BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB will present the 13th Annual “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” – starring vocalists Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch – for six performances from Tuesday, December 20 to Sunday, December 25 at 5:30 PM. In the tradition of beloved seasonal specials, Blackhurst, Caruso and Stritch perform swinging arrangements of “The Christmas Waltz,” Kay Thompson’s “The Holiday Season,” “Sleigh Ride,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Snow,” and “It Happened In Sun Valley,” among other favorites. This year they will include a special tribute to the late Freddy Cole, the celebrated jazz/pop singer and pianist – and cherished member of the Birdland family – who recently passed away. In addition to the trio of singers and Stritch on piano, the show features Steve Doyle on bass, and Daniel Glass on drums. There is a $35 music charge. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in New York.
The trio released an updated version of their hit album Christmas at Birdland (Deluxe Edition) from Club44 Records with four new tracks. The album features guest arists Donny Osmond on vocals and Dave Koz on saxophone. The recording – hailed as “a tasty confection of a disc, loaded with joy, wit, and plenty of sass” by New York Arts Review – debuted at #2 on the iTunes Jazz Chart and hit #7 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. Drawing on their individual strengths, the production team of Billy Stritch and Wayne Haun bring the best of New York and Nashville together in this landmark recording full of musicality and versatility, familiarity and fun.
KLEA BLACKHURST is an actress, singer, and comedienne known for her award-winning tribute to Ethel Merman, Everything the Traffic Will Allow. She recently appeared Off-Broadway with Hayley Mills in the comedy Party Face, at City Center Stage 2. She starred as Miss Lemon in the Nashville premiere of The Nutty Professor, directed by the legendary Jerry Lewis and featuring a score by Marvin Hamlisch and Rupert Holmes. She’s performed with symphony orchestras and in theatrical productions across the country and abroad including the London Palladium presentation of Jerry Herman’s Broadway with Angela Lansbury, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tribute to Marvin Hamlisch, 15 Mabel Mercer Cabaret Conventions, New York’s Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Chicago Humanities Festival and as Ado Annie in the BBC Proms concert of Oklahoma! On television Klea has appeared in Ryan Murphy’s “Pose” and “The Knick” on Showtime. She spent two seasons on the IFC Channel comedy series “Onion News Network.” This season, Klea debuted her new show “One of the Girls: The Words and Music of Jerry Herman” at Birdland Theater.
JIM CARUSO is the host of “Jim Caruso’s Cast Party,” the wildly popular weekly open mic night that has brought a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to Birdland in New York City every Monday night since 2004. “Cast Party” has been seen at Jazz at Lincoln Center, across the country, and, most recently, on YouTube as “Pajama Cast Party.” Jim made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the Tony Award-winning Liza’s At The Palace!, singing, dancing and celebrating the music and arrangements of Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. He has won six MAC Awards and eight BroadwayWorld Awards for his work in nightclubs, performed with the New York Pops in a tribute to Kander & Ebb, with Rosemary Clooney celebrating Bing Crosby, and sang the songs of Hope & Crosby with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall. Jim was honored to sing with Barbara Cook, Lauren Bacall and a bevy of Broadway stars at President Clinton’s First State Dinner at the White House. He also books and produces the “Broadway at Birdland” concert series, and performs regularly with Billy Stritch at Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel. Jim’s two albums, The Swing Set and Caruso Live and In Person, are available online.
BILLY STRITCH is one of the premier singer-pianists on the New York and national jazz and cabaret scenes. He began his career in Houston, Texas, where he formed the vocal trio Montgomery, Plant and Stritch. The trio performed all over the world from 1983 until they disbanded in 1990. A chance meeting with Liza Minnelli in 1991 resulted in her asking him to create vocal arrangements for Liza’s record-breaking extravaganza Stepping Out at Radio City. Billy recently toured with the legendary Tony Bennett as his pianist and musical director. A solo entertainer in his own right, he has performed his own shows (including tributes to Mel Tormé and Cy Coleman) across the country. Billy also serves as music director for such leading vocalists as Marilyn Maye, Linda Lavin, Linda Eder, Christine Ebersole and Paulo Szot. He is the co-writer of the Grammy Award-winning song “Does He Love You,” recorded by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis. The single reached the number one spot on the Billboard Country music chart, winning a Grammy Award and selling over five million copies. In August 2021, he celebrated his new solo album Billy’s Place from Club44 Records, with an engagement at Birdland.
BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB will present the 13th Annual engagement of “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” for six performances from Tuesday, December 20 to Sunday, December 25 at 5:30 PM. There is a $35 music charge and a $10 food and beverage minimum. Birdland Jazz Club is located at 315 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan. For reservations, please call (212) 581-3080 or visitwww.BirdlandJazz.com. In compliance with New York City rules for indoor activities, Birdland requires proof of vaccination or a verified medical exemption from all customers, staff, and performers.
UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS AT BIRDLAND THEATER AND BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB
Every Monday at 9:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
“Jim Caruso’s Cast Party,” a New York institution for almost two decades, is a wildly popular weekly open mic night/variety show that has brought a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to Birdland since 2004. Called “show-business heaven” by The New York Times and “the gold-standard of open mic nights” by The Wall Street Journal, “Cast Party” will take advantage of the city’s post-pandemic nightlife renaissance to keep presenting a potent mix of Broadway stars, jazz swingers and cabaret legends, in addition to new faces and rising talent from every genre. The buoyant, sharp and charming Caruso guides the entire affair, while musical genius Billy Stritch (Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett) holds court at the ivories and leads the Cast Party Symphony Orchestra (Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums).
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum
Every Tuesday at 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
The Lineup with Susie Mosher
“The Lineup with Susie Mosher” is a wild, anything-goes variety show featuring entertainers from the Broadway, cabaret and comedy scenes, ranging from today’s hottest headliners to the best up-and-coming stars of tomorrow. Mosher – the noted actress and singer from Broadway and beyond, called “one of those talents you need to see to believe” by Time Out New York – hosts the spontaneous extravaganza every Tuesday, and each Lineup is unique and promises to deliver an unforgettable night of quintessential New York City entertainment.
$20 + $20 food/drink minimum
November 28 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Natalie Douglas – “To Lena: A Tribute to the Lady and Her Music”
Natalie, her music director Mark Hartman, and band will breathe life into this celebration of the incomparable Lena Horne. For almost seventy years the sophisticated lady graced the world stage with poise, dignity, humor, talent, brains and trailblazing style. Natalie and Mark will revisit the eras, the milestones and the music in an evening of Arlen, Ellington, Porter, and Strayhorn, featuring tunes like “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” “I Love to Love,” “From This Moment On,” “Believe in Yourself” and of course, “Stormy Weather.” Thirteen-time Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs winner Natalie Douglas has been called “a true force of nature” by Clive Davis of The Times (UK). She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Cafe Carlyle, The Town Hall, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Pheasantry in London, and at her NYC home club, Birdland where her award-winning “Tributes” monthly residency (Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Nat “King” Cole, Dame Shirley Bassey, Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Joni Mitchell, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lena Horne, Barbra Streisand and more) ran from Summer 2017 thru January 2020. Natalie has released three albums, including the MAC Award-winning Human Heart.
$35 tables / $25 bar seating + $20 food/drink minimum
November 28 (Monday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Scott Townsend / Thirsty Burlington
Celebrity Cher impersonator Scott Townsend AKA Thirsty Burlington will perform one night only. In a career spanning more than twenty years, Townsend is regarded as one of the finest celebrity impersonators. From his signature Cher to Judy Garland and Michael Jackson, Scott raises the bar when it comes to taking an audience on a fantastical ride of music and comedy. Scott morphs from his own legendary drag character “Thirsty Burlington” into these iconic celebrities, creating an illusion so alluring that it fuses the emotions of lust, joy and sympathy. Scott’s live vocals are second to none. Scott began performing as a teen appearing on local television talent shows and starring in countless school productions. In his twenties he discovered an instinctive ability to impersonate Cher like no one else. Over the past twenty years, Scott has wowed audiences throughout the United States. In 1998, Scott relocated to Provincetown, MA, where he writes his own material and continually hones his product to keep it fresh and current. In 2016, Scott caught the attention of Thin Edge Films, a production company based in Catskill, NY who produced a film based on his life called “Thirsty,” which garnered wins on the film festival circuit. “I’ve seen a lot of performers do Cher, but I’ve never seen anyone do Cher better than Thirsty,” says Bob Mackie. “You do me better than I do me!,” raves Cher herself.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
December 5 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Billy Gilman – “A Billy Gilman Christmas”
Gilman is the platinum-selling country music artist known for his run on NBC’s “The Voice.” Billy will ring in the holiday season with seasonal classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride,” as well as some of his hits including “Warm and Fuzzy,” “New Kid in Town,” and “One Voice.” Gilman burst onto the national stage in 2000 releasing the hit single “One Voice.” His debut album was certified double platinum in the United States, and he was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest singer to ever reach #1 on the Billboard “Top Country Album” charts. He has sold ten million albums worldwide and garnered awards and nods from the Grammys, the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, Billboard Magazine, and the American Music Association.
$40 tables / $90 VIP Tickets + $20 food/drink minimum
December 9-11 (Friday-Sunday) 7:00 & 9:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Carole J. Bufford – “Vintage Pop!”
