French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is one of the leading performers on today’s classical music scene. He has over 40 albums to his credit, including interpretations of the classical repertoire as well as music by George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Bill Evans. Thibaudet’s depth and breadth are on display in works by Spanish composer Federico Mompou and American popular song writer Alec Wilder. He and Feinstein bring their unique perspectives to Wilder’s “I’ll Be Around” and George Gershwin’s “Embraceable You.”
Actor, singer and comedian David Hyde Pierce is best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Niles Crane on the long-running TV series Frasier. He’s also a Tony Award-winning actor for his role in Curtains. Pierce and Feinstein's discussion ranges from Beethoven to Spamalot, and Pierce sings a few of his favorite standards with Feinstein at the piano.
Actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson is equally at home on Broadway and in front of the camera. He made his Broadway debut as the understudy for both male leads in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and his cabaret debut, a one man show titled Back to the Start, was a sold-out hit. Jackson has appeared on NBC’s 30 Rock and Fox’s Glee and has recorded an album of duets with Feinstein, The Power of Two. The pair are reunited here on Song Travels to discuss Jackson’s journey from Idaho to the national stage and to perform a few musical highlights from along the way.
The Saturday Night Fish Fry this week will feature a one hour special that features the legendary life and music of Janis Joplin, and her tragic death while making what became her landmark album, Pearl.
The Music is mostly from Pearl Sessions and Big Brother Live at the Carousel 1968 reissues. Album, live, demo and outtake versions of her signature hits like “Me & Bobby McGee,” “Move Over,” “Down on Me,” “Piece of My Heart” and more.
Born into Hollywood royalty, Liza Minnelli has made her own name on the stage and screen. Her role in the 1972 film version of the Broadway musical Cabaret made her an international sensation and won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. She continues to wow audiences the world over with her delightful presence and powerful voice. Minnelli joins her good friend Feinstein for an enlightening discussion of her life and the evolution of her approach to song.
Neil Sedaka is synonymous with popular music. For more than 50 years, he has written, performed, and produced the soundtrack for America’s collective psyche. Sedaka had a string of early ‘60s pop hits, and his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Elvis, and the Monkees, among others. On this episode, Feinstein and his guest talk and play iconic pop and great standards, including one of his many hits, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.”
Thirty-two-year old Rumer (Sarah Joyce) was raised in England and Pakistan, but her sound reveals a deep connection to the heyday of the early ’70s singer/songwriter era, along with shades of Broadway, ’30s jazz, and gospel. After years of unfailing effort, she is beginning to reap the rewards. Her debut album, Seasons of My Soul, reached No. 3 on the UK charts and was certified platinum. Rumer joins Michael Feinstein to talk about Judy Garland, Burt Bacharach, and old Hollywood, all of which inspire her to perform a few tunes from the Great American Songbook along with her own songs.
Feinstein welcomes one of the most dynamic duos in the classical music world—violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jeremy Denk. The two have been recording and performing together in the classical repertoire for almost a decade, and have become equally at home thumbing through the pages of the Great American Songbook. On this week’s Song Travels, Bell and Denk perform selections from their latest project,French Impressions, an album of works by César Franck, Maurice Ravél and Camille Saint-Saëns.
The Divine Miss M—singer, actress, and comedian Bette Midler—is Feinstein’s guest for an hour of pure radio fun. Midler opens a crate of favorite tunes from her record collection—from Louis Jordan to vintage Hawaiian music to Destiny’s Child, along with stories from her multi-faceted career. Feinstein presents her with a solo arrangement of "I'll Be There," a song written for her by the legendary songwriting team Alan and Marilyn Bergman.
Pianist Thomas Lauderdale is a cofounder of the celebrated orchestral ensemble Pink Martini, which bridges classical, jazz, world music and old fashioned pop. On this Song Travels, Lauderdale brings along a few of his musical collaborators, including NPR’s Ari Shapiro, who proves to be as good a singer as he is a journalist. Lauderdale solos on “Malagueña” by Ernesto Lecuona, and duets with Feinstein on George Gershwin’s “The Man I Love.”