ScoBar Entertainment is proud to present award-winning vocalist Marilyn Maye on Friday and Saturday, December 8 & 9 at 8:30 PM. She will be accompanied by her trio. Marilyn Maye has been described as a singer, entertainer, actress and comedienne, but the word that her fans would use is “phenomenon.” She is an unstoppable ball of energy, equal parts Ella Fitzgerald and Ethel Merman, one that would be remarkable at any age, but even more so for a woman gearing up for her 90th birthday and who has been entertaining professionally for at least 80 of those years.
At 89, Maye’s raw firepower is astonishing. She is one of the few artists of any generation who is a great jazz singer with a remarkable sense of swing and a full-on theatrical singer with an equally great sense of drama and storytelling, not to mention humor. She can deliver a punch-line like no one else and with a single wink of her eyes, or the expression on her face, can make an entire audience laugh so hard that they can barely breathe.
Throughout most of the 1940s and 1950s, Marilyn sang in nightclubs in Kansas City, learning her craft; how to swing, belt the blues, personalize a lyric and capture the full attention of an audience and then hold it. She worked steadily, but later regretted that she didn’t have much incentive to spread her wings beyond her native Kansas. It wasn’t until 1960 that she came to the attention of TV superstar Steve Allen, who put her on his NBC show and her career began to reach a national stage. From Mr. Allen she attracted the attention of other tastemakers and impresarios, including Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson, as well as RCA Records, for whom she made seven albums & many singles in the late 1960s.
In the 1970’s she was the queen of the late night talk & variety shows, making more appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” than any other entertainer. She worked extensively in regional theatre (she was everybody’s favorite “Dolly” throughout the Midwest), working in every major city in the country, except for New York. It wasn’t until 2006 that she made her “comeback” in the city, starting at Metropolitan Room (then Feinstein’s, Birdland, Iridium and 54 Below) & beginning around 2015, as a special guest at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
DATE: Friday, 12/8 & Saturday, 12/9 @ 8:30pm
PLACE: Iridium ~ 1650 Broadway ~NYC
TICKETS: $35 music charge/$15 food/drink minimum $60 VIP Tickets
RESERVATIONS: (212) 582-2121 www.theiridium.com
This text adapted from program notes on Marilyn Maye by Will Friedwald for Jazz at Lincoln Center.