I am singing a cabaret concert this Saturday, February 18th, at 7:30 PM, at Christ Church Riverdale, located at 5030 Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx, NY 10471. Tickets are available at the door are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and light refreshments are included. Parking is usually easy in this neighborhood. For more information, go to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718‐543‐1011.
Accompanied by Tex Arnold on piano (a very nice Steinway!) and Jon Burr on bass, I shall be a happy songbird indeed.
The "cabaret" designation for this concert brings up something that's been on my mind for a while. I know jazz singers who are quite scornful of cabaret. I know cabaret singers who feel the same about jazz. It's all silly really, as there is – or should be – considerable overlap in the genres. I think the performance styles that have become common in the two forms are the problems. Jazz seems to be all about the sound. Cabaret seems to be all about the sense. Some jazz singers seem to emphasize connection with the other musicians, with little attention left over for the audience. Some cabaret singers ditch musicality, connecting with the audience rather than the musicians.
I think either/or oppositions are largely false and fruitless. Ideally, a singer can pay attention to the musicians while connecting with the audience and singing in tune and in time, with intelligence and emotional honesty. One is always going to be better at one aspect of this than another, but I do believe it all can be learned and improved (if I didn't, there's be no point in teaching).
For presenters, though, the distinction lies in where you place the derrieres of the clientele. Cabaret (or nightclub) seating = on chairs grouped around tables. Concert (or theater) seating = on seats in rows, facing a stage, or at least facing an area. That's the only either/or that really does have to be one or t'other. And it's good news for those who may have been dreading church pews.
You'll hear quite a few tunes from my soon-to-be-released CD, and something a capella, and perhaps we'll all sing to Mrs. Peel, on the occasion of her first birthday, a stirring, purring rendition of That Blasted Song, in Ailurin.
Please note: the concert is in Riverdale, not Rivendell. That booking is still pending.