LEWISBURG, Pa. —The Ronny Whyte Quartet will perform with special guest soloist Hilary Kole on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University.
Joining Whyte and Kole will be Boots Maleson, bass; Vinson Valega, drums; and John Hart, guitar.
The concert, which is free to the public, is the second event in the fall semester's Janet Weis Cabaret Jazz Series at Bucknell, a series made possible by funding from the Weis family.
A pianist, composer and vocalist, Whyte is a well-known New York City cabaret and jazz circuit fixture.
Among other things, he is producer and host of the Midtown Jazz at Midday at St. Peter's in Manhattan, a long-running and esteemed weekly jazz concert series.
A premier interpreter of classic American popular song, Whyte also is an outstanding jazz pianist and an award-winning songwriter.
His lyric "Forget the Woman" was recorded by Tony Bennett, and his music for "The Party Upstairs" won the MAC Award for Best Song of 2006. His CD "All in a Night’s Work" was selected Jazz Album of the Week by The New York Times.
For two years Whyte appeared in New York City in the hit musical "Our Sinatra" along with Hilary Kole, as well as its two national big band tours to more than 90 cities.
He was featured twice at New York's JVC Jazz Festival, and has been inducted into the Cabaret Jazz Hall of Fame. He has had major engagements in New York at the Café Carlyle, Rainbow and Stars, the Oak Room at the Algonquin, and Feinstein's at the Regency.
Hailed by critics as a "musical marvel" (Rex Reed, New York Observer), Kole co-created and originated the lead female roles in the critically acclaimed, award-winning Off-Broadway musicals, "Our Sinatra" and "Singing Astaire."
The youngest singer ever to perform at the legendary Rainbow Room, she later appeared in a sold-out run at the famed Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel and made her concert hall debut at Lincoln Center as part of the "American Songbook Series" with Jonathan Schwartz. I
n June of 2007, she appeared at Carnegie Hall during a Tribute to Oscar Peterson. She has appeared as a headliner in New York City at Birdland, Iridium, the Jazz Standard, and at Zankel Hall with Michael Feinstein.
In addition to her very public and popular career as a singer, Kole is a trained classical composer. She is the recipient of a prestigious Delius Award for her Piano Trio No. 1. Her music has won other awards and been performed by groups as diverse as the New England Brass Quintet, the Peabody Trio and the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Vocal Ensemble.
In the past year, she has recorded with Jazz legends Oscar Peterson and Hank Jones, as well as master composer Michel LeGrand. Her television appearances include CNN's Showbiz Today, Fox's Good Day New York, PBS, NBC's Today in New York, as well as a half-hour feature on CN8's "One on One with Steve Adubato" in 2004.
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