Mentors & Staff

SYLVIA McNAIR MARC CHERRY EDEN ESPINOSA LY WILDER

To learn more about our 2017 mentors, click here.


BECKIE MENZIE DARYL KOJAK MELANIE SHORE TEX ARNOLD

To learn more about our 2017 musical directors, click here.


ELAINE MOEBIUS KATHLEEN HACKER LYNNE ROTHROCK CATHERINE WALKER

To learn more about our 2017 vocal coaches, click here.

2017 SONGBOOK ACADEMY SCREENERS
Kathleen Hacker * Scott Hines * Beckie Menzie * Elaine Moebius
Linda Pauli * Lynne Rothrock * Catherine Walker

Songbook Academy founder Michael Feinstein, the multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of the premier interpreters of American standards. His 200-plus shows a year have included performances at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.

More than simply a performer, Feinstein has received national recognition for his commitment to celebrating America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for the next generation. In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Vocal Academy and Competition. Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” A new PBS concert special, The Sinatra Legacy, is currently airing across the country; The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life, its companion CD, was released on October 25. Last year’s PBS series Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook – in which he uncovers treasures of classic American music – is now available on DVD, with an additional disc of bonus features. The series, the recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award, will return with six primetime episodes starting in February 2012.

Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Center for the Performing Arts. The Center is home to an annual international arts festival, diverse live programming, and the Great American Songbook Foundation Archive and Museum displaying rare memorabilia and manuscripts. He also serves as the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center since 2010.

The roots of all this work began in Columbus, Ohio, where Feinstein started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he worked in local piano bars for two years, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.

Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.

Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins and Carole Bayer Sager), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.

For Michael's full biography, visit
MichaelFeinstein.com.