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American Songbook 2010

Lincoln Center presents its acclaimed series American Songbook 2010, running February 17 to 20, 2010, at the Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street in New York City. This is Lincoln Center’s 12th season celebrating the diversity of American popular song. The Allen Room possesses one of New York’s greatest settings – a stunning vista of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline that provides an evocative backdrop for the performers.

Leading the week’s series is Dee Dee Bridgewater: To Billie with Love - A Celebration of Lady Day. Dee Dee Bridgewater is American jazz royalty.  A two-time Grammy winner, she has sung in concert and in recordings with Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Clarke and Dexter Gordon among other jazz giants. While some can hear Ella Fitzgerald, her greatest artistic inspiration, in the way she scats and swings, Bridgewater’s delivery of each lyric is uniquely her own. Equally successful in musicals, she won a Tony for The Wiz and an Olivier for Lady Day, along with critical acclaim for roles in Sophisticated Ladies and Cabaret. In this evening of song, Bridgewater will perform songs from her new CD, Eleanora Fagan (1917-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.

The second night’s artist, Nellie McKay, is critically acclaimed for her genre-crossing compositions, brilliant wordplay and terrific melodies. She has made two critically acclaimed albums of original songs. For her new CD, McKay is doing something different: Normal as Blueberry Pie – A Tribute to Doris Day. The songs, which McKay produced and arranged as well as performed, are from the 1940s big band era through to Day’s later film career. McKay interprets a selection of songs drawn from more than 600 of Day’s recordings and finds the reservoirs of deep feeling behind the sunny smile.

The third night’s show is a radical change of pace with Dirty Projectors, who defies categorization even after six albums.  Described as everything from “New England soul music” to “completely strange and oddly familiar at the same time,” the Brooklyn-based band plays experimental rock that references everything from Congolese music to medieval antiphonal singing, synthesizing them into something altogether new.  The group is led by David Longstreth, whose soaring vocals are paired with intricate guitar work, tight harmonies and more than a dose of genius.

The final week’s show features the fabulous, unstoppable Leslie Uggams. As a child she opened for acts including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington at the Apollo Theater, then appeared at age 15 on TV's Name That Tune, catching the eye of Mitch Miller. Impressed with her vocal ability, Miller put her on Sing Along with Mitch and she entered American pop culture history, becoming the first African-American to be a regular on a national, prime-time series. Uggams went on to Broadway, earning a Tony for Hallelujah, Baby! and accolades for her work in On Golden Pond, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes and King Hedley II. She had her own musical variety show on CBS in 1970, was Emmy-nominated for her role as Kizzy in Roots, won an Emmy for her show Fantasy on NBC, and appeared in numerous feature films. Uggams tours the country appearing with major symphony orchestras and records in her splendid voice, most recently On My Way to You - The Songs of Marilyn and Alan Bergman.

Since it was launched in 1998, American Songbook has been dedicated to celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the popular American songwriter from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. Spanning all styles and genres from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway to the eclecticism of today’s songwriters working in pop, cabaret, rock, folk and country, American Songbook traces the history and charts the course of the American song from its past and current forms to its future direction.

For further information, visit and click on American Songbook.

American Songbook 2010 - Week 3
February 17-20, 2010

Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center
Broadway at 60th Street
New York City

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