Tony and Drama Desk nominee and multi-Audelco Award winner André De Shields, and internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan, are among the artists who will be honored at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards Gala on Monday, March 12 at 6:30 PM at Gotham Comedy Club. As is the Bistro Award tradition, the evening will feature performances by all of the winners.
De Shields is receiving the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award. The actor-singer-dancer-choreographer made his mark on Broadway in the title role of The Wiz, which was followed by the long-running Ain’t Misbehavin’, Stardust: The Mitchell Parish Musical, Play On!, and The Full Monty. He embraced cabaret early on in his career. Beginning in the 1970s, he created a string of original shows that performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy’s, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue Andre De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne. More recent appearances have included Joe’s Pub and the Laurie Beechman Theatre.
Because of her lifelong dedication to music as a unique and influential jazz vocalist, interpreter, songwriter, teacher, and mentor, Jordan is being honored for Outstanding Contributions to the Art of Jazz. Legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker, a great influence on her, would introduce her as “the singer with the million dollar ears.” Her trademarks are her her ability to improvise lyrics and unexpected sweeping changes of pitch. Her preference for bass and voice led to her collaboration with bassist Cameron Brown, with whom she has been touring internationally for over 20 years. She is a recipient of a 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, and is the subject of Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan by Ellen Johnson, which was described by the Huffington Post as a “truly American success story.”
Other Bistro Award recipients include Marta Sanders, who is being recognized for Consummate Cabaret Artistry, blues singer Shemekia Copeland, the recipient of the Bistro’s first Producer’s Award, Mary Sue Daniels, who will receive the Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award, Jeff Harnar, recipient of the Outstanding Director Award, Lisa Yaeger for Outstanding Vocalist, Rachelle Garniez, for the Outstanding Singer-Instrumentalist Award, and twins Peter and Will Anderson for the Outstanding Instrumentalists Award. Additionally, Salty Brine will receive the Award for Creative Artistry, while the Outstanding Theme Show Award goes to Amy Beth Williams’s.
Thank You for Your Love: Our Celebration of Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, starring Carole Demas and Sarah Rice, is being honored as Outstanding Tribute Show. Ben Schaechter and Dan Kael who wrote It Helps to Sing About It, will receive the Bistro Award for Outstanding Revue. The Outstanding Solo Play Award goes to Dan Ruth and the Outstanding New York Debut Award will be presented to Katie McGrath.
Sherry Eaker, the former longtime Editor-in Chief of Back Stage and the producer of the event since its inception, heads up the Awards Committee that includes BistroAwards.com critics Gerry Geddes, Roy Sander, Robert Windeler, and Mark Dundas Wood. Sander is also the award show’s associate producer; Wendy Lane Bailey is the assistant producer. Directing the show is Shellen Lubin.
The Bistro Awards Gala, Monday, March 12 at 6:30 PM at Gotham Comedy Club. 208 W. 23rd Street.
Premium Tickets are $150.00; General Admission tickets are $80.00. Ticket-buyers in both categories are invited to the “After-Bistros” party as guests of the Bistros. For details about the various ticket categories and early purchase prices, visit www.BistroAwards.com.
For additional information, call Sherry Eaker at 917-239-5467.