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American Songbook Hall of Fame adds four more music legends

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Framed photos of four more music greats will soon be added to those already hanging on a designated wall at the Palladium in Carmel with the addition of recent inductees at the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame performance Saturday.

The performance, held for the third year, was the second day of a two day Gala that included a dinner dance Friday at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The Gala benefits the Center and the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative. Feinstein is the artistic director of the Center and the founder of the Initiative which has a two-fold mission to “bring the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today and to preserve it for future generations.”

Feinstein, as he has been in the last two Hall of Fame performances, was the master of ceremonies. The honorees inducted this year included Nat “King” Cole, Shirley Jones, Johnny Mathis and Linda Ronstadt. Jones and Mathis were present to accept their awards. Cole’s daughter, Natalie, accepted on her late father’s behalf and Feinstein accepted for Ronstadt, who is struggling with Parkinson’s disease and was not able to attend.

After brief videos depicting the careers of the inductees were shown, each was honored by up and coming entertainers. They included Laura Osnes, who paid tribute to Shirley Jones, Denzal Sinclaire to Nat “King” Cole, Peter Cincotti to Linda Ronstadt and Jessica Sanchez to Johnny Mathis.

Soprano Osnes, a Broadway performer who received a 2012 Tony nomination for “Bonnie & Clyde,” sang “Till There Was You” from “The Music Man,” the 1962 film in which Jones appeared as Marina. Sinclaire, recognized as one of Canada’s foremost jazz vocalists and Cole interpreter, sang a medley of the crooner’s hits, turning in one of the evening’s best received performances. Singer, songwriter and pianist Cincotti accompanied himself in a frenzied rendition of “Back in the USA” in honor of Ronstadt. Sanchez, a season 11 American Idol finalist, sang “Killing Me Softly,” replete with R & B riffs and runs, in tribute to Mathis.

Feinstein, backed by a large orchestra which played for most of the performers, led by pianist and conductor John Oddo, sang “Without a Song,” at the opening of the show, “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Strike Up the Band” to conclude the evening.

Also performing was 2013 Great American Songbook High School Vocal Competition winner Julia Goodwin, who sang “Blue Skies.” Goodwin, a 16-year old high school student recently got through the first round of the NBC hit television show, "America's Got Talent."

Opening the show were performers Lance Fletke, Jim Hogan, Emily Rice, and Haley Travers who danced to choreography by Josh Prince as they sang “Another Op’nin’ Another Show.”

For tickets and information about the Center for the Performing Arts 2014-2015 season call the box office at (317) 843-3800 or visit www.thecenterfortheperformingarts.org

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