Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 150-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.
More than simply a performer, Feinstein is nationally recognized for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. He serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, which has been asked to ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America's sound recording heritage.
Feinstein’s love of song can be heard in The Sinatra Project, his 2009 Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” and in the PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook, in which he uncovers treasures from the Great American Songbook.
If that weren’t enough, Feinstein will serve as artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, scheduled to open in January 2011. The theater will be home to an annual international Great American Songbook festival, diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Starting in 2010, he also took over as director of Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Lincoln Center.
Feinstein has written the score for the new stage musical The Gold Room, and he is working with MGM to turn The Thomas Crown Affair into a Broadway musical. He also is designing a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano.
Before The Sinatra Project, Feinstein recorded Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of Harry Warren classics recorded with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. In 2004, he completed a national tour with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb based on their CD Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb. The disc was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.
In 2003, Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for his release Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning the years 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously unreleased tracks.
Feinstein hosted and produced The Great American Songbook, a 2003 PBS special and DVD set from Warner Brothers Home Video that traced the history of popular music in our country. His own record label, Feinery, a Concord Records subsidiary, released The Livingston & Evans Songbook, featuring Feinstein and special guest Melissa Manchester. Feinery also records favorite current artists and restores recordings and musical broadcasts from the golden age of popular song.
His Manhattan nightclub, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz, including Rosemary Clooney, Steve Tyrell, Barbara Cook, Glen Campbell, Diahann Carroll, Cheyenne Jackson, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming. Feinstein appears there for a sold-out holiday engagement every year.
His many other credits include scoring the original music for the film Get Bruce and performing on the television series “Caroline in the City,” “Melrose Place,” “Coach,” “Cybill“ and “7th Heaven.”
The roots of all this work began in Columbus, Ohio, where Feinstein started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he worked in local piano lounges for two years, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins and Carole Bayer Sager), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.
Michael Feinstein appears in the following:
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Michael Feinstein reflects on how 20th century modernism influenced composers such as George Gershwin, Leroy Anderson, Oscar Levant and others.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Wednesday at 10 pm, Michael Feinstein shares his favorite discoveries from this era. In advance grab a free download of "Swanee River a la Debussy."
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Today at 3PM, join us for Song Travels. In this episode, Michael Feinstein chats songwriting with the Grammy-nominated duo, Gungor. Tune in as the Colorado based husband and wife duo demonstrate their innovative sound with a performance of their song “I Am Mountain.”
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Jazz & pop vocalist Johnny Mathis has been wowing listeners since the 1950s with his dynamic voice backed by lush arrangements of ballads like “Chances Are,” “It’s Not For Me To Say,” and his definitive version of “Misty.” Today at 3PM on Song Travels, this Grammy Hall of Famer reveals what lies behind his enduring success.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Tune in at 3PM for Song Travels with Michael Feinstein, this week Richard Sherman stops by the studio. Composer Richard Sherman is one-half of the songwriting team responsible for some of The Disney Corporations most famous tunes (think "The Jungle Book" & "Mary Poppins"). In this episode, Feinstein and Sherman wax songwriting and The Great American Songbook.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Today at 3PM, actor/vocalist Tom Wopat stops by the Song Travels studio. Best known for his iconic role as Luke Duke on the television show, The Dukes of Hazzard, Wopat chats with Michael Feinstein about the transition from television to the theater and his thriving career on the Broadway stage.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Today at 3PM, Grammy-award winning vocalist/pianist Diane Shuur stops by the Song Travels studio. On this week's Song Travels she swings with Michael Feinstein on a few of her favorite tunes including "I Get Along Without You Very Well" and "The Very Thought of You."
