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Hoagy Carmichael Songs Celebrated by New York Festival of Song Feb. 5 and 7

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New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) continues its 20th Anniversary season with Harry, Hoagy & Harold, an evening of song featuring the greatest hits and rarities by three American song-writers: Harry Warren, Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Arlen, on Tuesday, February 5 and Thursday, February 7 at 8:00 pm, at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street and 7th Avenue.

The program, first presented in the 2000-01 NYFOS season, pays tribute to three of America's leading song writers, who are known all over the world for such hits as I Only Have Eyes for You, Stardust, Stormy Weather and Over the Rainbow, and many more classic songs.

The performers are soprano Jonita Lattimore, mezzo-soprano Mary Testa, and baritone James Martin with Steven Blier at the piano, Greg Utzig on guitar/banjo and Vince Giordano on bass.

“Warren, Carmichael and Arlen are three icons of the American popular song tradition. This program includes many of their classics, but also a fair amount of relatively unknown works, including “Dancing Partner," an unpublished song Arlen wrote for Judy Garland to sing in A Star is Born. It was never used, and the sheet music is just a scrawled sketch, but it is truly a gem. We also wanted to bring back “Harry, Hoagy and Harold" for these three incredible singers as well as musicians Greg Utzig and the legendary Vince Giordano. Each of them will bring different colors to these incredible songs." said NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier.

The Performers
Chicago-born soprano Jonita Lattimore made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in Kurt Weill's The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and was also seen on the Lyric's stage as Micala in Carmen. She recently performed the role of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Tulsa Opera, and debuted in the title role of the world premiere and recording of James Niblock's Ruth at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Festival , Jackie O (recorded on Decca) and is the soprano soloist in Robert Avalon's Sextet ,Julia de Burgos, recorded on Centaur. She made her Paris debut at the Bastille Opera as Serena in Porgy and Bess. She also appeared at the Edinburgh Festival and debuted in Italy with the Orchestra della Toscana in concerts and radio performances. In the 2006-07 season, Ms. Lattimore sang Villa-Lobos' “Three Songs" from Floresta do Amazonas with the Houston Symphony, a special Christmas concert tour in Lisbon with Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, and Verdi's Requiem with Helena Symphony. A frequent recipient of awards, Ms. Lattimore sang with NYFOS last season in Dvork and the American Soul.

Mary Testa is a critically acclaimed Broadway performer, Obie winner, and recording artist with credits that include Xanadu, Chicago, 42nd Street, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (cast album), The Rink, Marilyn, and Barnum. She has also appeared in the Encores! series in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, for which she recorded the cast album. Her film credits include Stay, Tony n' Tina's Wedding, The Business of Strangers, The Out-of-Towners, Sleepers, Queens of the Big Time, Two Bits, Mac, Stanley and Iris, and Going in Style. On television, she has been featured in shows such as Sex and the City, Law and Order, City Kids, and numerous others. Her previous appearances with NYFOS include Hands Across the Sea (2006) and We Open in Paris (2007).

James Martin has won critical acclaim for his performances in opera and concert as a versatile singer/actor and entertainer, with an artistic repertoire that spans Bach to be-bop, Busoni to Burleigh, and Berg to Bernstein. He has appeared with leading musical organizations throughout the United States and abroad, including opera companies in Chicago, San Francisco, Louis, New York, Toronto, Strasbourg, Basel and Oslo; the music festivals of Marlboro, Ravinia, Aspen, Moab, Colmar, and Tel Aviv; and concert appearances with Continuum, Summergarden, and NYFOS. Operatic roles include Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, Mozart's Figaro, Don Giovanni and Papageno, Silvio in I pagliacci, L'Horloge comtoise and Le Chat noir in L'Enfant et les sortilges, Betto di Signa in Gianni Schicchi, and Pistola in Falstaff. Recent and upcoming performances include recitals in Mississippi, New Orleans, and New York, Marcello in La bohme, a concert of Mozart arias and Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer with the Mississippi Symphony. Mr. Martin now makes his home in Jackson, Mississippi and serves as adjunct instructor of voice at Jackson State University. Mr. Martin has appeared with NYFOS every season since his first concert in 2001. He last sang with NYFOS during the 2006-2007 season in Dvork and the American Soul.