Vocalist Carole J. Bufford will celebrate the New York debut of her concert “Vintage Pop!” This engagement follows successful shows in London, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Diego, Florida, and beyond. “Vintage Pop!” travels by decade, from the 1920s to the 1980s, exploring how the style and sound of pop music developed over the years. With fresh takes on these multi-generational songs, expect an evening of powerhouse vocals, stories behind the music, and Bufford’s inimitable delivery of songs you love and perhaps a few new discoveries. The show features music made famous by Judy Garland, Sophie Tucker, Louis Armstrong, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, The Animals, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sting, Tina Turner, Prince and more. Bufford has become one of the most sought-after performers on the American vintage pop and cabaret scene. Her shows include “Speak Easy” (featuring the Grammy Award-winning Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks), “Come Together,” and “You Don’t Own Me.” She currently tours with her solo shows as well as with symphonies across the country. Carole is also the recipient of BroadwayWorld’s Vocalist of the Year award and the recent Gold Medal winner of the American Traditions Vocal Competition.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
December 12 (Monday) 7:00 PM– Birdland Jazz Club
James Barbour – “Annual Holiday Concert”
When James Barbour returns with his annual holiday concert, the audience will be entertained with incredible music and the warmth of the season. As he does every year, James and his surprise guests from the Broadway stage will help ring in the holiday season. James was nominated for the Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Sydney Carton in the Broadway musical version of A Tale of Two Cities. He has starred on Broadway in such award-winning shows as Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as The Beast, Carousel as Billy Bigelow, Urinetown as Officer Lockstock, and Jane Eyreas as Edward Rocheste (Drama League Award nomination). He also appeared in the Broadway production of Cyrano and the national tour of The Secret Garden. His television credits range from the pilots of “The District,” “Just Shoot Me” and “Flashpoint” to appearances on “Sex and the City,” “Ed,” “That’s Life,” “Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein” (PBS),”“Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice” (CBS), the PBS mini-series “American Experience: John & Abigail Adams” (playing Thomas Jefferson) and the film version of “A Tale of Two Cities” in concert for public television.
$45 tables / $45 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
December 12 (Monday) 8:30 PM– Birdland Theater
Edmund Bagnell – “Home For The Holidays”
Through music and humor, singer and violinist Edmund Bagnell shares his heartfelt and humorous recipe for a perfectly imperfect holiday season. Edmund will be joined on stage by musical director/pianist Mark Hartman and special guest Lisa Boccuzzi. Bagnell is a diverse artist, having performed as an actor, violinist, singer, and 1st violinist and singer in the internationally touring string quartet Well Strung, which released three chart-topping albums in the classical crossover genre and performed three times on the “Today” show. As an actor, Edmund was cast as Tobias in the national tour of John Doyle’s staging of Sweeney Todd, which led to a wide variety of acting roles. In 2019, he premiered and toured internationally with his solo one-man show, “He Plays the Violin.” In 2020, he released his first solo album, Christmas at Home, which was included on several best of lists including USA Today. This past summer, Edmund debuted his second solo show, “Happy Days Are Here Again,” and in the fall he released a new EP,The Road, which includes the original songs “The Water” and “The Road.”
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
December 19 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Karen Mason – “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!”
Mason returns to the club for her legendary holiday show “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!” featuring unique interpretations of old and new holiday classics. Sassy, brassy, and tinged with confessional monologues, this show includes a slinky arrangement of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” a heartfelt “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” and many more. The evening is directed by Barry Kleinbort; with musical direction by Christopher Denny on piano, and Tom Hubbard on bass. Mason was recently seen playing Mrs. Marsh on Ryan Murphy’s “Halston” on Netflix. On tour, was last seen as Madame Giry in the North American premiere ofLove Never Dies (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to The Phantom of the Opera). On Broadway, she starred in Wonderland, and originated the role of Tanya in Mamma Mia! (2002 Drama Desk nomination). Her other leading roles include Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard on Broadway and in Los Angeles for three years; Velma von Tussel in the Broadway company of Hairspray; “Monotony” singer and Mazeppa in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. She is a14-time MAC Award winner, and was the recipient of the 2019 MAC Lifetime Achievement Award.
$40 tables / $40 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
December 26 (Monday) 5:30 PM, 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Our Sinatra: A Musical Celebration
Our Sinatra returns to Birdland to celebrate the music of Frank Sinatra. Three performers playfully interact with one another, sharing their joy and passion for this great music as they lovingly sing the hits of Sinatra, individually and in combination, taking the audience back to relive memories. The show includes over 50 songs interspersed with witty banter and humor. The show covers Sinatra’s entire musical cannon from the classic ballads of the ‘40s to the saloon and torch songs, the ‘50s and ‘60s swingers and the all-time hits. Our Sinatra steers clear of imitation and impersonation as these accomplished performers deliver the great music of Sinatra. The New York Times calls Our Sinatra “an utterly winning tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes” and “superior entertainment.” After two sold-out national tours, and a recent successful limited engagement at the Birdland, Our Sinatra will celebrate 1500 performances Off Broadway and its 20th anniversary. Directed by Kurt Stamm, the production team also includes Richard Maltby, Jr. (Production Supervisor).
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum