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Songbook Academy events free for public viewing

1/1/0001 12AM

Clockwise from lower left, performers Mandy Barnett, Vuyo Sotashe, Telly Leung and Great American Songbook Foundation Founder Michael Feinstein are among the stars featured in the upcoming Songbook Academy 2021 public events, available for free online viewing.

Schedule includes daily events July 18-23, final showcases Aug. 6-8


CARMEL, IN – Musicians, students and music lovers around the world can enjoy a series of entertaining and educational online events featuring prominent performers July 18-23 during the Great American Songbook Foundation’s annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive.


Another round of online events follows Aug. 6-8 with the premieres of three virtual performance showcases featuring this year’s 40 Songbook Academy finalists, top high school vocalists who hail from 15 states, along with special guests and the founder of the Great American Songbook Foundation, five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein.


While the finalists are experiencing a busy week of education, performance and professional mentoring, each day will offer one workshop, talkback or masterclass streamed for free public viewing on the Songbook Foundation’s YouTube channel. Highlights this year include a masterclass led by Michael Feinstein and Broadway star Telly Leung; a Songbook 101 special featuring experts and relatives of notable artists from Billy Strayhorn to Shirley Jones; and the new Artist Spotlight Series, featuring talkback opportunities with professional artists from across the music industry who are reinterpreting the America’s timeless popular music in new and exciting ways.



A free, one-time registration at will provide access to all of the week’s livestreamed public events.


Artist Spotlight: Vuyo Sotashe

Sunday, July 18, at 5 p.m. EDT

Vuyo Sotashe is a New York-based vocalist, composer and performer originally from South Africa. He has performed with celebrated jazz artists including Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Benson, Barry Harris and Wynton Marsalis.


Songbook 101: Michael Feinstein, Songbook Foundation staff and special guests

Monday, July 19, at 11 a.m. EDT

Back for a second year by popular demand, this hour-long livestream will feature Songbook Foundation Founder Michael Feinstein, Foundation staff members, and family and friends of legendary Songbook artists including Billy Strayhorn, Harry Warren, Shirley Jones, Jack Cassidy, Louis Armstrong, Jerry Vale and Sammy Nestico in an exploration of the history and continued relevance of the Great American Songbook.


Public Masterclass – Michael Feinstein and Broadway’s Telly Leung

Tuesday, July 20, at 8 p.m. EDT

Shifting to a new evening time, the ever-popular Songbook Academy Public Masterclass will be led by Michael Feinstein and Broadway star Telly Leung (Aladdin, Allegiance, Rent, Godspell, Wicked and TV’s Glee), who will join the conversation from Japan. The two will hear five talented students sing live, offer their expert feedback, and conduct a Q&A for students and online viewers.


Guest Lecture – Stacy Wolf: Women in Musicals from Guys and Dolls to Wicked

Wednesday, July 21, at 12 noon EDT

From Adelaide in Guys and Dolls to Elphaba in Wicked, female characters in Broadway musicals have belted and crooned their way into the American psyche. Princeton University’s Stacy E. Wolf, one of America’s foremost scholars on musical theater and author of the popular A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical, will deliver a 40-minute lecture illuminating the women of American musical theater – performers, creators, and characters – from the start of the Cold War to the present day. 


Artist Spotlight – Mandy Barnett

Thursday, July 22, at 5 p.m. EDT

Join students for an interactive talkback with Mandy Barnett, an acclaimed pop/country singer and frequent Grand Ole Opry performer who has just made her debut into the Songbook genre. Her latest album is Every Star Above, recorded with a 60-piece orchestra and arranged by legendary jazz maestro Sammy Nestico.


Guest Lecture – Jonathan Flom: The Business of Being a Performer

Friday, July 23, at 12 noon EDT

Jonathan Flom, international theater educator and author of books including Act Like It’s Your Business: Branding and Marketing Skills for Actors, hosts an interactive session with students about the business side of pursuing a career as a performing artist.



Culminating this year’s Songbook Academy, Michael Feinstein will host three evenings of performances by this year’s 40 finalists in a range of styles. The Virtual Showcases will premiere at 8 p.m. EDT each night. All three events can be viewed free on YouTube with a one-time registration at

  • Aug. 6 – The Best of Broadway and Hollywood: Featuring songs from beloved musicals and Hollywood films including Hello, Dolly!, Guys and Dolls and Funny Girl, this selection of Songbook standards will take you on a journey from early 1920s Gershwin hits to Rodgers and Hammerstein classics from musicals like State Fair and The King and I.
  • Aug. 7 – Songbook Hall of Fame Serenades: Featuring songs by Songbook Hall of Fame songwriters including Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin and even 2021 inductee Sammy Cahn, the evening will enjoy an evening of timeless melodies and standards made popular by honorees from Doris Day to Nat King Cole.
  • Aug. 8 – The Timeless Melodies of Jazz and Pop: Featuring hits that topped the jazz and pop charts including “Orange Colored Sky,” Miles Davis’ “Four,” and “Beyond the Sea,” enjoy an evening of timeless standards ranging in style from bossa nova to swing.

The annual Songbook Academy summer intensive is sponsored nationally by the Efroymson Family Fund and made possible through the generous support of 2021 Education & Engagement Sponsors Libby and Randy Brown and the City of Carmel. The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Mentor Champions support the involvement of a national faculty of music directors and professional vocal coaches.


About the Great American Songbook Foundation
The mission of the Great American Songbook Foundation, founded in 2007 by five-time Grammy® Award nominee Michael Feinstein, is to inspire and educate by celebrating the timeless standards of pop, jazz, Broadway and Hollywood. Headquartered at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, the Foundation advances this rich legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators, performers and publishers in the Songbook Library & Archives; operating a multimedia exhibit gallery; overseeing the Songbook Hall of Fame; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars and artists; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive. The Foundation is a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®. More information is available at