Greg Utzig is currently the guitarist for Dessa Rose. He has also been the guitarist for Fiddler on the Roof, Big River, Oklahoma, Tom Sawyer, Miss Saigon, Ragtime, Side Show, Steel Pier, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Shenendoah. Mr. Utzig has played mandolin with The Kirov Ballet, The New York Philharmonic, Ejos, the American Composer's Orchestra and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has appeared as a tenor banjoist with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Queens Symphony Orchestra and Ejos. Greg has accompanied and recorded with Placido Domingo, Frederica von Stade, Russel Watson, Dinah Shore, Anthony Newley, Sylvia McNair, Connie Francis, Tommy Tune, Eddie Fisher, Twiggy, Donna Summer, Neil Sedaka, and Barbara Cook. He last sang with NYFOS in Lost Tribes of Vaudeville (2005).

Vince Giordano is a musician, arranger, and authority on performing 1920s and '30s jazz and popular music. Woody Allen, Madonna, Terry Zweigoff, Garrison Keillor and the New York Philharmonic have all used Giordano and his eleven-piece big band, the Nighthawks, in their films, video and radio performances. Giordano is especially noted for orchestrations featured in the movies of Woody Allen, and is a frequent performer on the radio program “A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor. Mr. Giordano has performed at the Smithsonian, Carnegie Hall, the JVC Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, and the Breda Jazz Festival in Holland. His many recordings include Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend (RCA), the original soundtrack from the 1990 film, soundtrack to Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown, and Finding Forrester. Also a big-band historian and collector, Mr. Giordano has more than 30,000 scores in his personal collection.

Artistic Director Steven Blier co-founded New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival's inception he has programmed, performed, translated and annotated over 100 song programs with repertoire spanning the entire range of American song, art song from Schubert to Szymanowski, and popular song from early vaudeville to Lennon-McCartney. NYFOS has also made in-depth explorations of music from Spain, Latin America, Scandinavia and Russia. In addition, Mr. Blier enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. Among the many artists he has partnered in recital are Rene Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Jessye Norman, Wolfgang Holzmair, Susanne Mentzer and Sylvia McNair.

New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) was founded in 1988 by its co-artistic directors, Steven Blier and Michael Barrett. NYFOS is dedicated to creating intimate song concerts of great beauty, humor and originality, combining music, poetry, and history to entertain, educate and create community among audiences and performers. With a far-ranging repertoire of art songs, concert works and theater pieces, its thematic recitals have included programs from Brahms to the Beatles, from the 19th century salons of Paris to Tin Pan Alley, from Russian art song to Argentine tangos, from sixteenth-century lute songs to new music.

NYFOS particularly celebrates American song literature and culture, and specializes in premiering and commissioning new American works.

NYFOS' New York City concert series is funded, in part, by the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.

To order tickets, call CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800 or visit the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue. Tickets are not available by mail through Carnegie Hall.

The Program

OVERTURE: Stardust & Over the Rainbow (instrumental) (Carmichael)Arlen
The Old Music Master
(Mercer) Carmichael
Sleepin' Bee
(Capote) Arlen
I Yi Yi Yi Yi/When I Love, I Love (Gordon) Warren
Last Night When We Were Young (Mercer) Arlen
Old Buttermilk Sky (Carmichael & Brooks) Carmichael
It's A New World (Gershwin)Arlen
Medley: Old Man Harlem Carmichael & Vallee/Carmichael
Shoes With Wings On Gershwin/Warren
Dancing Partner Gershwin/ Arlen
Cheerful Little Earful Gershwin & Rose/Warren

INTERMISSION

ENTR'ACTE: Jeepers Creepers (instrumental)
Warren
Evelina
Harburg/Arlen
Hard to Replace
Gershwin/Warren
Skylark
Mercer/Carmichael
Buds Won't Bud
Harburg/Arlen
I Only Have Eyes for You
Dubin/Warren
That Old Black Magic
Mercer/Arlen
Come On Midnight
Charnin/ Arlen
How Little We Know
Mercer/Carmichael
Two Ladies in the Shade of the Banana Tree
Capote/Arlen
The Nearness of You
Washington/Carmichael
In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening Mercer/Carmichael

This story appears courtesy of Reva Cooper.
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