgers University… [and] continues his academic teaching career at Princeton University and The Juilliard School, while running an adult Jazz education program for Jazz at Lincoln Center” — excerpted from above Wikipedia page
Roger Schore – Lyricist
Roger Schore is a New York City-based lyricist who has also been a longtime fan of Cy Walter’s artistry. Roger’s lyrics are beautiful, his collaborations with significant composers numerous, and performances and recordings of them by various artists likewise (Lynne Charnay, Alex Cole, Eric Comstock, Meredith D’Amrbosio, Maud Hixson, Barbara Lea, Daryl Sherman, Carol Sloane, Gabrielle Stravelli, Billy Strayhorn, Marlene VerPlanck, Roseanna Vitro, and Ronny Whyte, to name a few). Roger and Mark Walter met early in Mark’s efforts to preserve and share Cy’s music, when Roger reached out to Mark to generously offer him a rare compilation tape of Cy’s early recordings which had been produced and sold by the NYC Music Masters record store in the mid-1980s. Such generosity meant that Mark was subsequently able to share the recordings with many grateful Cy fans. Because Roger maintains no personal website, and his creativity is literally reflected amongst multiple artists’ websites, no website link is offered here, but we suggest that an online search of his name will produce fruitful results to those wishing to explore the breadth of his creativity.
Jane Scheckter – Vocal Artist
“In 2008, Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote this about Jane Scheckter: ‘She has invaluable musical skills, a bright, clear voice with a brassy edge and a luscious rounded vibrato. Meticulous phrasing, a sultry lower register … and she swings!’. In 2009, he added, ‘A no-frills pop-jazz swinger with her eyes wide open’. She has just released her fourth CD, ‘Easy to Remember’, with Tedd Firth, Jay Leonhart, Peter Grant and Bucky Pizzarelli, Warren Vach�, Harry Allen, Aaron Weinstein and guest tracks with Tony DeSare and Gil Chimes” — excerpted from website’s biography page
Jennifer Sheehan – Vocal Artist and Actress
A critically-acclaimed Juilliard-trained soprano and actress, Jennifer (who recently turned thirty) has characterized herself as a “traitor to her generation” due to her passion for performing standards from the American Popular Songbook. She has also delved into much more recent composers and music, with similar audience acclaim and success. Jennifer Sheehan, the recipient of more prestigious awards than one can easily list, has been described thusly by Stephen Holden of The New York Times: “young, good-looking and very astute, Ms. Sheehan gives you hope”; and, as regards her singing and interpretive powers, “The beauty of Ms. Sheehan’s voice is refreshingly unvarnished and devoid of circus tricks. Drawing from a deep well of feeling, she interprets lyrics from the point of view of someone who knows who she is and conveys empathy in a voice that glows with insight”. That artistry Jennifer has developed over a lifetime of musical, dance, and theatrical pursuits. For example, one of her earliest roles, at age thirteen in her hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri, was as Dorothy in a production of “The Wizard of Oz”, to the accompaniment of a thirty-five piece orchestra. More recently, she was the first featured performer to initiate a new hour-long cabaret PBS television series, “66th and Broadway”. To the Walter family’s immense gratitude, Jennifer beautifully performed Cy’s music (“Time And Tide”, with accompaniment by Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks) at the 2013 NYC Sofia’s Restaurant Cy Walter Celebration. Be sure not to miss Jennifer Sheehan’s YouTube Video page, on which she offers numerous excellent performance videos; and, if ever by lucky happenchance or design you can hear and see Jennifer perform in person, hie yourself there, pronto — or know that you have only yourself to blame for losing out on experiencing a truly-exhilarating talent!
Darryl Sherman – Pianist and Vocal Artist
” ‘She’s sophisticated, she’s straightforward, and she can swing!’ — (Marian McPartland) — A sparkling mainstay of Manhattan nightlife, singer/pianist Daryl Sherman is equally at home in the world of jazz and cabaret. Internationally acclaimed for a stellar 14-year run at the Waldorf-Astoria, she played Cole Porter’s Steinway and has headlined the annual Cole Porter Festival in his hometown — Peru, Indiana. Her latest CD, Mississippi Belle, celebrates Porter in a New Orleans setting. Daryl’s been a favorite at the Algonquin Oak Room — touted [as] ‘someone who fits the room like Derek Jeter fits the Yankees’ (Village Voice); plus Feinstein’s at the Regency, Rose Hall with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy’s Coca Cola and 59E59 Theaters with Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks. From her arrival in New York, with stints at Sinatra hangouts like Jilly’s, Eddie Condon’s , Michael’s Pub, Knickerbocker, [the] Iridium or Shanghai Jazz, there’s hardly a jazz joint, supper club or hotel Daryl has missed …” — excerpted from website biography page. Daryl, who was also good friends with Cy’s widow Cam, delightfully sang to the joyous accompaniment of Vince Giordano’s saxophone, and also performed on piano during the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in the Algonquin Hotel’s sorely-missed Oak Room.
