Broadway, record stars as mentor at Songbook Academy 2021

Grammy-winning singer Catherine Russell and stage and film stars Telly Leung and Solea Pfeiffer will join Michael Feinstein as professional mentors during this year’s Songbook Academy Summer Intensive, the premier music program for young people of the country focused on the timeless standards of jazz, pop, Broadway and Hollywood. .

Now in its 12th year, the Great American Songbook Foundation’s flagship education program has selected 40 top high school singers from 15 states coast-to-coast to participate in an interactive online experience the week of 17-24. July. Participants are paired with voice coaches and music directors for small group lessons and one-on-one coaching. Each day, students will meet virtually in masterclasses, lectures and workshops with professional mentors who will share their personal tips, performance-based commentary and professional perspectives on pursuing careers in the arts world. show and entertainment.

Several celebrity talkbacks and masterclasses will be broadcast live to the public during the week, and the final performances will be broadcast online August 6-8, with the schedule to be announced. Updates and video feeds will be available on the Songbook Foundation’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Songbook Academy 2021 mentors include:

Five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein, music advocate and founder of the Great American Songbook Foundation, which also hosts the week’s public events. His broadcast work has included the PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook and the Emmy-nominated special Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy.

Mandy Barnett, the original teenage star of Always … Patsy Cline at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, frequent performer of the Grand Ole Opry and recording artist. His latest studio album, Every Star Above, was recorded with a 60-piece orchestra and arranged by legendary jazz maestro Sammy Nestico.

· Trist Ethan Curless, co-founder of the pop-jazz vocal group m-pact, now a member of The Manhattan Transfer. He has also worked as a sound engineer for other famous vocal groups including Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser, VoicePlay and Take 6.

· Telly Leung, actor and recording artist whose Broadway and touring credits include Aladdin in Disney’s Aladdin, In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell and Rent (last Broadway company). Among other television credits, he appeared as Wes the Warbler in Glee.

Solea Pfeiffer, better known as Eliza Hamilton on Hamilton’s First Nationwide Tour, as well as on West Side Story at the Hollywood Bowl and in the New York City Center production of Evita. She is set to star in Tyler Perry’s upcoming feature, Jazzman’s Blues on Netflix, and will soon be seen in the Broadway adaptation of Almost Famous.

· Grammy Award-winning jazz and blues singer Catherine Russell for her work on the Boardwalk Empire soundtrack. His recent albums include Harlem on My Mind (2016) and Alone Together (2019), both of which received Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

· Vuyo Sotashe, singer and songwriter of South African origin who has performed with famous jazz artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Heath, George Benson and Al Jarreau. He has toured with the Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra and has performed as a leader and sideman at major international jazz festivals.

Featured guests for the week will include Jonathan Flom, professor of international theater and author of books including Act Like It’s Your Business: Branding and Marketing Skills for Actors; Catherine Walker, professor at the University of Michigan and musical director of theatrical productions; and Stacy Wolf, author, professor and director of the musical theater program at Princeton University.

This year’s Music Directors and Vocal Coaches include leading college educators and Music Directors who have performed for artists from Frank Sinatra to Kristin Chenoweth to Chuck Berry. La Tanya Hall, founder of the vocal jazz studies program at the Oberlin Conservatory, is new to the team this year, who have worked with artists such as Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, Michael Feinstein, Patti LaBelle, Harry Belafonte and Aretha Franklin.

The Songbook Academy is nationally sponsored by the Efroymson Family Fund and made possible through the generous support of 2021 Education and Engagement Sponsors Libby and Randy Brown and the Town of Carmel. The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Mentor Champions support the participation of a national faculty of music directors and professional vocal coaches.


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