Jason Yeager and Julie Benko
BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB will present the return of Julie Benko – direct from Broadway’s smash hit revival of Funny Girl – with her band “Euphonic Gumbo” on Monday, February 6 at 7:00 PM. Benko will march her band out to celebrate Mardi Gras with six instrumentalists, including her jazz-pianist spouse Jason Yeager, in addition to Michael O’Brien on bass, Jay Sawyer on drums, Andy Warren on trumpet, Evan Christopher on clarinet, and Ron Wilkins on trombone. Performing in the classic New Orleans jazz style, Julie lets the good times roll with a delightful potpourri of tunes inspired by her love of the Crescent City. Songs include selections from Hand in Hand, Benko and Yeager’s recent album from Club44 Records (“Louisiana Fairy Tale,” “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”), Benko’s debut album (“Love for Sale,” her original song “Tomorrow Is a Day for You”) and other classics (“Basin St. Blues,” “When the Saints Go Marching In”). Grab your beads and join the parade – nobody’s gonna rain on this one! There is a $45 music charge. A livestream option is available HERE for $25. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street in New York.
Julie Benko, who currently performs every Thursday as the alternate for Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway, was hailed by The New York Times as “the bright-eyed, dulcet soprano who went from standby to star.” She has performed on stages on and off-Broadway and across the country, including Broadway turns in Fiddler on the Roof and Les Misérables. She is a recipient of the Wilde Award for “Best Leading Actress in a Musical” for her performance as Girl in Once. She also received a BroadwayWorld Award nomination for “Best Leading Actress in a Musical” for her portrayal of Luisa in The Fantasticks, as well as Theatre Bay Area Awards and SF Critics Circle Awards “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” nominations for her turn as Bella in Rags. She lent her voice to the 85th Academy Awards and the 70th Tony Awards ceremonies, performed as a soloist with numerous symphonies, and earned the Gold Medal and the Johnny Mercer Award in the national American Traditions Vocal Competition. Her writing projects include the full-length play The District (a 2022 semifinalist at the Eugene O’Neill National Theater Conference) and the short film “The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy,” which has garnered awards at film festivals across the nation. Her albums Hand in Hand (Club44 Records) and Introducing Julie Benko were released to widespread acclaim. She holds a BFA and MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. JulieBenko.com. Instagram/TikTok @JujujulieBee
Jason Yeager is a pianist and composer show has performed across five continents at such noteworthy venues as Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, Panama Jazz Festival, Qintai Concert Hall, and more. A 2nd place winner at the Ravenscroft Jazz Piano Competition and two-time finalist at the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, Yeager has released seven albums as a bandleader, including his latest, Unstuck in Time: The Kurt Vonnegut Suite (Sunnyside Records). Yeager’s septet, featuring special guests Miguel Zenón and Julie Benko, will celebrate the release of this work at Birdland on March 27. A frequent accompanist and collaborator, Yeager has performed and/or recorded with such noteworthy artists as Luciana Souza, Ayn Inserto, Fleur Seule, Jason Palmer, Ran Blake, Jason Anick, and Noah Preminger, among others. His celebrated duo album with Julie Benko, Hand in Hand (Club44 Records), has been called “an impressive outing” (BroadwayWorld) and “exquisite” (Times Square Chronicles). A committed educator, Yeager is Assistant Professor of Piano at Berklee College of Music. For more, visit www.JasonYeager.com or follow @jyeagermusic on social media.
BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB will presentJulie Benko and her Euphonic Gumbo on Monday, February 6 at 7:00 PM. There is a $45 music charge and a $20 food and beverage minimum. There is a livestream available for $20. Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues) in Manhattan.For reservations, please call (212) 581-3080 or visit www.BirdlandJazz.com.
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
Every Saturday at 5:30 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano
Hailed as “the truest heir to Bobby Short” in The New York Times, pianist/singer Eric Comstock returns to Birdland with star bassist/composer Sean Smith with songs by everyone from George Gershwin to George Harrison. These two masters met on the Off-Broadway hit Our Sinatra (which Eric co-wrote) and have since worked separately and together around the world. Vocalist Barbara Fasano joins them at Birdland for a swinging Saturday supper where the music and stories are equally great. Sean Smith has been an integral part of the international jazz scene for over 25 years, and has performed with Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, Benny Carter, Art Farmer, Flip Phillips, Clark Terry and many others. Barbara Fasano has been praised as “a gorgeous, soulful singer who has an actor’s intensity in whatever she sings” by The New York Post and “a lyrically sensitive interpreter” by The New York Times. Her latest album Busy Being Free is the recipient of the MAC Award for “Major Recording of the Year.”
