Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, a TimeOutNY/Kids "Best Camp for 2012" which has just completed its 45th season, will present a special off-season event, An Afternoon With Jane Monheit, performances by the internationally acclaimed jazz singer and Usdan alumna, on Saturday October 14. The Grammy-nominated vocalist will perform two 75-minute concerts with her band, at 2 PM and then a repeat performance at 4:30 PM at Usdan's intimate Maurice B. Hexter Recital Hall.
The event is one of the 'Signature Series" programs taking place during Arts Alive LI: Celebrating Arts, Culture & Community, the month-long October festival of the arts sponsored by Long Island Arts Alliance.
Tickets for each concert are $75, and seating in the 120-seat venue is limited. Tickets include a post- performance meet-the-artist champagne reception after both shows. To purchase tickets, visit the Usdan Center web site: www.usdan.com.
Jane Monheit's most recent album is Home, which earned rave reviews: the New York Times called it "Pristine sensuality – sums up her gifts as a singer," and JazzTimes named it "A consistently imaginative showcase for the honeyed-whiskey gorgeousness of Monheit's voice." The singer has garnered numerous accolades in the past decade. Her first album, Never Never Land, was voted top debut recording by the Jazz Journalist's Association and stayed on the Billboard Jazz chart for over a year. Subsequent albums either charted high, or in several cases, debuted at number one, and yielded two Grammy nominations in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals category, recognizing the work of Vince Mendoza on 2002's In The Sun and 2004's Taking A Chance On Love. The artist, who has performed numerous times on Usdan's Festival Concerts series, has said of her Usdan student experience: "My summers at Usdan were a major turning point in my youth...I learned there that anything was possible, and that the world was open to me."
Arts Alive LI is a new island-wide multi-venue arts festival debuting October 2012, showcasing Long Island's world-class arts and culture. The festival promotes existing arts and culture events, as well as newly developed events, scheduled to occur during the National Arts and Humanities month of October. Regional Arts Councils are collaborating to create an entire month of programs, tours and events. Communities are planning the year's most outstanding food and street festivals featuring performing and visual artists representative of the cultural diversity of Long Island. Exclusive "Signature Series" Events will offer added benefits to audiences such as artist receptions featuring local cuisine, discounts at partnering restaurants and free programs for families, etc. For more information, visit www.artsaliveli.org.
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, whose alumni include jazz singer Jane Monheit, Natalie Portman, Olivia Thirlby and Mariah Carey, has introduced the arts to more than 60,000 Tri-State Area children since its founding in 1968. The Center is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. Usdan's program features more than 40 four and seven-week programs in music, dance, theater, visual arts, writing, nature & ecology, and chess. No audition is needed for most programs – rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the arts. Each summer, 1,600 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses each day. One-third of Usdan's students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers. Alumni include members of Broadway shows and major music, theater and dance ensembles such as the Boston Pops and the New York City Ballet.
In addition to its regular programs, Usdan offers special opportunities for advanced high school- age performing and visual artists. These include Music Staff Internships, a Summer Ballet Intensive, and a program of immersion in the visual arts and college preparation for selected high school art students. It is called Usdan's Visual Arts Portfolio Preparation Track. Usdan Center is an agency of the UJA Federation of New York.