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Corky Hale to Make Kennedy Center Debut in 16th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 16th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival will present “Corky Hale And Friends," featuring Corky Hale, the critically acclaimed and renowned jazz harpist, pianist and vocalist on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the Terrace Theater of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; 2700 F Street, N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20566.

Corky Hale will be accompanied by Boots Maleson on bass and Brian Brake on drums. Jeff Glass will serve as Music Director. Other artists to be featured on the program on May 21st include the duo of pianist Peggy Stern and saxophonist “Sweet" Sweet Sue Terry and special guest vocalist Marlena Shaw, FIVE PLAY drummer Sherrie Maricle, saxophonist Janelle Reichman , bassist Noriko Ueda, pianist Tomoko Ohno, and trumpet and flugelhorn player Jami Dauber. Dee Dee Bridgewater will serve as host.The performance will be taped by National Public Radio.

Additional artists will be presented on both Thursday and Friday, May 19 and 20, 2011, as part of the three day Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival which concludes on Saturday, May 21, 2011. For further information, please visit the website, www.kennedy-center.org.

The Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival marks its 16th thrilling year with three evenings of star-studded performances featuring the world's top female jazz artists hosted by Dee Dee Bridgewater. The Washington Post says the festival “speaks volumes about the contributions women have made to jazz—and continue to make—both here and abroad."

Tickets for the performance of “Corky Hale And Friends" are $38 each. Prices for other nights of the Jazz Festival vary. Please refer to The Kennedy Center's website for details.

For tickets and further information, please call The Kennedy Center Box Office at 800-444-1324 from or 202-467-4600 between 10:00 a.m.ׯ:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Group Sales are also available for groups of 20 or more. The Group Sales Box Office is open from Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.׫:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). For more information, please visit the website, www.kennedy-center.org. To learn more about Corky Hale, please visit the website, www.corkyhale.com.

Corky Hale (harpist, pianist and vocalist) was born in a small mid-western farm town and started piano lessons at age three. At age seven, while vacationing with her family in Florida, Hale was heard in the lobby of her hotel picking out tunes on the piano by House bandleader, Horace Heidt. Heidt had a little band jacket made for her and featured her for the next few weeks in the evening show. She was accepted at the Chicago Conservatory of Music at the age of seven to study piano; by the age of eight she began studying the harp there.

She has performed at The White House with Tony Bennett, soloed with Barbra Streisand in Central Park and at the Hollywood Bowl, and performed with Björk on her MTV Special in London. Hale has also appeared with George Michael and Boy George at London's Royal Albert Hall and Washington, D.C.'s RFK Stadium. She has played harp for The Liberace Jazztet, piano for Billie Holiday and Mel Torme, and has sung with the bands of Harry James, Ray Anthony and Jerry Gray. She has also appeared on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.

Hale's harp, piano and vocals can be heard on her three albums CORKY!, Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas, and her current CD Corky Hale...And Friends—I'm Glad There Is You. Corky Hale's CDs are available at www.cdbaby.com and www.amazon.com.

Her sold-out performances at the Oak Room at the Algonquin in New York, Davenport's in Chicago, the Cinegrill and Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill Jazz...etc. in Los Angeles, the Plush Room in San Francisco, and Pizza On The Park in London have led Los Angeles Times' jazz reviewer Don Heckman to observe that Hale is “more than a triple threat," and the San Francisco Examiner's Philip Ellwood noted her performances are “of cyclonic proportions."

Hale produced Give 'em Hell Harry, starring Jason Alexander at the Tiffany Theatre in Los Angeles in 1992. Since 2000 Hale has produced and performed her star-studded show Corky Hale and Friends: From Tin Pan Alley to Beverly Hills, at the Beverly Hills Civic Center.

In March 2003 her “Salute To Hollywood Songwriters" opened the newly restored Ferry Building at a Gala for San Francisco's “Raising Hope" charity, and in 2002 this show opened the 25th Anniversary Season of the 1,000-seat La Mirada Theatre. In that same year Hale's musical Boulevard of Broken Dreams broke Box Office records at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Florida. She also produced 1998's Lullaby Of Broadway at the Tiffany Theatre in West Hollywood, voted one of the “10 Best Shows" of the year by the Los Angeles Times. Later a concert version of the show starring Sally Kellerman was presented at the University of Judaism. She is currently preparing a new version of the production, re-titled I Only Have Eyes For You.

On November 22, 2007, Corky Hale made her debut at Carnegie Hall as a Piano Soloist with the New York Pops Orchestra, under the baton of Guest Conductor Barry Levitt. In 2008 she appeared at the Metropolitan Room in New York and produced a Tribute to Sammy Cahn at the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills. In 2009 she appeared at Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill Jazz...etc. in Los Angeles, selling it out for the third time. Also in 2009, she also appeared as a performer on the Inaugural Playboy Jazz Cruise of the Caribbean.

In December 2008—January 2009, she produced a Sold Out, Standing Room Only Revival of Leiber & Stoller's Smokey Joe's Café at El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, which received rave reviews, including a Critics Choice in the Los Angeles Times. The same production was also nominated for 10 Ovation Awards in 2009, receiving the most nominations of any single theatrical show produced in Los Angeles during that year. Currently discussions are underway for another National Tour of the Revival of the show. In 2010, Corky Hale served as one of the financial backers of Academy Award nominated documentary film, The Most Dangerous Man In America—Daniel Ellsberg and The Pentagon Papers. Hale also appeared at Catalina Bar & Grill and the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles in 2010.

2011 appearances include: The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the 16th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C.; Knickerbocker Bar & Grill in New York; Midtown Jazz at Midday at St. Peter's Church in New York; Catalina Bar & Grill in Los Angeles, CA, and the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, CA, among others.

In addition to her musical accomplishments, Hale jokingly considers herself the ultimate cook-housewife. She has been happily married for 40 years to songwriter Mike Stoller of the team Leiber & Stoller, whose show Smokey Joe's Café broke the record as the longest running musical revue in Broadway history. Hale serves on the national advisory board of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), the national advisory board of Planned Parenthood and the California board of the Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP). She and her husband are strong advocates of the Southern Poverty Law Center and serve on the board of the National Coalition to Ban Gun Violence. To learn more about Corky Hale, please visit www.corkyhale.com.

Tickets for the performance of Corky Hale And Friends are $38 each. Prices for other nights of the Jazz Festival vary. Please refer to The Kennedy Center's website for details. Tickets are now on sale to the General Public. For tickets and further information, please call The Kennedy Center Box Office at 800-444-1324 from or 202-467-4600 between 10:00 a.m.ׯ:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Group Sales are also available for groups of 20 or more. The Group Sales Box Office is open from Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.׫:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). For more information, please visit the website, www.kennedy-center.org. To learn more about Corky Hale, please visit the website www.corkyhale.com.

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