Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ari Silverstein Brings Cabaret Stars to Buffalo

Promoter, Ari Silverstein (right) and singer, Mark Murphy.

As part of its Year of the Arts programming, Buffalo State will
celebrate the artistry of American Cabaret in a concert-lecture
series, “High Standards: The Legacy of the Great American Songbook,”
featuring three Cabaret greats on February 23, March 1, and March 8
at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

“Each of these singer-pianists has received international
acclaim entertaining in intimate jazz and cabaret settings,” said Ari
Silverstein, a 2003 Buffalo State graduate and New York City real
estate broker who collaborated with the Buffalo State Student Life
Office and the Music Department to bring the series to Buffalo. “Their
main focus has been keeping the American Songbook tradition alive,”

The artists will present daytime discussion-demonstrations
moderated by Silverstein and Chuck Mancuso, Buffalo State professor of
music and author of Popular Music and the Underground: Foundation of
Jazz, Rock, Country and Blues, 1900-1950. On the same day as the
discussion, each artist will perform a theme oriented concert at 7:00

Steve Ross, known as “the Crown Prince of Cabaret,” is the
leading male artist in the genre. A native of New Rochelle, New York,
Ross has been compared to Cole Porter and Noel Coward and has
performed shows on numerous topics including composers, lyricists, and
entertainers. He will present the discussion-demonstration, “From
Saloon to Salon: Traveling with My Piano,” from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.
February 23 in Rockwell Hall, Room 124. He will recount his evolution
from simple piano bars to the more exclusive performance rooms in
upscale hotels such as the Stanhope and the Algonquin, home to the
world-famous Algonquin Round Table. During his 7:00 p.m. performance,
Ross will bring the music of Fred Astaire to life in “Top Hat, White
Tie and Tails” in the Burchfield Penney Auditorium.

Kathleen Landis broke the mold of female singers who acted
as stand-up vocalists, and she helped establish female pianist/singers
as serious musicians in a male-dominated field. She joins such great
female vocalists as Hazel Scott, Barbara Carroll, Diana Krall and Ann
Hampton Calloway. During her discussion/demonstration, “From New
York’s CafĂ© Pierre to Buffalo’s Burchfield Penney,” 12:15 p.m. March 1
in the Burchfield Penney Auditorium, Landis will talk about the
importance of Alec Wilder’s groundbreaking tome American Popular Song:
The Great Innovators 1900-1950, and how she made a career singing and
playing the piano. At 7:00 p.m. she will perform “While We’re Young: A
Tribute to Alec Wilder,” a collection of treasured cabaret and
classical compositions written and influenced by Alec Wilder, a
graduate of the prestigious Eastman School of Music.

Bob Dorough, age 89, a longtime jazz-cabaret cult singer
and songwriter who penned such classics as “I’m Hip,” and “Devil May
Care,” also wrote many of the songs for “Schoolhouse Rock!”, the
educational series that became a staple of Saturday morning television
in the 1970s. His discussion-demonstration, “From Bebop to Schoolhouse
Rock,” at 12:15 p.m. March 8 in the Burchfield Penney Auditorium,
examines a stellar career penning jazz classics, recording with Miles
Davis, and writing clever songs that helped a generation of children
grasp grammar, math, science, and history. He will perform a
collection of previously noted classics, in his 7:00 p.m. concert,
“From Bebop to Schoolhouse Rock!”

“Unlike most traditional singers who offer a ‘list’ of
unconnected standards, this trio has honed the difficult but rewarding
cabaret-themed shows that elevate their performances to intimate
theater-like experiences,” Mancuso said.

All lectures are free. Tickets to the evening concerts cost $5
for Burchfield Penney members, Buffalo State faculty and staff, and
$10 for the general public. Students are admitted free.

Tickets can be purchased at the Burchfield Penney or online at For more information, call (716)
878-6011. The Office of Student Life and a grant from the Faculty
Student Association funded the series.

Thanks for your help. We hope to make this an annual event so also if
you have any financial backers you think would be interested in this
series in the future, please let me know,

All the Best,

Ari Silverstein


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