American Songbook Fest: “Evening of Oscar-Winning Songs”

American Songbook Fest: “Evening of Oscar-Winning Songs”

A very limited number of tickets – $25 for adults; $15 youth under 18 –  remain for Michael Estwanik’s “An Evening of Oscar-Winning Songs.” Cash bar at the concert. Tickets here. 


The mission of The Telluride American Songbook Festival is to celebrate the American Songbook, to preserve this musical treasury, and to foster its legacy for future generations through concerts and educational workshops. Songbook Festival founder, Michael Estwanik plans to accomplish his ambitious goal by bringing some of Broadway’s greatest talent to town who (along with Telluride stars) will perform hits from Broadway to film and folk.

Estwanik delivered on his promise in spades when he produced the recent “An Evening with Marilyn Maye.”

Marilyn Maye  with Michael Feinstein

Marilyn Maye with Michael Feinstein

At 87, Maye remains a super nova. The lady can still deliver the heat better than any political debate – with way more intelligence and pizzazz. Described by Ella Fitzgerald as “the greatest white female singer in the world,” Maye has over 80 years of performing in her rhinestone tunic, but showed no signs of slowing down. With an intuitive understanding of the lyrics, the undiminished power of her dusky, rich, resonant voice, and the warmth of her delivery, she had the crowd at the Sheridan Opera House rapt as she made hay with Cole Porter, Sinatra, Ellington. Her signature rainbow-inspired medley was showstopper. There could hardly be a better interpreter of – or missionary for – the great American Songbook rep.

The lady just knows how it’s done.

Missed the fun?

Insert frown-y face here.

But there is one more chance to catch another no-holds-barred, fantabulous show.

In the run up to the Telluride Film Festival, The American Songbook Festival presents “An Evening of Oscar-Winning Songs.” The concert takes place Monday, August 31, 8 – 9:30 p.m., in the Telluride Ski & Golf Club Lounge, Mountain Village.

“These songs written for Hollywood have become standards over the years. We are presenting this as our way of honoring the Telluride Film Festival. I think audiences will be fascinated to hear how much the quality of Oscar-winning songs has ‘slipped’ in recent decades. Some would argue that is simply a sign of what has happened overall to American songs. But everyone should judge that for themselves,” said Estwanik.

The evening’s line-up of mega-watt talent includes Andrea McArdle, the original Annie from the Broadway musical of the same name. McArdle went on to star in Broadway’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “Les Miz,” “Starlight Express,” and more.

Andrea McArdle

Andrea McArdle

Karen Ziemba is a Tony Award-winner for her performance in the musical “Contact,” which played to packed houses at Lincoln Center. She recently won raves for her performance as Desiree in the San Francisco ACT production of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.”

Karen Ziemba

Karen Ziemba



Jason Graae originated the role of Sparky in the New York production of “Forever Plaid.” He also starred in  Broadway’s “A Grand Night for Singing,” “Falsettos,” and “Snoopy.”

Jason Graae

Jason Graae


The evening’s musical director is Michael Rice, the original musical director and arranger of the off-Broadway hit “Nunsense.”

For further information about ways to  support TASF, go to American Songbook Fest or email or call 970.728.7053.



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