Great American Songbook: Harry Allen Quartet with Hilary Gardner

Sunday, July 5, 7:30 pm at The Otesaga Resort Hotel

The Harry Allen Quartet with Hilary Gardner perform the Great American Songbook in Cooperstown

Have a firecracker Fifth of July as we light up the skies with a celebration of the American Songbook. Our musical fireworks are ignited by the incomparable energy and sophistication of the Harry Allen Quartet (Harry Allen, tenor sax; Bill Cunliffe, piano; Joel Forbes, bass; Kevin Kanner, drums)  performing with Hilary Gardner.  Allen, hailed as the “Frank Sinatra of the tenor saxophone” and Gardner, called “the secret love child of Peggy Lee and Tom Waite,” promise a memorable culmination of the Fourth of July weekend.

Harry AllenHARRY ALLEN, tenor sax

Gene Lees writes, “Stan Getz was once asked his idea of the perfect tenor saxophone soloist. His answer was, ‘My technique, Al Cohn’s ideas, and Zoot’s time.’ The fulfillment of that ideal may well be embodied in thirty-year-old Harry Allen.”

Swing Bros. recording artist Harry Allen has over thirty recordings to his name. Three of Harry’s CDs have won Gold Disc Awards from Japan’s Swing Journal Magazine, and his CD Tenors Anyone? won both the Gold Disc Award and the New Star Award. His recordings have made the top ten list for favorite new releases in Swing Journal Magazine’s reader’s poll and Jazz Journal International’s critic’s poll for 1997, and Eu Nao Quero Dancar (I Won’t Dance), the third Gold Disc Award winner, was voted second for album of the year for 1998 by Swing Journal Magazine’s reader’s poll.  The Harry Allen – Joe Cohn Quartet won the New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Jazz Combo Performance of 2006 and was nominated for Best Jazz Combo by the Jazz Journalists Association for the same year.

Harry has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Flip Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gus Johnson, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Warren Vache, and has recorded with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanagan, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Barron, Dave McKenna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Goldings, George Mraz, Jake Hanna, and Al Foster, among others.

Harry is featured on many of John Pizzarelli’s recordings including the soundtrack and an on-screen cameo in the feature film The Out of Towners starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. He has also done a series of commercials for ESPN starring Robert Goulet.

Harry was born in Washington D.C. in 1966, and was raised in Los Angeles, CA and Burrillville, RI. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1988 from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and currently resides in New York City.

Acclaimed singer HILARY GARDNER grew up in Wasilla, Alaska infatuated with New York City.  Her stunning Anzic Records debut, The Great City, is part love letter, part lament to New York and the big dreams it represents.  The Great City can be heard on radio stations across the country, and the album has garnered effusive praise from the jazz community, including DownBeat magazine, who named Hilary “an artist to watch in 2015.”

In 2010, Hilary was chosen by the Frank Sinatra estate to appear as the live, onstage singer in Tony-award winner Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away.  Backed by a 19-piece big band, Hilary sang solos and duets with Frank Sinatra in a performance hailed by critics as “wonderful” (Huffington Post), “elegant” (USA Today), and “terrific” (New York Observer).

Hilary performed with Jeff Goldblum and his band at the Café Carlyle, prompting New York Magazine to call hers “a voice worth seeking out.”  Michael Feinstein personally invited Hilary to be his featured guest on an episode of NPR’s Song Travels with Michael Feinstein. She is a founding member of DUCHESS, a Boswell Sisters-inspired vocal trio with Anzic Records label-mates Amy Cervini and Melissa Stylianou.  Hilary performs as a leader throughout New York City and is a frequent soloist with symphonies throughout the United States.  More information: hilarygardner.com

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