"Michael is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts and interpreters of George Gershwin's music."
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Michael Feinstein - the multi-platinum selling, five-time Granny nominated entertainer dubbed of "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook" - is considered one of the premiere interpreters of American Popular Song. His 150 plus shows a year have included Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and major concert halls, as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace. More than a mere performer, he is nationally recognized for his commitment to the American popular song, both celebrating its art and preserving its legacy for the next generation.
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 20. Through the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant, he was introduced to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. He became his assistant for six years, granting him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin's influence provided a solid base upon which Mr. Feinstein has not only evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music, but has also become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins and Carole Bayer Sager), Feinstein has been an important musical force during the past 15 years. In addition, he scored the original music for the film Get Bruce. His television credits include performances on "Caroline in the City", "Melrose Place", "Coach" and "Sybil". The Library of Congress elected Michael to the exclusive "National Sound Recording Advisory Board" safeguarding America's musical heritage.
The Sinatra Project - his new CD from Concord Records which celebrates the musical sensibilities of "Old Blue Eyes" - earned Michael his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009. Feinstein is currently preparing PBS-TV series, "Michael Feinstein: Man On A Mission" - to start airing in 2010 - in which Michael discovers treasures of the Great American Songbook around the world. He is designing a new piano for Steinway called "The First Ladies", inspired by the White House piano. Feinstein will also serve as the Artistic director of the Carmel Performing Arts Center, a $160 million three-theatre performing arts center in Carmel, Indiana which will host an annual international Great American Songbook festival, along with diverse live programming and a museum to house his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Starting 2010 Michael will be taking the helm as the director of Popular Song Series at Jazz at Lincoln Center.