Betty MacDonald Trio to Perform Tribute to Billie Holiday
NEW PALTZ -- A tribute to the internationally-known and legendary jazz vocalist, Billie Holiday, will be performed by the Hudson Valley's own legendary jazz vocalist and violinist, Betty MacDonald and her trio. The concert, an event centered around Women's History Month and sponsored by the women's studies program and jazz studies program, will take place at the State University of New York at New Paltz on Friday, March 6. It will be held in the Julien J. Studley Theatre beginning at 8 p.m. There is no admission charge.
MacDonald is well known throughout the Hudson Valley as a performer and for her many years as the host of a regular jazz radio program. Other members of the Betty MacDonald Trio are Peter Tomlinson, on piano, and Jim Curtin, on bass and vocals. The group has previously performed its Billie Holiday tribute to standing-room-only audiences at the Rosendale Cafe and the A.I.R. Gallery in Kingston.
The concert will be performed in cabaret style and include a blend of music and spoken word. The latter will include interesting stories of Holiday's life, quotes from her autobiography, and background information of the songs she wrote and made popular during the forties and fifties. Among the selections the trio has chosen to play will be God Bless the Child, Don't Explain, Fine and Mellow, My Man, Deed I Do, Lover Man, and Body and Soul.
In addition, MacDonald will sing an original composition inspired by Holiday, titled Sweet Gardenia. The tune appears on MacDonald's recent CD titled Soulful. The program will conclude with Lady Sings the Blues, which is also the title of Holiday's autobiography and a movie on her life which featured Diana Ross.
Holiday's style was inimitable, as well as personal, and her influence on American pop music has been far-reaching and profound. Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee cite her as a strong influence on their vocal styles; in particular they point to her phrasing and timing. Holiday summed up her philosophy in these words, "The whole basis of my singing is feeling. Unless I feel something, I can't sing."
"The depth of her music moves the listener with its intensity of emotional communication," says MacDonald. "She lived it!" she added.
For additional information contact Betty MacDonald at (845) 679-8208 or Pat Clarke at SUNY New Paltz (845) 257-2975
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