"A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White
House" is a PBS music special taped in the East Room of the White House. President and Mrs. Obama will host the all-star music tribute celebrating the cultural resonance of art and literature in unique American musical forms.Taping October 14, 2015
3.14.16 Shuffle Along previews on Broadway at the Music Box Theater. Starring Audra McDonald, Stokes, Billy Porter, Brandon Victor Dixon (and Joshua Henry. Directed by George C. Wolfe, with choreography by Savion
Glover. March 21 opening night.
I want to tell you a little about my new album called “Simply Broadway.”
This is the album that USA Today chose as “One of the
best albums of 2013”!
Its a brand new recording with an “old school” vibe--inspired by some of the greatest recordings
from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s.
One of my favorite recordings from that time was an album of standards by Tony Bennett and the
late great pianist, Bill Evans - just the two of them.
Each time I listen to it, I seem to hear those old songs in a fresh, new way. I’m amazed by the
intimate relationship of singer and song and the beauty, simplicity and depth that comes from saying most with the least. And when I listen in a pair of headphones it’s like getting my own
So I thought, “Hey - why not use that same classic approach with Broadway standards”? I
recorded 12 great songs from 12 great Broadway classics - shows like Company, Camelot, Porgy and Bess, Les Miz, Sunday in the Park With George... all performed in the spirit of the
originals but with a fresh new OLD approach - beautifully recorded and with only 2 instruments: a stunning Steinway Hamburg 9-foot grand piano and a voice. In this case, of course, my voice.
The pianist is an extraordinary artist named Tedd Firth who I started working with 5 years ago at
my Carnegie Hall solo concert. We’ve wprked together ever since. We seem to hear, feel, think, eat and breathe music in a similar way. I like to tell myself that he is the pianist I would
have been had I stayed as dedicated to that instrument as I am to singing.
In the “old-school” spirit, we recorded the entire album together, in the same studio in the same
room at the same time - no baffles to separate us, no overdubs... no digital tuning. Just a singer and a pianist having a great time making music together with some great Broadway songs.