Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Melissa Manchester”

Melissa Takes Manhattan

Melissa Manchester is not only one of my favorite musicians, she’s one of my favorite friends. Her talent, energy, kindness, and passion are undeniable and all were on full display tonight during her opening performance at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Melissa has additional performances on Saturday (7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and Sunday (7:00 p.m.), and I absolutely recommend you attend one or more of these fabulous concerts.

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A Conversation with Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis is the longest-running recording artist on Columbia records. In addition to releaseing 79 studio albums and six original Christmas albums, he has 50 hit songs to his name on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. Mathis also has five Grammy nominations and three Grammy Hall of Fame inductions. Simply stated, he’s a once-in-a-lifetime artist whose productivity and influence knows no bounds. Since taking the musical world by storm 62 years ago, Johnny Mathis has become the indisputable voice of romance. If you’ve yet to see this vocalist extraordinaire or you simply want to see him again, Johnny Mathis is performing at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City on June 2. Mathis was kind enough to take the time to speak with me about his remarkable career. I hope you enjoy our discussion, and don’t forget to buy tickets to his June 2 show in Atlantic City while you still can.

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Catching Up With Melissa Manchester

I recently had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Melissa Manchester in-person and in her hotel room. While I’ve interviewed countless people over the past few years, this was a first for me and a surreal experience. Melissa was as lovely and charming as could be, and our conversation exceeded my expectations, covering a wide swath of her impressive career. In my interviews with artists, I try to connect with them in some meaningful way because it establishes an excellent rapport and lets them know that I understand them. Well, Melissa and I connected right from the get-go, and, as a result, my appreciation for her artistry and love for her music has increased ten-fold. If you haven’t bought her new album, The Fellas, you should. And make it a point to see this lovely lady live, as she puts on a show like no other.

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A Very Barry Christmas

Photo by Dana Holland.

For the first time ever, Barry Manilow took his Christmas show on the road. This special concert typically only takes place in Palm Springs, where Manilow resides. But this year he decided to bring it to a handful of locations, including New York. I made it a point to attend Manilow’s New York performance, and it exceeded my expectations.

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Melissa Manchester: The Fellas

Melissa Manchester is one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. Her velvety, soulful voice is unmistakable, and I always look forward to new music from this immensely talented songstress. More than 25 years after Melissa Manchester released Tribute, her 1989 album that honored the great female singers who influenced her, she turns the tables with The Fellas, a radiant encomium to the men, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin, and the iconic songs they made famous. The Fellas is available everywhere on September 8.

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A Conversation With Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow is my all-time favorite musician. He’s a Grammy, Tony and Emmy award-winning icon who has 50 Top 40 hits, including 12 #1 singles and more than 85 million albums sold worldwide. With credentials like this, it’s no wonder Barry Manilow is the #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all time, according to Billboard and R&R magazines, and that Rolling Stone referred to him as “the showman of our generation.” Simply put, he’s fantastic, and I’ve wanted to interview him for the past three years. Yesterday, that dream came true. Barry and I discussed his new album, This is My Town: Songs of New York, which is available April 21, his nearly-40-year relationship with his husband Garry Kief and much more. I hope you enjoy reading this interview. And don’t forget to pick up Barry’s new album – it’s spectacular!

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Manilow’s Philly Farewell

FullSizeRender (7)Last week Barry Manilow ended his One Last Time! tour. I was fortunate to see and meet him twice on this tour. First in LA and, most recently, in Philadelphia. It was fitting that I saw and met Barry, supposedly for the last time, in the same arena where I saw him for the first time back in 2007. I say supposedly because Barry just announced today that he’s going to visit more cities on this tour. My fingers are crossed that he decides to go to Atlantic City or another nearby destination on the second leg of this tour. But I digress. Let me tell you all about his show in Philly.

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Review: You Gotta Love The Life by Melissa Manchester

MManchaster-YGLTL-CDCover-10inchWhen I interviewed Melissa Manchester in December 2013, we talked about her upcoming album You Gotta Love The Life. That album will officially be released tomorrow, February 10, and I’m happy to report that it was well worth the wait. It’s a wonderfully diverse collection of songs that creates an unforgettable musical tapestry that is both modern and classic.

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When I Met Melissa Manchester

Photo with Melissa ManchesterYesterday was a great day. I went to New York City with my girlfriend for Valentine’s Day weekend and we saw an excellent movie – American Hustle, went to a great restaurant – The Writing Room – and capped off the day with a Melissa Manchester concert.

In December 2013 I interviewed Melissa for my blog and she was as nice as could be and full of great stories. For those that haven’t read it yet, you can check it out here. One of the topics covered in the interview was yesterday’s concert in NYC. Melissa said, “you never know what I might sing” and boy was she right. The set list included a variety of her biggest hits, including “Midnight Blue,” “Come in From the Rain” and my favorite, “Don’t Cry Out Loud.” She also sang “Something Wonderful” from The King and I and new material from her upcoming album, You Gotta Love the Life. There were countless other songs during the hour-and-a-half concert, including a blistering performance of “I Know Who I Am,” a song that was featured in a trailer for the Tyler Perry movie For Colored Girls. And after the concert came to a close with Cole Porter’s “I Happen to Like New York,” Melissa and her talented musicians were met with a well-deserved standing ovation.

As you can see from the photo above, I had the chance to meet Melissa in person after the show and she was as lovely in person as she was on the phone. She took the time to meet and take photos with fans, as well as autograph items. The line to meet her went to the back of the room but she stuck around until every fan was satisfied. I was very impressed.

If you ever have the opportunity to see Melissa Manchester, go for it. In addition to having a spectacular voice, she’s got great stage presence and an appreciative personality. It was a terrific evening of music and I wouldn’t hesitate to see her again.

Below is a live performance of the aforementioned song, “I Know Who I Am,” from a 2010 concert. Enjoy!

2013: It Was A Very Good Year

New Year - Philadelphia2013 was my first full year of blogging, and it was a great one. I wrote 174 posts and exceeded 20,000 views, reaching people in 118 countries. I also had the honor and privilege of interviewing some of my favorite authors, actors and musicians, including:

  1. Lisa Scottoline
  2. Andrew Gross
  3. Melissa Manchester
  4. Michael Des Barres
  5. Douglas Preston
  6. Jon Land
  7. M.J. Rose
  8. Steven James
  9. Taylor Stevens
  10. Donald Bain
  11. Thomas B. Sawyer 
  12. Dick Hill

And 2014 is shaping up to be an even bigger year with interviews already scheduled with 2014 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee John Oates and bestselling author Stuart Woods.

Thanks to all of you who regularly read my posts, as well as those who take the time to comment. Speaking of which, below are my top commenters’ great blogs. Make sure to check them out:

2013 was my best year yet, both personally and professionally, and I plan on making 2014 even more special.

Happy New Year!

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