Song Travels with Michael Feinstein

Program Schedule

KPBX 91.1
Tuesday 9pm - 10pm
The renowned "Ambassador of the Great American Songbook" and five-time Grammy nominated performer Michael Feinstein hosts Song Travels, a series examining how popular standards and show tunes have evolved through the years. From the production team that brought you Piano Jazz, the program expands upon the genre of American Popular Song and reimagines it for a new century.

Each week a new guest joins Feinstein for intimate explorations of the journeys of songs and the artists who perform them. The line-up spans the musical spectrum, from Liza Minnelli and Bette Midler, to violinist Joshua Bell and Pink Martini pianist Thomas Lauderdale, and U.K. current pop sensation Rumer, bringing the Great American Songbook to a whole new audience. Each guest shares their passion for the songs through solo performances and duets with Feinstein, illustrating the continuing development of the songs across time.

Program Listings
September 9, 2014
Hunter Hayes

Rising Country star Hunter Hayes performed as a four-year old with Hank Williams, Jr. and played at the White House at just seven. On his debut album, Hayes performed on all of the instruments and was rewarded with three Grammy nominations in 2013. He released his second album Storyline in May. On this week’s Song Travels, Hayes performs original songs including his hit, “Wanted.”

September 16, 2014
Neil Sedaka

Neil Sedaka is synonymous with popular music. For more than fifty years, he has written, performed, and produced the soundtrack for America’s collective psyche. Sedaka had a string of early ‘60s pop hits, and his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Elvis, and the Monkees, among others. On this episode, Feinstein and his guest talk and play iconic pop and great standards, including one of his many hits, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.”

September 23, 2014
Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor is best known for her sensational 1978 hit, “I Will Survive,” which won the only Grammy ever awarded for Best Disco Recording. In the past decade she has released new music on unsuspecting audiences and has been honored with a slate of accolades. Gaynor performs “My Funny Valentine” and joins Feinstein for a duet of “The Very Thought of You.”

September 30, 2014
Thomas Lauderdale

Pianist Thomas Lauderdale is a cofounder of the celebrated orchestral ensemble Pink Martini, which bridges classical, jazz, world music, and old fashioned pop. On this Song Travels, Lauderdale brings along a few of his musical collaborators, including NPR’s Ari Shapiro. Lauderdale solos on “Malagueña” by Ernesto Lecuona and duets with Feinstein on George Gershwin’s “The Man I Love.”

October 7, 2014
Herb Alpert & Lani Hall

Herb Alpert is a world renowned musician, composer, producer, and co-founder of A&M Records, the largest independent record label in history. He rose to fame with the Tijuana Brass and is the only artist to have a number one record both as a singer and an instrumentalist. He and his wife, vocalist Lani Hall, join Michael Feinstein to talk about their remarkable careers. Alpert joins Feinstein for an instrumental duet, and Lani Hall performs “That Old Black Magic.”

October 14, 2014
Elaine Stritch

Three-time Emmy Award winner Elaine Stritch (February 2, 1925 - July 17, 2014) became a star on Broadway before going on to play acclaimed film and TV roles, including Colleen on the hit sitcom 30 Rock. After a career spanning almost 70 years, Stritch retired to Michigan. She passed away at age 89. In one of her final interviews before her retirement, Elaine joined host Michael Feinstein for a candid talk about her life on the stage and off, along with some delightful musical highlights.

October 21, 2014
Jazz vocalist Charenee Wade began singing

at age twelve and learned from jazz luminaries such as Carmen Lundy and Christian McBride. Her clear voice and high level of technique landed her first runner-up in the 2010 Thelonious Monk competition, and she followed this success with her debut album, Love Walked In. On this Song Travels, Wade performs jazz classics, including “I Didn’t Know What Time it Was” and “Blue Monk.”

October 28, 2014
Rob Schwimmer

Composer/pianist Rob Schwimmer has worked with top artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, and Bette Midler. He has also penned scores for Oscar-winning short films and is a master of the theremin (known for the spooky music heard in classic horror films). He joins host Feinstein to talk about the endurance of standards and to perform a few of his own compositions.

November 4, 2014
Leftover Cuties

L.A. noir-pop quartet the Leftover Cuties have a sound that is both retro and refreshing. Featured as one of Paste Magazine’s “Best of What’s Next,” their sophomore album, The Spark and the Fire, is earning the group praise and new fans. On this Song Travels, host Feinstein talks with Shirli McAllen, the group’s lead vocalist and ukulele player, and the quartet plays a set of originals from their latest release.

November 11, 2014
Chris Young

Chris Young was the 2006 winner of the TV series Nashville Star and is earning a spot among today’s top country voices. In 2010, he was nominated for Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. With guitarist Kevin Collier, Young brings his rich voice to a set of original songs and old favorites, including “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

November 18, 2014
Eric Benét

Singer, songwriter, and actor Eric Benét charges his old school soul songwriting with healthy doses of modern funk and hip-hop. His winning formula has been recognized with multiple Grammy and Image Award nominations. Benét joins Feinstein for a set of originals along with classics by Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, and David Foster.

November 25, 2014
Carsie Blanton

Vocalist and songwriter Carsie Blanton taught herself to play guitar by listening to the music of Ani DiFranco and Joan Osborne as a teen, and her musical curiosity has continued throughout her life. Her smoky vocals recall Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, and her wit as a songwriter has been compared to Cole Porter. On this Song Travels, Blanton performs her original song “Smoke Alarm,” and Feinstein joins in for “Sweet Lorraine.”

December 2, 2014
Sheldon Harnick

Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist Sheldon Harnick has been a pillar of Broadway for more than fifty years. His hit musicals include Fiorello!, Fidler on the Roof, and The Phantom Tollbooth. On this Song Travels, Harnick takes listeners on a musical journey through his career’s stories and songs.

December 9, 2014
Ann Hampton Callaway

Tony-nominated actress, vocalist, and songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway has sung with top orchestras and big bands the world over. As a songwriter, she penned tunes for Barbara Streisand and wrote and sang the theme to the hit sitcom The Nanny. This week she performs a set of standards, including “Our Love is Here to Stay.”

December 16, 2014
Anthony Strong

British jazz vocalist and pianist Anthony Strong built a reputation as a session pianist, supporting stars like B.B. King. His EP release Delovely reached number one on the UK charts, and he has continued his rise with his latest album of classic jazz songs and originals, Stepping Out. On this Song Travels, Strong brings his fresh take on the Great American Songbook with performances of old favorites along with a few modern standards.

December 23, 2014
Renée Fleming

Grammy-winning opera star and actress Renée Fleming has performed some of the greatest operatic roles ever written at the world’s leading concert halls. Her awards include a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement medal and the National Medal of Arts. This week she shares a few of her favorite selections, including songs by Franz Schubert, George Gershwin, and Leonard Cohen.

December 30, 2014
Gregory Porter

Jazz vocalist Gregory Porter had a breakout year in 2012. His album Be Good topped many “Best of” lists and was named iTunes Jazz Album of the Year. In 2014, Porter won a Grammy Award for his third album, Liquid Spirit, and NPR Music has called him “the next great male jazz singer.” On this Song Travels, Porter performs his original “Water,” and recalls Nat King Cole with “Nature Boy.”

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