This week, Ira spoke with Steve Tyrell.
Steve Tyrell will be performing It’s Magic: The Songs of Sammy Cahn” in Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center, Friday and Saturday, May 30 and 31 at 7 p.m.
With his breakthrough performances in “Father of the Bride” and “Father of the Bride II,” Tyrell reinvented and re-popularized classic pop standards for a modern-day audience.
Tyrell’s hits, “The Way You Look Tonight,” “The Simple Life,” “Crush On You” and “The Sunny Side of The Street,” have launched thousands of weddings and millions of romances.
At the request of the Sinatra family and Quincy Jones, Tyrell was the featured performer with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at their season opening concert in which Frank Sinatra was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Also at the request of the Sinatra family, he reprised that performance at Carnegie Hall. This is one of the rare times the family has reached into the vault of original Sinatra arrangements to share them with another artist.
In 2005, after the passing of the legendary Bobby Short, Tyrell was asked by New York City’s Café Carlyle to take over their revered Holiday Season of November and December, which Mr. Short had not missed for 36 years. In 2013 Tyrell’s contract was extended through his 11th season, starting a new Carlyle legacy that now also includes performances in May.
His work in the studio as a record producer has included collaborations with such diverse and legendary artists as Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Blood Sweat and Tears, Mary J Blidge, Chris Botti, Dave Koz, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Burt Bacharach, Bette Midler, and Stevie Wonder.
As an artist, all 9 of his American Standards albums have achieved top 10 status on Billboard’s Jazz charts, 7 of which have achieved top 5, and his first album “A New Standard” was amongst the best-selling jazz albums for over 5 years.
His songs have been recorded by such artists as Ray Charles, Diana Ross, LL Cool J and Elvis Presley, and his song “How Do You Talk To An Angel,” written and produced for Aaron Spelling’s Fox television series “The Heights,” was a No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 Pop Charts.
Aside from being a Grammy Award winner, Tyrell has earned 2 Emmy nominations, received a daytime Emmy, 3 Ace Nominations, 2004 American Society of Young Musician’s “All That Jazz Award,” 2004 The Wellness Community “Human Spirit Award,” 2006 Society of Singers “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and 2008 Los Angeles Jazz Society’s “Jazz Vocalist of the Year.”