Scott Siegel – Producer
“Scott is the creator/writer/host of the acclaimed Broadway by the Year series at The Town Hall in New York City, [and] … also the creator/writer/host of The Summer Broadway Festival and the Broadway/Cabaret Festival. In addition, also at Town Hall, he has created The Siegel Season, a special trio of shows that consists of the hit annual concert, Broadway Unplugged, The Nightlife Awards, … and The Best of Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (which opened last year with Chita Rivera and closed with Liza Minnelli) …. Scott is also the Supervising Producer/Director of a series of concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center that star Michael Feinstein. He will begin his second season with Michael Feinstein and Jazz at Lincoln Center in the Spring of 2012 …. On the club scene, Scott is the creator/producer of a hit, long-running musical revue called 11 O’Clock Numbers at 11 O’Clock that just concluded an eight-month run at Feinstein’s at the Loew’s Regency Hotel in New York City. He is also known for the shows Broadway Jukebox and American Jukebox” — excerpted from website “About” page. Scott has also, more recently, produced several highly-successful shows with vocal artist Carole J. Bufford.
Richard Skipper – Producer, Vocal Artist, and Actor
“Richard Skipper is a popular award winning and critically acclaimed entertainer, theater historian and pop culture blogger. Writing for ‘Richard Skipper Celebrates’, he has conducted over 700 interviews, and has had over One Million readers for his daily blog celebrating people in the arts. The sister blog, ‘Call on Dolly’, is based on his website chronicling the Broadway classic, Hello, Dolly! Richard Skipper conducts on-stage interviews at Barnes and Noble and at the Spiral Theater with the ‘Richard Skipper Celebrates!’ series, which have featured Carol Channing, Jackie Joseph, Ron Young, Kevin Dozier, Peggy Pope, Julie Budd, Eileen Fulton, Anita Gillette and more! Richard Skipper also put together amazing panels celebrating Jerry Herman and Hello, Dolly! for the New York Sheet Music Society. Richard’s next on stage interview will be with Lee Roy Reams …” — excerpted from website homepage
Andy Stein – Violinist and Saxophonist
” ‘For a classically trained violinist, Andy Stein has been so thoroughly subverted by a succession of other musical styles that he has become, to twist Ellington’s phrase, “beyond category” ‘ — John S. Wilson (Jazz critic for the New York Times) — Andy Stein is a musician with a checkered past. Besides freelancing as a violinist/violist in chamber and orchestra groups in his native New York, he has recorded with Itzhak Perlman, Placido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Frederica Von Stade, toured China with a string quartet, and performed concertos … with orchestras in New York, Chicago, New England, Pacific Northwest, and the South. He has appeared on numerous television programs including Late Night with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, Great performances (PBS) and As The World Turns (CBS). He has also been a featured soloist in a number of Broadway Shows, including the Lincoln Center production of ‘Anything Goes’, and the 1990’s Broadway revivals of ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. He has produced records of rock ‘n’ roll and jazz, and conducted on radio and television” — excerpted from website biography page. Andy has also long been a member of the acclaimed jazz orchestra, Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks.
Gordon Stout – Percussionist
“Gordon Stout (b.1952) is currently Professor of Percussion at the School of Music, Ithaca College, Ithaca, N.Y., where he has taught percussion since 1980. A composer as well as percussionist who specializes on marimba, he has studied composition with Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler and Warren Benson, and percussion with James Salmon and John Beck. As a composer-recitalist he has premiered a number of his original compositions and works by other contemporary composers. Many of his compositions for marimba are published, and have already become standard repertoire for marimbists world-wide” — excerpted from website biography page. Gordon also performed wonderfully on the marimba at a recent Friends of Alec Wilder annual concert in New York City, where he and Mark Walter had the pleasure of meeting.
