Russ Lorenson presents Standard Time: Live in New York to Benefit the ASA & Cabaret Scenes

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Internationally renowned entertainer Russ Lorenson, called “a showman of taste and discretion” by Downbeat, hosts the release of his recording, Standard Time: Live In New York (LML Music) with all proceeds to benefit the American Songbook Association and Cabaret Scenes Magazine. The cast features Mary Foster Conklin, Spencer Day, Jennifer Roberts, Billy Stritch, and Lennie Watts. Kelly Park is music director/pianist, with Tom Hubbard on bass and Eric Halvorson on drums.

While initially recorded with the intention of a 2009 release, circumstances kept that dream on the shelf. Lorenson was diagnosed with tonsil cancer, and though he is in complete remission from the disease, the side effects of the illness and treatment left him no longer able to sing. He is healthy and well today, however, and will regale the audience with his characteristic wit, show video highlights of his performances at Metropolitan Room, and will welcome his special guests who will perform the repertoire from Standard Time. The evening will also include a remembrance of beloved composer and cabaret artist Ray Jessel, to whom the album is dedicated.

Every track on this album draws inspiration from composers who themselves have been torchbearers of the classic standards—artists like Michael Feinstein, Harry Connick, Jr.,
John Pizzarelli, and more. Their modern compositions, echoing with undertones of jazz classics, stand as testament to the living, breathing, evolving nature of the Songbook. 15 years later, these rediscovered gems validate Lorenson’s belief: many of these songs have indeed evolved into the new generation’s standards. The American Songbook Association agrees!

The Triad Theatre is located at 158 West 72nd Street, NYC between Amsterdam and Columbus (on the South side of W. 72nd Street) Tickets range from $35 to $60 plus online fees and there is a two-drink per person minimum. At this time, the theater is not accessible by elevator.

Click HERE for tickets for this special evening. 

Russ Lorenson

Since his breakout club debut in 2005, Russ Lorenson has established a reputation as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading interpreters of jazz standards. As a singer, he is equally at home whether entertaining a concert hall audience or performing in the more intimate cabaret setting. With comparisons to Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, and Chet Baker, Lorenson has a voice one savors and remembers. It’s no wonder he’s called “San Francisco’s Favorite Crooner.” In recognition of his solid and sophisticated musical vocabulary, Downbeat called him “A showman of taste and discretion who admires Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin without imitating them or adopting a Rat Pack smugness.” The Los Angeles Times said that he brings “a supple voice and strong sense of characterization to all his songs.” The San Diego Union-Tribune said that his “relaxed, easy deliveries…seem natural and heartfelt.” The Coronado Journal simply called him “…irresistible…” Nominated for a 2007 MAC Award, Russ’ passion for the stage started with a performing career that began at age seven in his home town of Philadelphia and continued with roles in musical theater productions. As a choral conductor and vocal coach, Russ was the Associate Conductor of the award-winning California Youth Chorale for five years. As a vocalist he has toured the U.S., U.K., and Europe, appearing in concert with such luminaries as Broadway stars Karen Mason and Dale Kristien, “Queen of Cabaret” Andrea Marcovicci, jazz diva Wesla Whitfield, and as the opening act for the legendary Eartha Kitt. In the cabaret world, Lorenson has created many shows including Benedetto/Blessed: Celebrating the Life and Music of Tony Bennett, As Long As I’m Singin’: Russ Lorenson Celebrates the Music of Bobby Darin, and Fanilow: One Man’s Search for Music and Passion. For many years, his annual holiday show, Christmas in San Francisco with Russ Lorenson & Friends, was a tradition at venerated venues around the city, including the Empire Plush Room and Feinstein’s at The Nikko. He has released three critically-acclaimed albums, including two Christmas albums that garner heavy radio rotation nearly two decades after their release. His second holiday album, In The Holiday Spirit, was given 4 stars by Downbeat, and included in their “Best Albums of 2015.”

Mary Foster Conklin

Vocalist and radio host Mary Foster Conklin is an old school song hound with a reputation for uncovering lesser-known treasures of the Great American Songbook deserving attention and performing them in nontraditional venues. Her smoky voice with a tart twist of lemon has been described as both recognizably traditional yet unmistakably contemporary, as she puts her personal stamp on a repertoire that spans over nine decades. “Scratch her witty tough-girl-from Jersey patter,” wrote The Washington Post, “and you’ll find a sensitive artist (but not frail) with a wide-ranging boldly colored voice and an open ear for off-beat material.” She has appeared in theaters, clubs, and even on fire escapes in the New York area and throughout the United States and Canada. She hosts a weekly radio show called A Broad Spectrum – the Ladies of Jazz celebrating women composers and lyricists on WFDU.FM HD2 based at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. This past February, she released her fifth recording These Precious Days (MockTurtle Music), a heartfelt collection of popular and jazz tunes penned primarily by women, to critical acclaim and worldwide airplay.  “Her delivery—the way she enacts each song—is expressive but never melodramatic, thoughtful and impassioned at once … she is at home with a yearning quality that haunts the listener long after the last note, and she can also convey a thoroughly genuine slyness, a delight in experiences known and remembered.” (JAZZLIVES.WORDPRESS.COM)