$30 + $20 food/drink minimum
January 23 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Singer/tapper Luke Hawkins will bring an evening of singing, dancing and laughter to the Birdland. The show will be a love letter to these art forms, as Luke pays homage to the history of tap dance greats. Hawkins is a NYC based tap dancer and choreographer. He performed in and choreographed the Broadway show, Harry Connick Jr.- A Tribute to Cole Porter at the Nederlander Theatre in 2019 and has choreographed Connick and performed alongside him in 43 concerts including The Hollywood Bowl, Wolftrap, La Seine Musicale in Paris and the Palladium Theatre in London. Luke’s theatre credits include the Broadway production of Xanadu, Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel and Joya as well as New York City Center Encores! productions of No, No, Nanette; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; and On Your Toes. His TV and Film credits include tap dancing alongside Channing Tatum in the Coen Brothers’ movie Hail, Caesar!, the 2015 Tony Awards, “Gossip Girl,” “One Life to Live,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Colbert Report,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” the 2021 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and “Annie Live!”
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
January 23 (Monday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Linda Purl – “This Could Be the Start”
Singer and actress Linda Purl (TV’s “The Office”) returns by popular demand with her new show, “This Could Be the Start.” Her chronicle of navigating life on our return trip back through the looking glass, she ponders what can lie ahead in our new beginnings, with songs including “I’m in the Mood for Love,” “Blue Moon,” “Let’s Get Lost,” and “This Could Be the Start of Something.” Music director Tedd Firth will lead a starry trio. Purl is known for her roles on multiple iconic television series. Besides being Fonzie’s fiancée on “Happy Days,” Matlock’s daughter Charlene Matlock, Pam’s Mom/Steve Carell’s girlfriend on “The Office,” she has starred in over 47 made-for-TV movies. A recurring role on “Homeland” has been among her favorites and she is currently recurring on the new HBO Max series, “Hacks.” Past concert venues include Jazz at Lincoln Center, Catalina Jazz Club, Colorado Springs Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Club Raye in Paris, and Satin Doll in Tokyo. She has performed with the Glenn Miller, Diva Jazz and Orlando Jazz Orchestras. On Broadway, she appeared in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Getting and Spending, and Off-Broadway in Mr. Toole and The Baby Dance. Her solo albums include Alone Together, Midnight Caravan, Up Jumped Spring, and the new release Taking a Chance on Love.
$30 Cover, $20 food/drink minimum
January 30 (Monday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Ari Axelrod – “A Place for Us: A Celebration of Jewish Broadway”
Bistro Award winner Ari Axelrod brings his acclaimed award-winning show back to Birdland. Ari will celebrate songs and stories of Jewish composers and their contributions to the American Musical, including beloved songs by Bernstein and Berlin to Sondheim and Schwartz. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Anti-Defamation League. Ari is a multi-hyphenate storyteller and Jewish activist. He received the 2022 Bistro Award for Theatrical Performance in Song. “A Place for Us” began with a sold-out run at Birdland, featuring six-time Emmy and Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh, and has since grown to international acclaim performing to sold-out audiences around the world. In 2020, he received a MAC Award nomination for Best Male Vocalist and won the BroadwayWorld Award for Best Live Zoom Performance. Ari’s first solo show, “Taking the Wheel,” directed by Tony Award winner Faith Prince, and music directed by multiple MAC Award-winner Alex Rybeck, has been performed in numerous cities around the country. Ari’s debut album, Ari Axelrod Live at Birdland, is now available on all streaming platforms.
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
February 9 (Thursday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Nicolas King has been performing since age 4. He was seen first on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast, then in A Thousand Clowns opposite Tom Selleck, and Hollywood Arms, directed by Hal Prince, all before age 12. Other credits include 8 consecutive annual performances on “The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon,” Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, “The View,” NBC’s “Today” show, “Liza & David,” “Sally Jesse Raphael” and twice on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Other career highlights include originating the role of “Oscar” on Discovery Kids’ “Kenny the Shark”, as well as over two dozen national Television commercials. His “Oscar Mayer Lunchables” commercial went international, and won the Golden Marble Award in 1998. Nicolas went on the road with his mentor Liza Minnelli to perform as her opening act from 2002-2012. The Mabel Mercer Foundation awarded Nicolas their “Julie Wilson Award” at the 2010 Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center. He’s the recipient of the 1995 Talent America Award, 2012 BISTRO Award for Outstanding Performer of the Year, 2015 AMG Heritage Award for Artist of the Year, the winner of the 2019 Legends Award, as well as receiving a Grammy consideration for his album, On Another Note with jazz great Mike Renzi.
