Sunday, May 1st – 4:30-6:30 pm
Vocalist Marianna August with Howie Dudune & Co.

which way west? Sunday concert series

Marianna August to perform at the Sea Horse Restaurant in Sausalito on Thursday, Aug. 23. Courtesy photo

Marianna August first really indulged her life-long affection for music and singing through eight years of classical vocal training, and she’s continued her vocal studies ever since, though she’s used that training in recent years in an embrace of the Broadway sounds of musical theater and cabaret, specializing now in standards of the 1930s and 1940s. Marianna continues vocal training privately with the American Conservatory Theater and she teaches voice as well. She performs in clubs and restaurants around the Bay Area, in the company of such fine musicians as Benny Watson, Noel Jewkes and Larry Vuckovich.

Marianna is also a member of the Bread & Roses charitable organization, and frequently takes a band of fine, seasoned musicians she calls her “Jazz Pals” to perform in senior residences, convalescent facilities and the like.  The late Jim Rothermel, her life partner and mentor of eleven years and a clarinet and saxophone player of great repute, was her long-time anchor in that pursuit,  providing the arrangements and acting as music director, but Marianna and Her Jazz Pals continue apace with such musicians as Grant Levin, Al Obidinski, Jim Zimmerman — all names familiar to Bird & Beckett regulars — and many others.

For her show this Sunday Howieat Bird & Beckett, Marianna has recruited the august clarinetist and saxophonist Howie Dudune along with a hand-picked band that includes pianist Alan Steger, bassist Larry Epstein and drummer Tommy Kesecker.  “Should be exciting,” says Marianna, and we don’t doubt it.  Howie and Marianna have put their heads together over the set list, basing her selections on Howie’s sense of material that would be new and a thrill for the Bird & Beckett audience — a dozen choice pieces from the Great American Songbook along with arrangements off the recordings of Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee in the 1940s from the pen of Jim Rothermel.  Marianna’s Bird & Beckett date will be half vocals and half instrumentals featuring the fine band she’s assembled for the occasion.

Don’t miss what promises to be a really lovely afternoon at Bird & Beckett, with a singer who loves her material and the thrill of performing, and a band that will have no other thought than to make it swing.