Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum selling, five-time Grammy®-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is one of the foremost interpreters of American popular song. He has played Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the London Palladium and other major concert halls, as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace, appearing in over 150 shows a year. More than a mere performer, he is nationally recognized for his commitment to American song, celebrating its art and preserving its legacy for generations to come.
Michael started playing piano by ear when he was five. After graduating from high school in Columbus, Ohio, he worked in local piano lounges for two years, moving to Los Angeles when he was twenty. Through the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant, in July 1977 he was introduced to Ira Gershwin and became Gershwin’s assistant for six years. This gave him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs which he has since performed and recorded. Michael is writing a new book about the songs of the Gershwins as well as co-producing a movie about them with Oscar®– and Tony®-winning producer Marc Platt.
Building upon his intimate association with the Gershwin material, Feinstein has not only evolved into a captivating composer, arranger, and performer of his own original music but has also become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends like Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, and Harry Warren. Hopeless Romantics, a CD from Concord Records, is a songbook of Harry Warren classics recorded with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing.
In 2003, Michael received his fourth Grammy Award® nomination for his first recording with a symphony orchestra, Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. The previous year, Rhino/Elektra Music had released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning the years 1987 to 1996, featuring old favorites and previously unreleased tracks. In 2004, Michael completed a national tour with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb based on their CD, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb. USA Today listed this disc as one of the “10 Best CDs of the Year.”
The Sinatra Project, a more recent CD from Concord, celebrating the musical sensibilities of “Old Blue Eyes,” earned Michael his fifth Grammy Award® nomination in 2009. He is designing a new piano for Steinway, inspired by the piano in the White House, called “The First Ladies.”
The New York Times called Feinstein’s latest CD, The Power of Two, made with Broadway leading man Cheyenne Jackson, “passionate, impeccably harmonized and groundbreaking.” Michael has written scores for two upcoming stage musicals: The Night They Saved Macy’s Parade and The Gold Room, and is currently working with MGM Onstage to develop The Thomas Crown Affair into a Broadway musical. He is also scoring his second movie, The Big Valley, starring Susan Sarandon. This spring Michael starred with Dame Edna Everage in the new Broadway show All About Me.
Michael hosted and produced The Great American Songbook, a PBS Special and DVD set from Warner Brothers Home Video that traces the history of popular music in our country. His own record label Feinery, a Concord Records subsidiary, released The Livingston & Evans Songbook, featuring Feinstein and special guest Melissa Manchester. Feinery also records favorite current artists and restores recordings and musical broadcasts from the golden age of popular song.
His Manhattan nightclub, Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, presents top talents in pop and jazz like Rosemary Clooney, Jane Krakowski, Barbara Cook, Tony Danza, Diahann Carroll, Glen Campbell, Lea Michele and Cyndi Lauper. Every year he appears there for a sold-out holiday engagement. He also opened a London venue, Feinstein’s at the Shaw, featuring such talent as Eartha Kitt, Dionne Warwick, Elaine Stritch, Chita Rivera and Boy George.
Feinstein has written songs in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Carole Bayer Sager, and others. He scored the original music for the film Get Bruce and performed on television on “Caroline in the City,” “Melrose Place,” “Coach,” and “Sybil.” He has received honorary doctorates from California State University, Los Angeles, (1997) and Five Towns College (2008). The Library of Congress elected him to the exclusive “National Sound Recording Advisory Board,” safeguarding America’s musical heritage.
His new CD Fly Me To The Moon, featuring guitar legend Joe Negri, will be released in September 2010. Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook – the new TV series in which he travels around the world to discover rare artifacts relating to Classic American Music – starts airing on PBS affiliates around the country in October 2010.
Starting in 2011, Feinstein will serve as the Artistic Director of the Carmel Performing Arts Center in Carmel, Indiana, a $160-million, three-theatre performing arts center which will host an annual International Great American Songbook Festival as well as other live programming, and will include a museum to house his collection of rare memorabilia and manuscripts.
For more information, please visit www.michaelfeinstein.com.