This week, Ira Sternberg spoke with Ann Hampton Callaway.
Ann Hampton Callaway, one of the leading champions of the great American Songbook, will perform, along with Tony DeSare and special guest, Landau Eugene Murphy, in “Jazz Roots: The American Songbook” at Reynolds Hall at the Smith Center Friday, April 26th. She has made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. She has become a mainstay in concert halls, theaters and jazz clubs as well as in the recording studio, on television, and in film. She is best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical Swing! and for writing and singing the theme song to the hit TV series, “The Nanny.” Callaway is a Platinum Award winning writer whose songs are featured on six of Barbra Streisand’s recent CDs. The only composer to have collaborated with Cole Porter, she has also written songs with Carole King, Rolf Lovland and Barbara Carroll, to name a few.
Callaway has been a special guest performer with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood and is featured at many of the Carnegie Hall tributes. She has sung with more than twenty-five of the world’s top orchestras and big bands, and has performed for President Clinton in Washington, D.C. and at President Gorbachev’s Youth Peace Summit in Moscow. Callaway performed with her sister, Broadway star Liz Callaway, in their award-winning show Sibling Revelry at London’s Donmar Warehouse. Their newest act “Boom!,” a critically acclaimed celebration of the baby boomer hits of the 60’s and 70’s, was recorded on PS Classics, which debuted in the top 25 on Billboard Jazz.
Callaway’s father was Chicago’s legendary TV and radio journalist, John Callaway. Her mother, Shirley Callaway, a superb singer, pianist and one of New York’s most in-demand vocal coaches, was recently featured at New York’s Town Hall, singing with Ann and her sister, Liz.