Ken Starrett – U.S. Director, The No�l Coward Society
“The Noél Coward Society, the international society that celebrates the life and work of the famous author and playwright, is really active in New York. It is, primarily, a British society, but the American operations of the society take place primarily in New York City. Ken Starrett, the US Director, has been really active towards the cause since 2002. Over 300 members are a part of the Society in New York now. The Noél Coward Society holds frequent screenings of Noél Coward’s work. The Paley Center For Media is used to hold screenings of theater, television and movie projects handled by Coward. Starrett has also been hosting an annual birthday celebration for Coward in December. As a part of the birthday celebrations, a memorial is held for Coward at the Gershwin Theater, where people can come and lay flowers in memory of the man” — from website homepage
Gabrielle Stravelli – Vocal Artist and Actress
” ‘Listening to the jazz singer Gabrielle Stravelli is like imbibing a potent cocktail whose flavor changes as you drain the glass. In the first couple of sips, the predominant taste is the sparkling wine that has drifted to the top, for Ms. Stravelli’s bright, rippling voice exudes a natural effervescence. Before long, it darkens, and the heady liquor underneath kicks in …. As she dipped and swooped, twirling notes and phrases with a confidence and playfulness that recalled Ella Fitzgerald in her prime, Ms. Stravelli began interpreting lyrics with a ferocity that her vocal pyrotechnics accentuated …’ — Stephen Holden, the New York Times — Award-winning vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following through her original songs and her unique take on material from the new American songbook as well as classic standards by artists as varied as Pink Floyd and Duke Ellington, Dolly Parton and Johnny Mercer. A trained actor, Gabrielle has a soulful sensitivity for the story in the lyric and was called ‘a powerhouse of individual expression’ by David Finkle of The Village Voice” — excerpted from website biography page
Billy Stritch – Pianist and Vocal Artist
“An award-winning composer, arranger, vocalist, and jazz pianist of extraordinary range and sophistication, Billy Stritch breathes new life into the Great American Songbook, all the while bringing an easy sense of humor and showmanship to his performances. Born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas, Billy Stritch got his start at age 12, playing piano at his neighborhood First Presbyterian Church. Word spread about the child prodigy, and the local country club hired him for a four-year weekly gig in the piano bar. The dreaded requests came in droves, prompting Billy to rush home and learn all the requisite standards, which would subsequently fill his tip bowl! Inspiration came from jazz greats like Oscar Peterson and George Shearing, but his older sister’s love for Elton John and Billy Joel opened up a new world of pop music which informs his playing to this day. After being turned on to singers like Mel Tormé, Ella Fitzgerald, Mark Murphy and Carmen McRae, Stritch started to find his own voice to use in conjunction with [his] piano mastery …. ‘Equally gifted as a player and a singer, and doing both with no-holds-power, Stritch is not afraid to dazzle!’ [The London Times]” — excerpted from website biography page
Elizabeth Sullivan – Vocal Artist
“There are Broadway dynasties (like the Barrymores) and film dynasties (like the Fondas). If there is such a thing as a ‘cabaret’ dynasty, and there is, I would say it would have to be the Sullivan Family Singers …. If you are ‘in the know’ in the cabaret community, you know at least one or more of the Sullivans …. Eight children were born to Elizabeth “Betty” and Jim Sullivan, who married at 16 and had been married 62 years when Jim died in 2009 …. All of Elizabeth Sullivan’s offspring have great careers, a testament to a great mom. For years, they have all gone back to their native Oklahoma to do a Sullivan family Christmas Show, always a sell-out. This past Christmas, the family decided, would be their last such show. It has just gotten harder and harder to get the family together because of all of their careers …. Of course, [Elzabeth] has been preparing for next week’s show at The Algonquin on Mother’s Day …” excerpted from above website page, which also contains a great discussion of the other frequently performing Sullivans — Heather, KT, Stacy, and Tim …
Heather Sullivan – Vocal Artist and Photographer
“Heather’s highly acclaimed show at Loews Regency Hotel in New York inspired Cabaret Scenes magazine’s reviewer to exclaim, ‘Fresh … Innovative … Exhilarating!'[;] ‘Sullivan imbued the lyrics’, Jerry Osterberg wrote, ‘with a deep sense of urgency that held us in awe until the very last note’. ‘Amazing voice and lyrics. Heather deserves to be a star’ — Lara Scott – Los Angeles DJ – Star 98.7 FM — Heather’s voice and original songs have been featured in over seventeen countries and also can be heard on HBO’s Sopranos, MTV, CBS, Oprah, The Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, The Lifetime Network and numerous national commercials including Apple, Chrysler and Microsoft. In 2009 Heather released her fifth album titled ‘In the Dead of Night’, a compilation of some of her favorite cover songs including ‘Man In the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson. Heather has co-written four previous albums of original material with her longtime musical partner, Emmy award-wining producer Ron Alan Cohen” — excerpted from website “Recording Artist” biography page; a separate biography page chronicles Heather’s extremely successful other career as a photographer.
