JAZZ IT UP Music Series @ Sorrento Restaurant with KAREN EGERT & FRIENDS
New Jersey's hot jazz and blues music concert event welcomes you to Jazz It Up on the last Wednesday of every month at Sorrento Italian Restaurant, located at 631 Central Avenue, Westfield, NJ just one mile from GSP exit # 135. The music series continues on Wednesday, October 27 at 7pm with a performance by acclaimed jazz vocalist KAREN EGERT and her Jazz Trio.
Karen Egert , jazz singer and pianist was born in Brooklyn, but spent most of her childhood in the suburbs of Long Island, NY. She showed a talent for music at an early age, taking piano lessons , dance and yearning for the stage. Growing up she was exposed to all types of music in her home from classical, Broadway and the Beatles , but it was the music from the Great American songbook that eventually captivated her the most. In High School, her chorus teacher and mentor , William Westcott, was the first to introduce her to the repertoire of Gershwin, Cole Porter ,Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and others. Teacher and mentor Bill Westcott exposed her to all the great singers --Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, etc.. She would spend hours after school learning tunes, interpreting how to swing and understanding the lyrics in those great ballads. With this encouragement and insight into this timeless music, she started on a course towards pursuing a career as a singer.
Karen attended SUNY New Paltz and graduated with BA in Theater Arts. Shortly after graduating , she landed a spot as a lead vocalist touring in a Cabaret style show band performing in major resorts and hotels. Gaining tremendous experience for almost a year, she decided to head for New York City.
After moving to NYC, she immediately auditioned for the S.P.Q.R cabaret show and won a role as one of eight singer-dancer in the musical revue at the S.P.Q.R. Cabaret on Mulberry St. in Little Italy-- a revue of Broadway and songs from movie musicals. A mix of skits, dance numbers, and song solos , Karen played several roles – most notably Judy Garland where she brought the house down with her rendition of " The Man That Got Away".
While still performing in the S.P.Q.R , she attended an open casting call of thousands for a new Broadway show being directed by Joe Layton and produced by Dick Clark. It was from this open NYC casting call that Karen landed a principal role on Broadway in "Rock And Roll – The First 5,000 Years, playing the role of "Cher". Singing on a backdrop of mulit- media depicting events of the time, performers played singers and rock bands from Chuck Berry on. Karen performed " I Got You Babe" as Cher ,along with others singers and performed in group stage numbers. It was an amazing thrill for Karen to be performing in NY much less Broadway.
Karen then became the lead vocalist and songwriter for The Flirts, a female pop group that had a hit song called "Don't Put Another Dime In The Jukebox,". After joining the group, she became their main songwriter and their second big release,"Impulse" was one of her original compositions. They enjoyed national radio airplay as well as their video highlighted on MTV.
Continuing her work as a singer- dancer, Karen performed in shows for cruise ships and singing with the Big Band Orchestras on those ships.
Upon returning to NYC, Karen Egert found her true niche, as a solo jazz singer-pianist. She enjoyed a two year run at the at the Sheraton Center in New York before landing her outstanding 5 year run at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where she played nightly in the Cocktail Terrace and the Peacock Alley Lounge on Cole Porter's piano. Entertaining audiences on a regular basis gave her the opportunity to develop her style, her repertoire and her own voice. There were many notables in the audience , and on one memorable night Stevie Wonder was in the hotel. He heard her voice coming through the lobby and was so taken by her singing that he was drawn into the Peacock Alley and spent the night listening to her perform. As he was leaving the room , Karen began singing his song "Overjoyed". It was at that point that Stevie Wonder stopped ,turned around and stood in front of that magnificent piano captivated by her performance. He then concluded the evening with a spontaneous hour long set of his own."It was probably the most memorable and magical moment of my life. It was an amazing thrill" says Karen.
She has worked in such New York City clubs as The Iridium, Danny's Skylight, S.P.Q.R. Cabaret and La Folie in addition to Shanghai Jazz in Madison, New Jersey and Trumpets in Montclair, New Jersey.
Karen currently has a steady piano - singing job in the historical lounge at the New York Athletic Club , a NYC private membership club on Central Park South . She is especially enchanted with this venue and its ambience as it is reminiscent of the great supper clubs of the 30's and 40s and its members are music aficionados from all over the world. She has garnered much attention from this special audience of music lovers and brings in listeners who are drawn to the honesty in her lyric interpretation and her own musical style. Karen also performs her show for private parties and corporate events .
Thus far, Karen Egert has recorded two CDs. Her debut album, Let's Get Lost, includes two of her originals, "Wait Until I'm Through With You" and "Please Go Away," plus a dozen standards including three Cole Porter songs, highlighted by a heartfelt "Everytime We Say Goodbye".
On her most recent CD , That Thing Called Love , Karen performs a collection of hand-picked songs that are very special to her and her audience including an original tune—"Could You Be Mine". You can hear Karen's very special rendition of her favorite "That Ol' Devil Called Love" which features a warm solo by saxist Harry Allen. Karen is joined by an all-star group that includes both John and Bucky Pizzarelli . She is heard at her best throughout this rewarding effort.. Her singing has inspired John Pizzarelli to comment, "Karen Egert is the kind of rare jazz artist who really understands the meaning of the lyrics she sings. It's a pleasure to work with her".
Both Cd's have been distributed and sold in Japan and are available in the U.S. through I-tunes and CDbaby.com. Her latest CD has been heard nationwide on Jazz radio stations and most notably on the internet radio show of Jonathan Schwartz.
Karen Egert performs regularly at the private New York Athletic Club in Manhattan and can also currently be seen at various clubs and hotels in the Metropolitan including the Waldorf Astoria.
She is joined for this Jazz it Up performance by an accomplished Jazz Trio including Matt King on keyboards, Linc Milliman on bass and Anton Denner on sax and flute.
The ticket price of $20 includes the concert, a choice of Music Menu entree, dessert and a beverage. BYOB is welcome. Showtime is from 7pm to 9pm. Seating and food service for the concert experience starts at 6pm. The venue, home of the original tomato pizza pie and more, offers the perfect ambience for a relaxing evening of good food and drink, good friends and listening pleasure. A destination for sophisticated families, couples and singles to enjoy life! Plenty of free parking. Conveniently located off of GSP Parkway Exit 135.
631 Central Avenue
Westfield, NJ 07090
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|
|Owner: Margaret Shaw|
|On BPT Since: Dec 14, 2009|
|Jazz It Up! hotline|