Thursday, February 19th, 2009 3:27 PM CST

It's a Miracle!!

  I hope everyone is enjoying a busy and healthy start to 2009! And yes... I know it's a miracle that I'm actually home long enough to catch everyone up!! It's been a good year with ships, and concerts. The big news is the concert in Arkansas. We (that's me, one assistant and 9 musicians) left Nashville in a 45 foot Prevost, 12 sleeper tour bus and drove 8 hours to Hot Springs Arkansas. For those of you who have never been there, it's a pretty cool little town - not to mention the great hot springs spas... duh...Anyway, we were the talk of the town in our beautiful bus. I was just sorry I wasn't Carrie Underwood :-)!! Sorry Hot Springs maybe next year! The venue was this wonderful theatre in Hot Springs Village, with the greatest staff and technical crew. They took "taking care of us" to a whole new level! We did 4 sold out shows, to 2 standing O's a night (well on Thursday we had a third at intermission!) and spa treatments for everyone at the fabulous historic Arlington Hotel and Spa. The band said they've never had a more relaxing tour :-)!! And an incredible band it was: my MD and pianist Scot Woolley, drummer Scott Weckerly, bass Roy Vogt, keys Kevin Madill, Trumpets George Tidwell and Vinne Ciesielski, saxes with clarinet and flute respectively Denis Solee and Jimmy Bowland, and my arranger and trombonist John Hinchey - an honor and a laugh riot to work with every one of them. Who else would break in to "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'" in the middle of "Ring Them Bells" - only the Nashville 9! The good news is we've been asked back again for their big 20th Anniversary shindig! Wahoo!!
  I debuted the new show SWING IT LIKE SAMMY at the Metropolitan Room in NYC in January, and that too, went extremely well. Thanks to Mitch Perrins and his great band contracting I had an amazing 8 piece band that literally rocked the place... well swung the place. :-) The same week I sang BLUES IN THE NIGHT at the legendary BIRDLAND, and met the equally legendary John Hendricks, who after hearing me sing, kissed my hand, before he was whisked away in the crowd. His wife actually had some wonderful things to say to me, that I "truly sang from the heart and that's what jazz is about..." We were also treated to a couple of tunes from John and his daughter, who obviously takes after her Dad! The same night I met one of my idols Ann Hampton Callaway and heard her do one of her famous incredible impromptu jazz jams about Obama!! Just a fabulous night... I recommend anybody in NYC on a Monday night to stop in at Birdland for Jim Caruso's Cast Party - it's really a great time!!
  And that's the highlights! I wish everyone Health and Love in the New Year - and Hope, most of all, Hope!!
 

Friday, August 15th, 2008 8:04 PM CDT

Okay, Okay I know it's been a long time!

Hey everyone, summer is almost over and I'm feeling guilty I haven't updated in a while! I got all involved in FACEBOOK, and it's ruining my life!! :-) No, it's great... look for a fan page coming up soon (once I figure out how to do it) and you can access some great pictures of me all over the world. And all over the world I have been. From the Antarctic to Norway, from South Africa to the Suez Canal. I've been in the Med, New Foundland, Costa Rica and yes, Estonia. Where all my luggage was lost, but due to incredible bull headed-ness on my part was eventually returned ... and only missing a few things. Not bad! This is where the incredible FACEBOOK comes in to play, I was moaning about my lost luggage and Tom Mills an old friend of mine (wonderful director) got back in touch and said he'd just worked with a girl from Estonia, and in fact she was in Estonia right now... did I "think that would help"??? Incredible, she helped me navigate the Estonian lost luggage website, which by the way, and strangely enough is in Estonian - and it eventually - albeit, two months later - led to the return of my luggage. It was a Christmas Miracle. Speaking of Christmas I'll be back on the Queen Mary 2 for Christmas this year - doing some Christmas songs, and having a grand old time. Then I've been invited to sail for New Years on the Residensea World. It's the ship where everyone buys condos... I can't wait to see it! It's gonna be FAB! Have reconnected with a lot of old friends this year, and have met some grand new ones! I hope you've all had a good summer, and are looking forward to fall and the Holidays!


 


 

Monday, March 24th, 2008 6:46 PM CDT

WHOA!!!

I just realized my last news entry was in November... not to sound like everyone else, but WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE??? Christmas was great, spent New Years at sea, and then off to NYC for the booking conference... Had a great showcase at the Iridium Jazz Club in NYC, lots of people showed up, and the band was smokin'... Great to have Mitch Perrins back as my drummer, I've missed his playing! My latest concert was in Greenville, Ohio at the sweetest little venue you could imagine! My band was contracted out of Dayton and Cincinnati - and can I say, I wish I could tour with these guys, they were unbelievable. Luckily we got a recording of the show, so we may get a CD out of it yet.... Speaking of which, those of you who are waiting for my new CD - ran in to some problems with the recording and had to scrap most of what was done, so now I'm just waiting for money, and time :-) - but fear not, I really want to complete the project so it's definitely happening, just not sure when. Spent a week in Antarctica in January, and had to climb up the rope ladder to get on board as the Captain just decided he wanted to leave an hour early, and I had been flying for two days to get there... pics will be coming from that - but you have to check them out on FACEBOOK... that's where I'll be posting new pictures, as there's a problem with putting new ones on my website. Anyway, it was fun climbing up the rope, and sooo worth it - the Antarctic is incredible. Now I'm heading off to the Mediterranean, and South Africa - and then London, that will bring me back around mid-May... just in time for another update!! Happy Spring everyone!!


 


 

Thursday, November 8th, 2007 8:26 AM CST

DOWTOWN CABARET THEATRE

We had a blast doing the concert in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre! Bridgeport is about and hour and a half out of NYC, and the audiences were great! Three full houses, and a lot of memories. The DCT was my first job when I moved to NYC and they're doing a series of Cabaret Nights, bringing back some people who had performed there. I did the shows PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, OLIVER AND ROCKY HORROR SHOW, in my run there. My intrepid pianist Scot Woolley, joined me in a duet on "Dammit, Janet" from ROCKY, and then we did "As Long As He Needs Me" from OLIVER... I hadn't sung either of those songs in... well let's just say since I performed them on that stage!! My musicians were fantastic... Scot Woolley, my musical director, pianist and great friend, was joined by Mitch Perrins on drums, and Jordan Jancz on bass, both of whom I have worked with before. I was so excited to get them back again, and in fact they will be doing my show in January at the Iridium (more on that later). They were joined by Gary Ruggiero, Mike and John (sorry on the last names guys!!) But they were fabulous - it's the biggest band they've had at the DCT, and Joe on sound did a fantastic job. By the way, Joe was my soundman back in the day, as well. Most painful moment? - when a guy taller than me, with a shaved head and a really deep voice said, "Bet you don't remember me?" It was PJ, one of my Oliver's who of course was only 4 ft. tall when I knew him... Oy vey, kill me now...


 

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 3:58 PM CDT

GEARING UP!

Well, it's fall, time for cooler weather and... Christmas shopping?? Yikes! And as far as cooler weather goes, I spent most of the summer freezing, so I'm looking forward to a little hot weather in Acapulco in October! I've been busy setting up for my concerts in November, check the concert schedule, I've got shows in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Napa Valley, California. There's going to be a wonderful tribute to an incredible friend George Shebitz on November 4th in Nyack , New York, at the old Helen Hayes Theatre, now called the Riverspace Art Center. Very honored and excited to be a part of that concert. Also setting up my show in NYC in January, watch this space for details on that. And finally, we're going to be doing a fabulous CD launch with many mysterious prizes to be had, but you got to play to win :-) !! Happy Autumn everyone!
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