KT Sullivan – Vocal Artist and Actress
” ‘One of the pleasures of cabaret reviewing over the long haul has been to observe the evolution of KT Sullivan from an effervescent musical comedian into the increasingly fearless and complex singing character actor she is today’ — Stephen Holden, The New York Times, May 2011 — KT Sullivan starred annually at the Oak Room of New York’s Algonquin Hotel, and also at the Neue Galerie’s Café Sabarsky on Fifth Avenue. She appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC with Brian Stokes Mitchell in ‘Broadway Today’ and is a regular at London’s newest cabaret Crazy Coqs, where she will return with Jeff Harnar on February 10-14 in their critically acclaimed Sondheim show. KT has headlined at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and The Caramoor Festival. She has also performed at The Spoleto Festival, The New York Historical Society, La Nouvelle Eve in Paris, The Chichester Festival in the U.K., The Adelaide Festival in Australia, and two tours of China with the Manhattan Symphonie. She was a guest star on Garrison Keillor’s ‘Prairie Home Companion’ …. She was twice named one of the top 100 Irish Americans by Irish America magazine. On that note, KT is proud to be married to outstanding Irish American Steve Downey, President of the New York Browning Society. In March 2012, she became Artistic Director of the Mabel Mercer Foundation: producers of the New York Cabaret Convention, which returns to The Town Hall to celebrate The Foundation’s 30th Anniversary on October 13-16, 2015″ — excerpted from website home and biography pages. KT has also been a staunch friend of the Walter family and very supportive of its efforts to preserve Cy Walter’s artistic legacy; she also beautifully performed, accompanied by terrific pianist/singer Bill Zeffiro, at the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in KT’s favored haunt, the sorely-missed Oak Room of the Hotel Algonquin.
Stacy Sullivan – Vocal Artist, Actress, and Photographer
“Winner of the 2014 Nightlife Award for Outstanding Female Vocalist, Stacy Sullivan has appeared in venues around the world, from The Café Carlyle in New York to The Crazy Coqs in London. She has recorded five albums for the LML Music label, including her latest, ‘It’s a Good Day’, winner of the 2013 Lamott/Friedman Award and voted one of the Top Ten Recordings of 2013 by Talkin’ Broadway. Stacy can also be heard regularly on Sirius Radio’s ‘Siriously Sinatra’, and NPR’s ‘Piano Jazz’. Stephen Holden of The New York Times writes about her new show, a tribute to Miss Peggy Lee, ‘Ms. Sullivan, who can swing … peers under the seductive artifice and makes you feel the howling loneliness of a star in a gilded cocoon’. Clive Davis of The London Times writes, ‘A commanding, willowy presence, Sullivan captures that rare combination of worldliness and vulnerability’. And, from The Times Square Chronicles, ‘It only happens sometimes. A performer who can captivate an audience on many levels: voice, phrasing, acting, persona, sensuality, and physical beauty. She has that extra wisp in her singing that leaves you breathless and everything she does musically flows naturally’.” — excerpted from website biography page. Stacy has also garnered justified fame in the cabaret world and beyond for her exqusitely talented photography (see https://www.facebook.com/stacysullivanpics for examples of headshots extraorinaire, amongst others).