Spencer Day

Spencer Day is a #1 Billboard jazz/pop singer and songwriter has played venues as diverse as Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl and London’s West End. Spencer is a widely acclaimed songwriter creating witty and sophisticated pop songs in the tradition of classic jazz American writers. The Washington Post praised his “cool jazz sensibilities” and “cleverly crafted tales.” Time Out New York called him “a compelling, quirky singer-songwriter.” Day’s songwriting is influenced by jazz, musical theater, cabaret, soul, and pop. Day’s album Vagabond peaked at #11 on Billboard‘s Album Chart, staying there 47 weeks. His album, Daybreak, debuted at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts. Day’s collaboration with Postmodern Jukebox has surpassed 1.5 million views on YouTube. His latest album, Broadway by Day, is a collection of reimagined theater songs from South Pacific, Evita, A Chorus Line, and beyond, with surprising and genre-blurring arrangements and features Grammy-nominated artists Dave Koz and Jane Monheit. His album Angel City, which Day arranged and co-produced, was recorded at Capitol Records with the Budman-Levy Orchestra. The album’s single, “72 and Sunny,” marked his debut on the Mediabase Adult Contemporary chart. His electronica remix of the song was recently featured on Kygo’s “Palm Tree Summer” playlist. Day has volunteered regularly with Feeding America as well as Border Angels, a charity working to improve migrant rights, immigration reform, legal counsel, and the prevention of immigrant deaths along the border. Border Angels inspired his next project La Frontera, which will feature original instrumental compositions recorded with musicians in the United States and Mexico.

Jennifer Roberts

Jennifer is an accomplished Singer and Actress, with a Musical Theatre background, and experience in television and film. She is a classically-trained vocalist, who “excels at ballads, and in a jazz or swing mode, and can even have fun with country ” – William Wolf. With a BFA in Theatre from Wayne State University, she later studied acting with Uta Hagen. Regional credits include Sarah Brown, opposite Tom Wopat in Guys and Dolls, Guenevere in Camelot, and both the soprano and alto roles in The All Night Strut, directed by Fran Charnas. She is featured in many radio and television commercials and has appeared in film and television, including Conviction, opposite Hilary Swank, and Unsolved Mysteries. Performance highlights include frequent symphony soloist, featured singer on Porter Wagoner’s TV show, and a recent appearance at Michigan Music Festival—Arts, Beats and Eats, with legendary bassist Ralphe Armstrong and drummer Gaylelynn McKinney. Her New York Cabaret shows include An Evening with Jennifer Roberts with Tedd Firth as musical director, directed by Andy Gale, and Jennifer Roberts: She Loves…Sheldon! her Sheldon Harnick tribute show, with Tedd Firth as musical director, directed by Lance Roberts. She has performed at New York’s top cabaret rooms including Judy’s Chelsea, Don’t Tell Mama, Pangea, and the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Her CD, An Evening with Jennifer Roberts, received a 2019 MAC Nomination, and continues to receive much airplay in the U.S. and overseas. She is a frequent announcer and guest artist on The Great American Songbook Radio Station. Jennifer is a featured vocalist on Bob Levy’s MAC-Nominated CDs While I’m Still Here and Ballads. On April 24, 2024 Jennifer will be celebrating Sheldon Harnick’s 100th Birthday with her show, Jennifer Roberts: She Loves…Sheldon at Chelsea Table & Stage, featuring Jon Weber on piano, with Steve Doyle on bass.

Billy Stritch

Pianist-singer Billy Stritch has been a presence on the New York and national nightclub scene for nearly four decades. He began his career in Houston where we formed the vocal trio Montgomery, Plant and Stritch. The threesome performed all over New York and Europe from 1983 until they parted ways in 1990. That same year, Billy started his solo performing career. He is perhaps best known for his 25-year position as musical director and pianist for Liza Minnelli, and he has also toured with Tony Bennett, Christine Ebersole, Linda Eder, Melissa Manchester, Marilyn Maye, Linda Lavin, and many other top singers. His 1993 composition “Does He Love You” won the Grammy Award, and was recently recorded by Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton garnering another Grammy nomination in 2023. He was recently named Outstanding Musical Director for the fourth time by Broadway World and his 2022 birthday show at New York’s famed Birdland Jazz Club was named Outstanding Vocal Jazz Engagement of the year. Billy has recorded numerous solo albums as well as two with Christine Ebersole, and his most recent release Billy’s Place (Club44 Records) is available on all the streaming platforms and at his website Upcoming engagements include I’ll Be Home for Christmas with Christine Ebersole at 54 Below December 12-17 and the 14th annual edition of A Swinging Birdland Christmas with Jim Caruso and Klea Blackhurst at Birdland December 21-25. Follow Billy on Instagram @billystritch

Lennie Watts

Lennie Watts is a 19-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets), 5-time Backstage Bistro, and 3-time Nightlife Award winner. Recognized as an outstanding vocalist, director, producer, and booking manager, he has been active in the New York cabaret scene for over 25 years. He has toured nationally and internationally with productions of The Music Man (Marcellus) and The Wizard of Oz (Lion). Other roles: Man in Chair (The Drowsy Chaperone) Psuedelus (A Funny Thing…), Herod (Jesus Christ Superstar), Nicely Nicely Johnson (Guys and Dolls), Jinx (Forever Plaid). He has performed at NYC’s The Town Hall in several concerts, including Broadway Unplugged and Broadway By the Year, 1949, and can be heard on the cast recordings of both shows. Watts is the creator and Artistic Director of Singnasium, a nonprofit vocal school in New York City. David Finkle of The Village Voice calls him “A one-man cabaret army!” He served as  the president of MAC for 11 years, and is currently on the advisory board. He was recently named one of “The 50 Most Influential People in New York Cabaret” by Nightlife Exchange.

Click HERE for tickets for this special evening

Press Representative for the event: Betsyann Faiella, SAVOY PR.
Press Representative for Standard Time recording: Ariel Hyatt CyberPR.