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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents "The Music of Kurt Weill", Featuring Ute Lemper
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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents "The Music of Kurt Weill", Featuring Ute Lemper

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Jazz at Lincoln Center

The Music of Kurt Weill
(Kurt Weill Bio)

Ute Lemper on Vocals
(Ute Lemper Website)

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director

Special Guests:
Warren Wolf on Vibraphone
Vana Gierig on Piano

Frederick P. Rose Hall
Rose Theater
Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Ted Nash, Music Director, Alto Saxophone
Wynton Marsalis, Trumpet
Ryan Kisor, Trumpet
Lew Soloff, Trumpet
Marcus Printup, Trumpet
Vincent Gardner, Trombone
Chris Crenshaw, Trombone
Elliot Mason, Trombone
Sherman Irby, Alto Saxophone
Walter Blanding, Tenor Saxophone
Victor Goines, Tenor Saxophone
Joe Temperley, Baritone Saxophone
Dan Nimmer, Piano
Carlos Henriquez, Bass
Ali Jackson, Drums

Bridget Wilson: Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 3, 2011


Alabama Song – Brecht/Weill, arr. S. Irby
J’Attends un Navire – Deval/Weill, arr. A. Farber
Le Grand Lustucru – Deval/Weill, arr. W. Marsalis
Kanonen Song – Brecht/Weill, arr. T. Nash
Lotterieagents Tango – Kaiser/Weill, arr. V. Goines
Moritat vom Mackie Messer/Mack the Knife – Brecht/Weill, arr. C. Henriques
My Ship – I. Gershwin/Weill, arr. R. DeRosa
Pirate Jenny – Brecht/Weill, arr. T. Nash
The Saga of Jenny – I. Gershwin/Weill, arr. V. Gardner
September Song – Anderson/Weill, arr. M. Printup
Speak Low – Nash/Weill, arr. A. Jackson
Surabaya Johnny – Brecht/Weill, arr. W. Marsalis
This Is the Life – Lerner/Weill, arr. W. Marsalis
Youkali – Deval/Weill, arr. C. Crenshaw

What an elegant night at Jazz at Lincoln Center. I had heard Ute Lemper a few years ago, in cabaret at Café Carlyle, but with a small ensemble, not the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Tonight was a night to remember. Ted Nash, saxophonist with the Orchestra, was tonight’s Music Director, and he did a fine job working with Ms. Lemper to line up and organize the arrangements of the best of Kurt Weill’s music, as well as some very rarely heard songs. As can be seen in the program above, eleven musicians worked on the program arrangements, so each song had its own style and musical effects.

Throughout the concert, Ms. Lemper educated and entertained the audience with personal anecdotes and inside stories about the life and adventures of Kurt Weill, with each tale leading into a series of related songs. Ms. Lemper sang in German, English, and French. She walked about the stage, engaging the musician as well as the audience, and she was an eye-catching figure for these men in her two stunning gowns. Ms. Lemper used facial expressions and physical gestures that matched the mood of her songs and stories, a truly theatrical chanteuse.

Ms. Lemper sang with gusto, sensuality, wit, warmth, and the loveliest tones I’d heard in ages. Her vocal talent is refined and sophisticated, and her high notes and low notes were equally clear, melodic, pure, and sometimes operatic. She’s a singer that gets under your skin. At the end of a song, you want to hear more. “Speak Low”, from “One Touch of Venus”, was sung with a bossa nova accompaniment, and the Latin infusion lit up Rose Theater. “September Song”, from “Knickerbocker Holiday”, was one of my favorites, with a poignant introduction from Satie. Numerous members of the Orchestra were featured in solo or duo instrumental enhancement tonight, and Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis, sat in the rear with the trumpet contingent. Other musicians who caught my attention were Vincent Gardner, trombone, Ted Nash, alto sax, Victor Goines, tenor sax, and Dan Nimmer, on vibrant piano.

Tonight’s guest musicians were Warren Wolf, vibes, and Vana Gierig, piano. The vibraphone was a great addition to the Orchestra, as Weill’s music is so earthy, and the vibes were like fresh raindrops in contrast. Vana Gierig is Ms. Lemper’s pianist in the Clubs, and they have great musical chemistry, anticipating each other’s flourishes. The German-born Gierig’s piano mastery of the Weill genre is incomparable, as is Ms. Lemper’s vocal and conversational mastery of everything that is Weill. Another Weill aficionado is Ted Nash, who has performed on saxophone in “Threepenny Opera” on Broadway with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and in a night of Weill at Carnegie Hall. Kudos to Ute Lemper, kudos to Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, kudos to Warren Wolf and Vana Gierig, kudos to Ted Nash, and kudos to Kurt Weill.

You can catch future Jazz at Lincoln Center productions by checking their busy calendar here.

Ute Lemper with the
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Courtesy of Frank Stewart

Ute Lemper with the
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Courtesy of Frank Stewart

Ute Lemper with the
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Courtesy of Frank Stewart

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at