Tim Sullivan – Vocal Artist
“Tim Sullivan, singer/songwriter, has been a featured performer with Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Tammy Wynette, and Glen Campbell. He has entertained at venues across the country from ‘The Crazy Horse’ in Los Angeles to ‘Town Hall’ on Broadway in New York City. Tim and his band, Narrow Gauge, have been featured at the Olympic Equestrian Center in Sydney, Australia and also at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. Tim and his family have performed in concert at ‘Carnegie Hall’ four different times. The last performance at Carnegie Hall was featured on NBC’s ‘Today Show’ and NBC’s Nightly News. Tim won Massachusetts Songwriter of the Year Award for his song ‘Dance in the Rain’ and co-wrote the theme song for the 2003 Boston Red Sox ‘Cowboy Up’. Tim has co-written a one-man-musical called ‘Diary of a Songwriter’ that he has performed across the country and off Broadway to rave reviews” — excerpted from website biography page
Terry Teachout – Drama And Music Critic And Writer
“Terry Teachout (born 6 February 1956) is an American critic, biographer, librettist, playwright, and blogger. He is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of ‘Sightings’, a column about the arts in America that appears biweekly in the Friday Wall Street Journal. He blogs at About Last Night and has written about the arts for many other magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and National Review” — excerpted from above website. Terry has also long been a fan of Cy Walter’s music, has repeatedly written about it in his arts blog, and has been very supportive of the Walter family’s efforts to keep it alive.
Simon Tedeschi – Pianist
” ‘True Greatness’ — John Carmody, Sydney Morning Herald — Simon Tedeschi is quite often described by respected critics and musical peers as one of the finest artists in the world, making the young pianist’s mark on music both undeniable and admirable. Renowned especially for championing non-standard repertoire, Tedeschi enjoys a full international performing career. Tedeschi first performed a Mozart Piano Concerto at age 9 in the Sydney Opera House. He has studied piano in Australia with Neta Maughan for 10 years (between 1990 and 2000), as well as in London with Noretta Conci and Boston with Peter Serkin …. The versatility and scope of Tedeschi’s appeal is exemplified by having shared the stage with numerous acclaimed musicians, including conductor Alan Gilbert, soprano Yvonne Kenny, jazz luminary James Morrison and Larry Adler, the legendary Harmonica player who called Tedeschi ‘the greatest pianist he ever heard’. At age 13, Tedeschi gave a private recital to the iconic Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti” — excerpted from website biography page. Simon and Mark Walter happily met through pianist/vocalist Judy Carmichael, when Simon was performing with her in New York City some years ago.
(IMDB Listings of Cy Walter and his TV Show) www.imdb.com/title/tt0042155/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_1
Cy is listed as an Actor in the IMDB site due to his 1950 television show with Stan Freeman, Judy Lynn, and Martha Wright. The show, of which sadly no footage remains, ran in fifteen-minute segments from May through Septemebr, 1950, at a time when television was decidedly in its nascent phase. The format featured Cy and Stan on duo pianos accompanying the featured female vocalist.
Tom Toce – Songwriter and Producer
“Tom Toce is a New York City-based songwriter, active in the musical theater and cabaret genres. A compilation of his work, Hopelessly in Love: The Lyrics of Tom Toce, enjoyed an extended run at the fabled Metropolitan Room in New York, and featured the talents of cabaret stars Carole J. Bufford, Jack Donahue, and Jennifer Sheehan. Tom’s song ‘Shalom, Santa’, with music by Douglas J. Cohen, won the 2014 MAC Award for Best Comedy Song. Other MAC nominations include one for Best Recording in 2014 for the cast album of Hopelessly in Love and another Best Comedy Song in 2013 for ‘Bye-Bye, Aloha, Yo!’, with music by Jeff Lazarus. Tom produced and directed Marissa Mulder’s 2014 solo cabaret show Living Standards, which played to packed houses at the Metropolitan Room and received rave reviews” — excerpted from website biography page. Tom is also on the Board of the American Popular Song Society, formerly known as the New York Sheet Music Society.
Warren Trachtman – Pianist and Piano Roll Enthusiast
Warren is a Falls Church, Virginia-based pianist, ragtime enthusiast, and web site host, who has long made a project out of preserving, in midi-file format, the piano roll recordings of yesteryear. In this regard, Warren’s transfer of Cy Walter’s QRS piano rolls may be enjoyed on the “Piano Rolls” portion of this site.
