Michael Feinstein gathered some of his favorite vocalists to join him last week at Zankel Hall to help celebrate Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary. Feinstein is a master of the Great American Songbook and has been wowing audiences for more than 30 years in live performances around the world. In addition, his impressive discography celebrates some of the most notable composers of the 20th century including Harold Arlen, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerry Herman, Jule Styne, and many more.
Opening with an inspired arrangement of “They All Laughed” and “I’ve Got Rhythm” (with a few final bars from “Rhapsody in Blue”), Feinstein quickly affirmed himself as both a virtuoso piano player as well as vocalist. In addition to his terrific musicality, Feinstein’s charm and in-depth knowledge shined bright as he reminisced about his first performance at Carnegie Hall in 1978.
In fact, Feinstein and friends continued to draw parallels between the cultural institution’s long history and the evening’s program. Special guest Liz Callaway referenced Judy Garland’s famous 1961 concert and paid homage to the evening with a rendition of “The Trolley Song.” Christine Ebersole was equally entertaining with “On the Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe,” “Johnny One Note,” and an endearing duet of “Embraceable You” with Feinstein.
The evening concluded with Feinstein’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Producers) that occurred in 1939, where Irving Berlin sang “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” Berlin would have been proud of Feinstein’s bravado.
Don’t miss Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary Gala on May 5, featuring Martina Arroyo, Emanuel Ax, Michael Feinstein, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Lang Lang, Isabel Leonard, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Itzhak Perlman, James Taylor, and more.