The American Songbook Association just presented its first Annual Gala, The Joint Is Jumpin’!, a joyous celebration of contributions to the American Songbook by Black songwriters and notable singers. The ASA also presented its first annual Lifetime Achievement Award to singer Marilyn Maye, presented by her longtime friend, fashion designer, Bob Mackie.
Starring in The Joint Is Jumpin’! – Celebrating America’s Black Songwriters and Singers are a host of Broadway and Cabaret stars, including Danny Bacher, Aaron Lee Battle, Natalie Douglas, Cady Huffman, N’Kenge, Nicolas King, Joel A. Martin, Ken Page, Vivian Reed, Kissy Simmons, Stacy Sullivan and Jon Weber. * ASA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Marilyn Maye, will also perform a special tribute, with her Music Director Tedd Firth at the piano. Additionally, a Gala reception will be held after the concert in the sumptuous lobby of The Pershing Square Signature Center. Patrons can indulge in dessert fare with beverages from the cash bar.
Host of The Joint Is Jumpin’! – Celebrating America’s Black Songwriters and Singers is Todd Murray, with Music Director Eugene Gwozdz on piano and Mark McClean on drums, with soprano saxophone contributions by Danny Bacher. Featured will be the music and songs of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Fats Waller, Eubie Blake, W.C. Handy and more. Represented will be iconic singers such as Ella Fitgerald, Nat King Cole, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Short and others. The Gala Honorary Committee is chaired by The Honorable David N. Dinkins, former Mayor of the City of New York, and co-chaired by Evelyn Jones Rich, prominent educator and civil rights activist.
The American Songbook Association Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit incorporated in New York State, which seeks to preserve, promote and advance the legacy of American popular music, the Great American Songbook (classic and new), and the unique art form of cabaret. The ASA publishes the long- established Cabaret Scenes magazine, conducts educational programs in New York City public schools, and creates performances serving its audience of seniors, students and others. We strive to inspire, transform, empower and create torchbearers for future generations so they may understand, appreciate and embrace the historical and cultural importance of America’s rich musical heritage. Learn more at www.americansongbookassociation.org
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter Keddy