Marlene VerPlanck – Vocal Artist
“Throughout her career, Marlene VerPlanck has stuck to her guns, paying loving care to the great standards and new songs from our finest composers, while ignoring mediocre pop tunes. Songwriter Hugh Martin (‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, etc.) expressed it well: ‘We know our songs are safe in the hands of Marlene VerPlanck, and she will sing them better than anyone else’ … [S]he got her start in the big-band business, as a very young vocalist with Charlie Spivak and Tex Beneke. During a brief stint with the last Dorsey Brothers Orchestra, she met her future husband, musician-arranger Billy VerPlanck. In time, Marlene became one of the nation’s busiest studio singers, backing up vocalists ranging from Frank Sinatra and MelTorme to Kiss. Following appearances on Alec Wilder’s historic National Public Radio series, ‘American Popular Songs’, in the 1970s, Marlene emerged as a leading solo performer. Appearances at Carnegie Hall, Michael’s Pub and the Rainbow Room brought rave notices, and national TV shows, including ‘Entertainment Tonight’, ‘The Today Show’ and CBS’s ‘Sunday Morning’, featured profiles of the increasingly popular singer. Today, Marlene performs across North America and much of Western Europe, while a growing roster of solo CDs continues to win critical acclaim” — excerpted from website biography page. Marlene has recorded a beautiful performance of Cy Walter’s “Some Fine Day”, and movingly performed it live at the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in the now-sorely-missed Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room.
The Vitaphone Project
“In 1991, a group of film buffs and record collectors met to discuss the possibility of seeking out the shellac soundtrack discs that accompanied early 1926-1930 Vitaphone (and other) talkie shorts and features. The Vitaphone Project was formed to accomplish this goal as well as to partner with the studios (particularly Turner/WB), film archives (UCLA, LOC, BFI), and private collectors worldwide in order to get these films restored and seen again. Of particular interest were the nearly 2,000 talkie short subjects, featuring vaudevillians, bands, opera singers, and comedians made by Vitaphone from 1926-1929. In many cases, 35mm picture elements exist without an accompanying soundtrack. Since its inception, The Vitaphone Project has located over 3,000 12- and 16-inch shellac soundtrack discs in private hands, has assisted on the restoration of over 35 shorts and 12 features, and has developed nearly $300,000 in private funding for restorations. There are still over 80 shorts for which picture, but no sound, exists” — excerpted from website homepage. Ron Hutchinson heads The Vitaphone Project; Vince Giordano is a founding member; and Alex Hassan, amongst his many recordings, has recorded music from Vitaphone shorts.
“Russ Weatherford has been a mainstay in the cabaret community for some time. A writer, director and photographer, his presence is well known and received in all the venues. Wherever there’s a cabaret show, there’s Russ and his camera to capture the moment. TheaterPizzazz is proud to announce Russ’ new affiliation with us and his column ‘Making the Rounds with Russ’ — a compilation of videography and photography bringing life to the many evenings of entertainment in the New York City club scene and more” — excerpted from above website
Jon Weber – Pianist and Radio Show Producer
” ‘Jon Weber is a virtuoso, pure and simple’…. A spectacular solo pianist, his brilliantly crafted spontaneous orchestrations easily place him in the rarefied company of today’s elite jazz musicians. The youngest of seven children, Jon’s musical passion (plus absolute pitch and recall) surfaced at age three on a toy organ. By six, he internalized 2000 standards from his Grandma’s piano rolls …. By age 19, Jon’s jazz quintet (all original music) had opened up for Pat Metheney, Buddy Rich, Freddie Hubbard, Angela Bofil, and Stanley Turrentine at various major summer jazz festivals. Incredibly, Jon expanded his repertoire and developed his craft without studying piano or composition. In fact, he never saw chord symbols before joining the Mark Kleckley Big Band at 16…. After a compelling appearance on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, Warner Bros. commissioned Jon (Mr. Perfect Pitch) to transcribe ‘Portraits’, a book containing 23 of Marian’s improvised piano solo compositions…. Weber’s quickly becoming a favorite at New York’s 92nd Street ‘Y’ jazz series, performing piano duos with Dick Hyman, the late Sir Roland Hanna, Cyrus Chestnut, and Bill Charlap. Jon Weber, a true original, is rapidly emerging as a youthful, singular personality in jazz” — excerpted from website biography page. To this truncated history must be added the fact that Jon has matured into one of the most sought-after performers and accompanists in the jazz and cabaret piano world of today, and has succeeded Marian McPartland as the host of the excellent radio show to which she gave birth, NPR’s “Piano Jazz”.
