Jenna's Two Cents Blog   

Saturday, September 15, 2007

CD Release coming soon!

Hey all!
So, the big news is that my CD is done! It's not replicated or packaged yet, but we do (finally!) have a finished product on our hands. I'm really excited - can you tell?! The official release date is October 15, and we'll be celebrating with a run of shows. We'll be at the Metropolitan Room in NYC on October 15th at 9:30 p.m., October 22nd at 7 p.m., and October 28th at 7 p.m. Then, on October 29th, we'll be heading up to John's Harvest Inn in Middletown, NY to do the "hometown" release party! I'm hoping to have some packed houses, so mark your calendars now!
Speaking of John's Harvest Inn in Middletown, I was just there last night to see my friend Sue Matsuki in her Ella Fitzgerald show. What a great night - first of all, Sue is just such a great entertainer, and this show is such a delight. Great songs, great musicians...oh, yes - I must make special note of the musicians. Not only was my regular piano player, Richard Schacher, playing for Sue, but my dad was also playing. But this show was a little different, because in addition to playing guitar, he also played bass...and drums...and he sang! He was a regular one-man band up there, and I don't think I've ever been more impressed by his musicianship! Sure, we teased him about being boxed in on all sides by instruments, and I definitely chuckled when I saw him rockin' out on guitar while playing the high hat...but really, that takes some serious talent! Nice work, Dad! But back to Sue...she had the audience in the palm of her hand for both sets - and really brought the house down with "Mac the Knife" and a smokin' "Frim Fram Sauce." Spotted in the audience were NYC singer/pianist Ronny Whyte and songwriter Bob Levy, which was pretty cool. All in all, a terrific night!
Of course, by being at Sue's show, I missed a great night at Metrojam, back in Manhattan, which I hear went really well! I went last week and had a fantastic time, and was sorry to miss last night. For those of you who don't know what Metrojam is, it is the open mic night at my favorite club, the Metropolitan Room. I've been a few times so far, and the level of talent there has been extremely high, which makes for a highly entertaining night out. Hosted by Joe Bachana, each Metrojam promises a lineup of super-talented performers jamming with an awesome band, which is usually headed up by Marty Silver at the piano. The next Metrojam is happening on Friday, October 5th at 10:15 p.m., so mark your calendars and get your charts ready!
Speaking of open mics, I've attended Jazzaret at the Triad for the past couple of weeks and had a great time there, too! Comedy mistress Dana Lorge is the host of this one, and Barry Levitt heads things up at the piano, which is awesome. Each week, a guest vocalist does a 5-song spot, which is a really nice treat. I got to be the guest vocalist about a month ago, and this past Wednesday it was Rob Langeder, who brought the house down with his "Route 66," "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" and Frank Loesser's "Hamlet." Jazzaret occurs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. and is definitely worth checking out, if you haven't already.
That's about all the news for now...but stay tuned for more soon!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy Labor Day!

Hey all!
Hope this Labor Day finds you resting, not laboring...and if you're laboring, hopefully this blog will give you a fun diversion!
Okay, so where did I leave off? The last shows I wrote about were over the first weekend in August, so I've got nearly a month of catching up to do! Luckily, summer's traditionally a slower time in the cabaret world, so I actually don't have a ton to write about. I've been attending Jazzaret at the Triad on most Wednesday nights, and having a blast. This weekly open mike continues to be a great spot to sing and schmooze. Dana Lorge is a great hostess - talented, funny, and - perhaps most importantly - she KNOWS how to keep things moving! Some great talents have come to the mike each time I've gone, and the coming week (September 5th) promises to be a great one - with Barry Levitt at the keys, accompanied by John Dominguez on bass and Patrick Flynn on drums, how can you go wrong?
Believe it or not, I only attended ONE solo show in August! On August 21, I went to see Mychelle Colleary at the Metropolitan Room in her new show, August Is Romance Awareness Month. Accompanied by a fab band (David Budway on piano, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass, Sylivia Cuenca on drums and Mayra Casales on percussion), Mychelle delivered a fantastic selection of songs, truly toeing the line between "jazz" and cabaret." Ah, another great night at the Metropolitan Room!
And speaking of the Metropolitan Room, on August 26th, I was thrilled to be a part of songwriter Bernie Bierman's 99th birthday celebration. Hosted by Joe Bachana, this was a celebration of Bernie's music, which has been recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Guy Lombardo, Billy Eckstine and Sammy Kaye. I was given two fabulous songs to sing, and was truly honored to be sharing the stage with Steve Maglio, Tony DeSare, Kristen Sergeant, Marieann Meringolo, and host Joe Bachana, among others. With Marty Silver on piano (and also singing a few tunes!) and Ritt Henn on bass, it was truly a fantastic show. What a wonderful tribute to a man who has given so much to the community! Bernie himself treated us to a few numbers, capping off a fantastic birthday celebration. Looking forward to the 100th!
That's the report for now - I'm off to play with my week-old nephew! Things should be picking up again now that we're into September, so check for updates soon!