$30 tables / $20 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
February 13 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Steve Ross – “Falling in Love… Again”
Vocalist and pianist Steve Ross – widely heralded as “The Crown Prince of New York Cabaret” – in a special new show. Ross will sing
romantic ballads and a few light-hearted standards by Stephen Sondheim, Irving Berlin and of course Cole Porter. Ross has been a fixture of the cabaret community in Manhattan for over forty years. In 1981 he re-opened the legendary Oak Room at Manhattan’s famed Hotel Algonquin where he held forth for over 15 years. He has appeared on Broadway in Noël Coward’s Present Laughter and off-Broadway in his Fred Astaire tribute I Won’t Dance. Internationally, he has performed in London, Paris, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Melbourne and Sydney as well as cabarets and theatres across America and on the high seas.
$40 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
February 20 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Lina Koutrakos – “One Night Only”
Lina will be perfectly perched at Birdland with her stellar trio: Tedd Firth at the piano, David Finck on bass and Matt Zebrowski on drums. Witness the compelling synthesis of seasoned voice, joyful exuberance, unique interpretative, and storytelling skills, while Lina explores music from (mostly!) the Great American Songbook. Koutrakos is a singer, songwriter, director and teacher. She has been called “a walking Master Class” (The New York Times) and “The Pied Piper of song” (Billboard). From the Rainbow Room to the legendary Bottom Line she has successfully straddled the musical worlds of rock and cabaret simultaneously, earning her rave reviews and major awards across the country and in Europe.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
February 27 (Monday) 7:00 PM – Birdland Jazz Club
Amanda Green & Friends – “Merry February”
Come catch the post-post Holiday Spirit and join Birdland favorite, two-time Tony-nominated and Grammy-nominated songwriter and performer Amanda Green and her Amazing Friends on her least favorite month, for an evening of her hilarious and moving songs. Guest performers include Tony nominee Jenn Colella, two-time Grammy-winning Tamika Lawrence, and Tony-nominated Howard McGillin. Musical Direction is by James Sampliner. Amanda Green is a Tony Award-nominated lyricist and composer. She revised the book and lyrics for the recent revival of Kiss Me, Kate, starring Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase. She is currently writing lyrics for a new musical with Billy Crystal and Jason Robert Brown, and Female Troubles, an original musical comedy conceived by Amanda and composer Curtis Moore. Her Broadway credits include On the Twentieth Century revival, starring Kristin Chenoweth (Addt’l Lyrics); Bring It On, co-lyricist, with Lin-Manuel Miranda; Hands on a Hardbody, lyrics and co-composer; High Fidelity (Lyrics) TV: “Peter Pan Live!” on NBC (Addt’l Lyrics). As a performer, Amanda has appeared in concerts everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Birdland, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, and beyond. She has received two MAC Awards and a Bistro Award.
$40 tables / $40 bar + $20 food/drink minimum
February 27 (Monday) 8:30 PM – Birdland Theater
Karen Oberlin – “Bewitched: The Life and Lyrics of Lorenz Hart”
Oberlin – hailed as one of premier interpreters of the Great American Songbook by both The New York Times and London’s Classical Source – will present this show with dazzling arrangements by Tedd Firth, fleshing out the complexities and genius of Lorenz Hart’s songbook while delving into the details of this complicated, troubled and fascinating figure. Lorenz “Larry” Hart transformed the world of lyric writing, and we’ve never looked back. Where many songwriters had been rehashing love-story tropes, Hart delivered substance and sophistication to create songs that were fresh, substantial, and utterly contemporary. His legendary ability to create intricate yet conversational rhymes remains unparalleled. The show iconic hits such as “A Lady Is a Tramp,” “Manhattan,” “My Romance,” and “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.” Oberlin has received the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Award for Excellence in Cabaret and the New York Nightlife Award for Jazz Vocalist of the Year. She has had major engagements at the Algonquin’s Oak Room, Feinstein’s/54 Below, the Café Carlyle and Birdland, along with performances at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Caramoor.
$30 tables / $30 bar + $20 food/drink minimum