Aaron Weinstein Violinist
“Called ‘the Groucho of the violin’ by Tony Bennett and ‘a perfect musician’ by jazz guitar legend, Bucky Pizzarelli, Aaron Weinstein ‘is rapidly establishing himself as one of his instrument’s rare jazz masters’ (Don Heckman, International Review of Music). As a featured soloist, Aaron has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Blue Note, and abroad at jazz festivals in England, France, Switzerland, Iceland, and Israel. Aaron has performed and recorded with an array of jazz icons including: Les Paul, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Dave Frishberg, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross, as well as musicians as varied as New York Pops conductor, Skitch Henderson, and rock guitarist, Jay Geils. He has written arrangements for vocalists including Christine Ebersole, Linda Lavin, and the Manhattan Transfer’s Janis Siegel… Aaron is [also] a respected mandolinist, widely regarded as one of the instrument’s leading exponents in the jazz idiom …. Additionally, Aaron is a bow tie rights activist. He is also lactose intolerant but can find at least one agreeable item on any restaurant menu, a feat he’s called ‘my greatest talent’ ” — excerpted from website biography page
Debbi is the granddaughter of songwriter Richar Whiting and the daughter of vocal artist Margaret Whiting, and, as such, is a kindred spirit to Mark Walter as regards her determined effort to augment awareness of her august ancestors’ musical legacies. With the aid of The Mabel Mercer Foundation and its Artistic Director, KT Sullivan, in 2014 Debbi produced a marvelous 90th Birthday celebration of her mother Margaret Whiting’s music, held in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Debbi is also on the Board of the American Popular Song Society, formerly known as the New York Sheet Music Society.
Ronny Whyte – Pianist and Vocal Artist
Ronny is a musician extraordinaire whose gifts have brought joy to many a rapt listener in the New York cabaret scene for several decades. Ronny has long also been an active recording artist whose CDs and albums include many of his own excellent compositions, which have been performed and recorded by other top artists, including Tony Bennett. Producer of the wonderful weekly jazz program at NYC’s Saint Peter’s Church, Midday Jazz, Ronny is singlehandedly responsible for providing a marvelous array of talented artists for music-loving New Yorkers. And, to the Walter family’s great gratitude, Ronny performed beautifully at the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held in the Algonquin Hotel’s sorely-missed Oak Room, both as a solo artist and as accompanist for several others.
Julie Wilson – Vocal Artist and Actress
Julie Wilson, an icon of the New York cabaret scene, awed New Yorkers with her acting and singing for over five decades. Sadly, she passed away at age ninety on 5 April 2015. For some years, she had not been actively performing save on happy rare occasions, but she remained an ever-present and vibrant member of the New York City cabaret scene. She was constantly, for example, in attendance as an audience member at other performers’ shows, acting as a sort of artistic godmother to support young and upcoming artists. During the 2014 New York City Cabaret Convention, on her 90th Birthday, 21 October 2014, Julie was honored and féted by all present, performers and audience alike. Accompanied by Mark Hummel, Julie also, to the Walter family’s eternal gratitude, performed at the Cam Walter Memorial Celebration on 17 October 2011, the last private event held at the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room before its untimely closing. No stranger to the Oak Room, Julie had performed there countless times in her career; but this was her last appearance there, and she mesmerized the room, which was filled with cabaret performers and lovers alike. Julie had a heart of gold, and a performing presence and talent to match.
Bryan S. Wright – Pianist and Musicologist
“Bryan S. Wright is a pianist and musicologist and the 2013 Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation’s Artist in Residence. A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, Bryan was classically trained as a pianist and now specializes in ragtime and early jazz piano styles. With his wife, Yuko, he has performed and lectured on ragtime across the United States and abroad and released two full-length solo CDs, Syncopated Musings and Breakin’ Notes. He is founder and executive producer of Rivermont Records, a Grammy-nominated label specializing in ragtime and early jazz. Bryan holds degrees in historical musicology from the College of William and Mary and the University of Pittsburgh, where he is presently a Ph.D. candidate” — excerpted from website biography page. Bryan’s Rivermont Records has also produced an excellent CD, “Two Grands — Four Hands”, on which Cy Walter and Gil Bowers are featured as duo pianists. Highly recommended are Bryan’s excellent podcasts, entitled “Shellac Stack”, accessible through his website and embarking his listeners on delightful journeys into the musical artistry of yore. For example, his 10 February 2015 Shellac Stack No. 46 celebrates Cy Walter’s music (see http://www.bryanswright.com/wpdir/?s=cy+walter).