Thursday, May 08, 2014
Vocalist Patti Austin knows a thing or two about the music of George and Ira Gershwin. In 2008, she was she was awarded the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal album for her record "Avant Gershwin". Master interpreter of the Great American Songbook Michael Feinstein also knows thing or two about the Gershwins. Today at 3PM, tune into Song Travels for a riveting discussion of the music of the Gershwins, and of course, a few stellar in-studio performances.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Tony Award-winning actress/vocalist Christine Ebersole has been a stage and screen presence for more than 30 years. Her resume includes the musical Grey Gardens, the Broadway production of Oklahoma!, the TV drama One Life to Live, and FX’s American Horror Story: Coven. A recording artist as well as a performer, Ebersole presents a number of her favorite tracks, such as “Two for the Road” and “Shall We Dance?”
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Country vocalist and songwriter Brandy Clark has written major hits for modern country artists Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, and The Band Perry. With her acclaimed debut solo album, 12 Stories, she revitalizes the tradition of storytelling in country music with darkly humorous songs that speak from the experiences of a modern woman. Clark performs a set of her original songs including “Pray to Jesus” and “Take a Little Pill.”
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson is equally at home on stage and in front of the camera. He won a Theatre World Award for his role in All Shook Up, and his television roles include stints on 30 Rock, Glee, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Jackson joins Feinstein to perform a set of favorite tunes, including selections from the album, The Power of Two.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater is widely known to the public radio audience as the host of NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. In addition to her Tony award-winning role in The Wiz (1975), she has performed in shows including Sophisticated Ladies, Cabaret, and Lady Day. She’s also worked with jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, and Horace Silver. This week, Bridgewater shares her renditions of “God Bless the Child” and “Good Morning Heartache.”
Thursday, April 03, 2014
One of the most prominent songwriters of his era, Jimmy Webb has written for artists including Glen Campbell, Linda Ronstadt, and the Fifth Dimension. He has earned multiple Grammys, membership in the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters. In this session Webb presents some of his most memorable songs including “Galveston” and “MacArthur Park.”
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Tony nominated actress, vocalist, and Platinum Award-winning songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway has sung with top orchestras and Big Bands the world over, including performances before President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. As a songwriter, she has penned tunes for Barbara Streisand and wrote and sang the theme to the hit sitcom The Nanny.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Rumer (Sarah Joyce) was raised in England and Pakistan, and her sound reveals a deep connection to the ‘70s singer/songwriter era, along with shades of Broadway, ‘30s jazz, and Gospel. Her debut album, Seasons of My Soul, reached #3 on the UK charts and was certified platinum. Rumer joins Feinstein to talk about Judy Garland, Burt Bacharach, and old Hollywood, and performs a set including “I Loves You, Porgy,” “That’s All,” and her own tune, “Come To Me High.”
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Peter, Paul & Mary rode the 1960s folk wave to worldwide acclaim. Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, along with the late Mary Travers, performed enduring anthems of social change including “If I Had a Hammer” and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” as well as the light-hearted “Puff, the Magic Dragon.”
Monday, March 10, 2014
Jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton has headlined national venues including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and the Kennedy Center. And she has earned five Grammy nominations, including four consecutive nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album. With her latest project, After Blue, Sutton takes on the genius of Pop & Folk singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. Alongside her guitarist Serge Merlaud, Sutton performs a set of standards including “Fly Me to the Moon” and “You Must Believe in Spring.”
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Vocalist Bobby McFerrin is best known for his hit 1988 hit, "Don't Worry Be Happy," which was the first a capella song to reach Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won three Grammy Awards including Song of the Year. He is also an accomplished jazz artist with five Grammy wins for Best Male Jazz vocal, and has created a concert version of George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Wayne Brady became a star improvising on the popular TV show Whose Line It Anyway? The singer/actor/dancer/comedian also has appeared on stage in Rent and Chicago, and hosts TV game show Let's Make A Deal. Brady discusses the musical influence of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Sam Cooke.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Vocalist and songwriter Rosanne Cash is the daughter of Country music icon Johnny Cash and one of the preeminent artists of her time, with eleven number one Country singles. She is a Grammy winner, and her 2009 album, The List, won the Americana Music Award for Best Album of the Year. On this week’s Song Travels, Cash and her husband and co-writer John Leventhal join Michael Feinstein to perform a set of music from their latest album, The River & the Thread.