I'm VERY excited about all of the recent developments with my concert events in New York City and I just have to gush a little about all of the reasons why!
For three and a half years, I have performed a monthly show at The Iridium on Broadway in New York City, and we're STILL going strong! My 8-piece "little big band" has developed into a formidable group of the top jazz and Broadway musicians New York has to offer and we continue to set the bar high with new arrangements of swingin' tunes, original songs written just for me and the band, and lots of amazing special guest stars!
This month is no exception. In fact, it's turning out to be one of my favorite events here ever! I'm thrilled to be bringing my friend and legendary percussionist and big band leader Jack "Mr. Bongo" Costanzo to New York City for the first time in over 50 years!
(portrait of Jack Costanzo; William Gottlieb collection; Library of Congress circa 1948)
Jack and I have played together many times on the West Coast but I haven't worked with him since I relocated from San Francisco to New York City in March of 2009. Jack has played for all of the greats (Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, etc, etc) but originally came to my attention as the man on the bongos on Frances Faye's 1958 live recording "Caught In The Act." She heavily featured Jack in her shows and I fell in love with his playing and his style. I asked him to join me in my tribute show "Drunk With Love" at The Plush Room in San Francisco in 2007 and he agreed! We became great pals and continued to work together in San Francisco and Hollywood whenever we could.
(l-r; Shaynee Rainbolt, Jack Costanzo, Terese Genecco - after Jack's first appearance with Terese's Little Big Band at The Plush Room in San Francisco in 2007)
Jack has just turned 93 years old and still plays with the vitality of a man half his age. He earned the nickname "Mr. Bongo" from the LA jazz journalist Leonard Feather and it still holds true today. I am so pleased to be able to present Jack to a new New York City audience in performance with me and the Little Big Band on Tuesday, October 30th. He'll be sitting in with my regular percussionist Mayra Casales and drummer Ray Marchica for a few tunes to get ready for our full-length show a few days later at a different venue. (Tix and reservations available at the club's website or by calling 212.582.2121. Highly recommended!)
Which leads me to my November 4th (@ 1pm) gig at the new and most awesome venue 54 BELOW in New York City! The booking manager there is Phil Geoffrey Bond. Phil is a friend and professional colleague whom I very much respect and admire. When this new club was just about ready to open to the public last June with a run of performances by the Broadway star Patti Lupone, Phil called me and asked if I would bring my band in to do a "soft opening" performance to help the staff get everything just right for Ms. Lupone and a big opening night a few days later. All of the owners and investors were there and enjoyed my hour-long set so much they asked Phil to book me back in later in the year once the club was up and running smoothly. And they did!
(Terese Genecco & Her Little Big Band at 54 Below in June 2012)
I wanted to bring something very special to this new venue and it just so happens that November 4th, 2012 marks the 100th birthday of The Fabulous Frances Faye! SO... I pitched my award-winning show "Drunk With Love: A Tribute To Frances Faye!" and Phil happily said yes!
(Frances Faye circa 1950)
The next step was to see if Jack was available and could make the date... and HE said yes! Add in my A-Team 7-piece "little big band" plus NYC cabaret icon Ricky Ritzel and we've got one hell of a show coming up! Tickets are on sale at Ticketweb and on the club's website and we expect a sold out house so be sure to purchase your tickets as soon as possible! Go To www.54Below.com today!
One more cool thing is happening in the month of November. Well, actually, I have several things brewing but this one is a sure date. We're sneaking away from The Iridium just long enough to try out some new digs! On Wednesday, November 28th, I'm bringing the band to a brand new venue. It's called The Cutting Room. Now, there used to be a club by the same name in a different part of town but it closed several years ago. The same owners had VERY big plans for a new location (44 East 32nd St between Park and Madison) and they have made their dreams a reality. The new venue is ridiculously tricked out with a Fender Guitar stained glass chandelier over the center of the huge bar (shaped like a guitar) and a gorgeous theater/performance space that seats 280... except when they open the entire back wall up and open the seating out into the main bar area! Then they have room for 200 more! So, you can see that we need to get a really big group of friends and fans together for this show too! I'm secretly plotting to bring in a really BIG name Guest Star. I'll let you know as soon as that gets nailed down!
I'll post more as the rest of the 2012 schedule falls into place but I wanted to be sure you knew about these very special NYC performances! I hope you will join me for one and all!
Thank you to everyone for your love and support. Even after a "reasonably strong" New York Times Review from Stephen Holden, it's still a daily challenge to try to earn a living as a singer/musician and it means the world to me that so many of you come out and bring friends to my monthly shows here in NYC and around the world! I wonder if it's all worth it sometimes since it's obvious the mainstream media doesn't care about the music I love and perform but every single person in my audience seems to "get it" when they discover us and that keeps me going. Oh, and so does my fabulous producer Scott Barbarino of ScoBar Entertainment and my wonderful and supportive fiance', Shaynee Rainbolt. She's also a working NYC jazz singer. Two of us in the same house trying to deal with the ups and downs of the entertainment business is also a challenge but we are both determined to work as hard as we can until we can't work at all. Some days are better than others so we gratefully continue on.
I wish you all lots of luck and love. Thanks for reading! Hope to see you soon at The Iridium, 54 Below, and The Cutting Room in NYC! And thanks for supporting live music! It Matters!!
Tuesday, October 23 @ The Iridium as a guest vocalist in "Night of The Iguana at The Iridium NYC with host Dana Lorge and musical director Barry Levitt; 8 & 10 PM
Tuesday, October 30 @ The Iridium with my little big band featuring Jack Costanzo and Ricky Ritzel; 8 & 10 PM
Sunday, November 4 @ 54 Below in "Drunk With Love: A 100th Birthday Celebration of the Fabulous Frances Faye!"; 1PM
Tuesday, November 6 @ The Iridium as a guest vocalist and drummer with Shaynee Rainbolt and The Donn Trenner Trio; election night coverage and swingin' jazz! 8 & 10 PM
Wednesday, November 14 @ The Laurie Beechman Theatre as a guest of vocal group Uptown Express; 7 PM
Wednesday, November 28 @ The Cutting Room NYC; 8 & 10 PM
Wednesday, December 12 @ St Peter's Church on Lexington NYC with the little big band and Shaynee Rainbolt in Midtown Jazz at Midday; 1 PM
Tuesday, December 18 @ The Iridium NYC with the little big band and special guests TBA; 8 & 10 PM