Songbook Concerts Opens Season with Tribute to Wendy Brooks

Songbook Concerts Opens Season with Tribute to Wendy Brooks

Tickets to the Telluride American Songbook Concerts’ tribute to Wendy Brooks, Friday, July 1, can be purchased here. Tickets for Marilyn Maye’s tribute to Frank Sinatra, Saturday, July 2, 8 p.m. are available here. Further questions, email or phone 970.728.7053. 

MM poster copy

They are both divas in a way.

Though only one of the two actually sings for a living.

The other, a longtime local, has more angles to her than a Cubist painting.

Both are undeniably extraordinary women.

The Telluride American Songbook Concert Series (TASC) welcomes back the hit of last year’s inaugural season, the legendary cabaret singer Marilyn Maye. She is in Telluride for two performances only.

Maye’s first concert is a fundraiser for TASC on Friday, July 1. The program is a tribute to the one and only Wendy Brooks. The evening is entitled “Songs for Wendy.” Co-chairs are Marla and Dan Hodes and Dawn and Dylan Brooks.

For her special occasion, Brooks will be all dolled up in threads designed by Telluride’s very own, much-beloved fashion designer and bon vivant, Sasha. Three of his new designs for women and men will be available to the highest bidders during the live auction, along with some other great prizes. The benefit will be held in the Plaza Lounge in Mountain Village at the bottom of Life 4.

Tickets, which are tax-deductible, are on sale now for $100, $250, and $500. (See above link.)

Wendy Brooks

Wendy Brooks



Unable to attend? Consider a donation to TASC, which was founded here in 2014 and has already  presented 10 knockout concerts starring such singers as Andrea McArdle (Broadway’s original Annie);Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba (“Chicago” on Broadway; Tony-nominee and Emmy-winner Liz Callaway (Grizabella in Broadway’s “Cats”); LA Drama Critics Winner Jason Graae (original “Forever Plaid”); Telluride favorite Dennis McNeil, Mary Michael Mitchell (Christine in Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera”), and Barbra Streisand (or a very reasonable facsimile).

Maye’s only public concert takes place Saturday, July 2, 8 p.m. at Club Red in the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. The program is entitled “Her Way – a Tribute to Frank Sinatra.”

“Marilyn Maye has everything. She can belt, and she can sing ballads with the kind of warmth that can melt your heart. She has a theatrical flair that captivates and enthralls, and jazz-spiced chops that can reach notes most singers one-third her age can’t even hit in their dreams. She’s the real deal, the surviving artist ofthe American popular singers,” raved Rex Reed, music critic, New York Observer.

Marilyn Maye is also teaching “The Art of Vocal Performance Master Class” on Sunday, July 3, noon – 5 p.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church.  To register and learn how to prepare for this much-coveted singing class., email  (Price is $150; only $50 to audit.)

The mission of the Telluride American Concert Series is “To celebrate the American Songbook, to preserve this musical treasury, and to foster it for future generations through concerts and educational workshops.”

marilyn maye 2

More about Marilyn Maye:

Another legendary singer, Ella Fitzgerald, once described Marilyn Maye as “The greatest white female singer in the world.” 

Many think she still is.

In fact, most music critics consider Maye to be one of our “national treasures.” At age 88, Marilyn Maye is still performing to sold-out audiences around the world.

“Marilyn Maye is the legendary 88-year-old singer who appeared on ‘The Johnny Carson Tonight Show’ more than any other guest – 76 times – because Johnny thought she was the world’s greatest singer,” said Michael Estwanik, founder, American Songbook Concert Series.

More about Wendy Brooks: 

Besides raising three extraordinary sons as a single mom, Wendy Brooks is the visionary and founder or cofounder or supporter and advocate for many of  the Telluride region’s enduring nonprofits, among them, the Telluride Academy, the Telluride Medical Center, KOTOfm radio, Just for Kids Foundation, and Telluride Arts.

It is only slight hyperbole to draw a straight line between Telluride’s thriving cultural economy and the early days of the Telluride Academy.

The Academy began in Wendy’s backyard, in 1981 as a daycare camp for six kids, designed to help other working mothers. But it steadily evolved into a wide-ranging summer enrichment program with an enrollment of roughly 800 young people ages 4 – 14. From the get-go, the Academy provided an excuse for second homeowners, many of whom are major supporters of the region’s nonprofits, to put down roots.

Telluride is indebted to Wendy Brooks for that and many other reasons. In addition to the aforementioned nonprofits, she was a force behind the Telluride Ski Club, the Telluride Bump Club, the Telluride School Board, and the Norwood and Nucla Clinics.

A full-throated tribute is fitting.

1 Comment
  • Genny Plamondon
    Posted at 18:00h, 07 June

    Wendy deserves all
    Wonderful comments
    And songs. Genny P.