Alexander Wu and Frank Ponzio – Pianists
“A New York Story… Alex and Frank [Ponzio] met while living just a floor apart in an old hotel in New York’s Upper West Side. Alex was practicing for classical recitals and Frank was preparing for gigs at local jazz clubs. Chopin and Gershwin could be heard from their apartments, duelling for air space … they drove each other nuts! When Alex moved, the two became friends and began attending each other’s concerts. They soon decided to join forces — to perform the music heard in that hotel, but in a much more organized fashion. And so was born the All4One Piano Duo. From start to finish, The All4One Piano Duo is an aural and visual tour de force. Entertaining solo and duo performances seamlessly alternate with lively and fascinating stories, including their own New York story, supported by piano underscoring. Their uniquely original four-hand arrangements juxtapose the likes of Chopin with Jobim, Beethoven with swing and a tag team dance medley that caps off the program” — excerpted from website “All4One” page
Karen Wyman – Vocal Artist and Actress
” ‘I’ve never heard a greater ovation for any performer from our audience’ — Ed Sullivan — As a teenager in her first-ever public appearance, Karen Wyman astonished Dean Martin with her extraordinary and powerful voice. Overnight she signed a major recording contract with Decca Records, and captivated audiences on major TV shows hosted by Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett, Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, Glen Campbell and Merv Griffin. Karen performed at nightclubs and concert halls alongside such stars as Paul Anka, Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Roy Clark, Jimmy Durante, Alan King, George Carlin, Rich Little, and Shecky Greene, and as an actress appeared on stage with the likes of Alan Young, Davey Jones, and Gordon MacRae. Currently Karen is celebrating a return to the stage after stepping away to raise her family. Her acclaimed New York concert last year was named a ‘Critic’s Pick’ by Time Out New York and called ‘a compelling concert and a totally-inspiring comeback performance’ by BroadwayWorld.com. She also won a Bistro Award for her acclaimed return to the stage” — excerpted from website home and biography pages
Bill Zeffiro – Pianist and Vocal Artist
“Bill wrote book, music and lyrics for The Road To Ruin (The 1928 Exploitation Musical) which [made] its world premiere at the New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF) in September 2008. The cast album, available on Original Cast Records (starring George S. Irving and Ann Morrison) was named one of the Top 10 Show Albums of 2005 by talking.broadway.com. …. [Bill] is regarded as an expert on the music of Kay Swift, and co-produced the legendary Merkin Hall concert in 1986 featuring Ms. Swift, Steve Ross, Julie Wilson and Balcom and Morris. As a vocal coach/singing teacher his clients have appeared in (to name a few) Billy Elliot, Rent, Mary Poppins, Wicked, Avenue Q and Jersey Boys …. City Lights Youth Theatre honored him at Tavern On The Green for his work as an Artist/Teacher along with his wife, Lynne Wilson, and Kitty Carlisle Hart” — excerpted from website’s “About The Composer” page. Bill is an ubiquitous and delightful performer on the New York cabaret scene, appearing solo and in accompaniment mode for numerous other terrific vocal artists, including Marissa Mulder and KT Sullivan, among many others. Bill also performed, pianistically and vocally with KT, a wonderful “Thanks For The Memories” at the 2011 Cam Walter Memorial Celebration, the last private event held at the Hotel Algonquin’s venerable, and sorely-missed, Oak Room.
Denny Zeitlin – Pianist and Psychiatrist
” ‘He is the jazz world’s most visible Renaissance man – a full time practicing psychiatrist, a medical school teacher, and a world class jazz musician’ — Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times — Denny Zeitlin has recorded over thirty critically acclaimed albums; twice won first place in the Down Beat International Jazz Critics Poll; written original music for Sesame Street; and appeared on network TV, including repeats on the Tonight Show and CBS’ Sunday Morning. Zeitlin’s lecture-demonstration ‘Unlocking the Creative Impulse: The Psychology of Improvisation’ has been presented across the U.S. and in Europe. He has concertized throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe, at colleges, jazz clubs, and major festivals; appearing with jazz greats such as Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson, John Patitucci, John Abercrombie, Marian McPartland, Charlie Haden, David Grisman, Kronos Quartet, Paul Winter, David Friesen, Matt Wilson, Buster Williams and many others …. [Zeitlin] is currently a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco and Marin County and an award-winning Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. His first series of records appeared on Columbia in the mid and late 60’s, and were received with critical acclaim and international exposure” — excerpted from website biography page. Denny and Mark Walter became friends at a NYC 2007 IAJE Conference presentation given by Tony Caramia on Cy Walter; Denny there related how Cy had befriended and mentored him as a young pianist in 1960s New York City. To read Denny’s own beautiful rendition of the story, see this website’s Guestbook page.