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American Songbook with Michael Civisca

Based in: USA
Show Code: michael-civisca
Artist: admin (See All Shows)
Price Range: From $6500 to $12000

These collections of songs, some close to one hundred years old, still have a freshness everytime I sing them. Musicians, arrangers and singers who understand the history of these songs revisit them generation after generation to create new interpretations of their melodies and lyrics, bringing their own musical and cultural influences, and giving the listener a gift of musical history.

By the time many of these great songwriters reache...

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These collections of songs, some close to one hundred years old, still have a freshness everytime I sing them. Musicians, arrangers and singers who understand the history of these songs revisit them generation after generation to create new interpretations of their melodies and lyrics, bringing their own musical and cultural influences, and giving the listener a gift of musical history.

By the time many of these great songwriters reached their later years, it was obvious that the country had witnessed the creation of a great legacy. The influences of jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel and folk music all played part in what would become known as the Golden Age of Popular Music.

As rock-and-roll began to claim the fifties and sixties, the great songwriters of stage and film were still tapping out hits. Famous collaborating songwriters were now common names: Rodgers and Hart, Arlen and Koehler, George and Ira Gershwin. Many songwriters (who could now be referred to by last name), Berlin, Porter, Mercer and Kern had all contributed to what some call "The Great American Songbook".

The war years of the nineteen-forties had a profound effect on the music we listened to. Population changes in our country introduced the sounds of folk music and the blues. The war itself, brought about the need for patriotic lyrics like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", and the post-war economic boom that followed created song favorites like, "Moonlight In Vermont", "Swingin’ On A Star" and "Come Rain Or Come Shine".

The depressive years of the thirties guided the public to movie houses where stories of love and romance helped them to take a break from the realities of economic conditions. The movies could create overnight hits like "There’s A Small Hotel" and "My Funny Valentine" from songwriters like Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

The "jazz-age" of the twenties gave us carefree and optimistic songs that kept big-bands like Duke Ellington and Paul Whiteman performing for sold-out dance halls. The influence that jazz had on popular music is prevalent in the songs of people like George Gershwin and Harold Arlen. They found inspiration by visiting the music clubs in Harlem and listening to black performers like Andy Razaf and Fat’s Waller. Many songs from this period are still performed today by jazz players. Mostly due to the timeless emotion found not only in the lyric but in the melody as well.

Whether you categorize them as "The American Songbook", "Hollywood and Broadway music", "Jazz Standards" or "Tin Pan Alley", the songs that were written throughout the first half of the 20th century are, by far, the most timeless musical works our country has known. As young European songwriters traveled to Ellis Island in the early 1900’s, they brought with them cultural and musical traditions that would begin to influence the lyrics and melodies being written in the streets of New York City and the stages of Broadway.  The thousands of songs written throughout the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, that found fame through movie musicals and Broadway shows, became part of America's musical fabric.

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American Songbook with Michael Civisca
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