Celia Berk Manhattan Serenade on Gramercy Nightingale Music
Celia Berk Manhattan Serenade on Gramercy Nightingale Music

CREDITS

Produced by Scott Lehrer and Alex Rybeck
Recorded and Mixed by Scott Lehrer at 2nd Story Sound, NYC
Additional Recording by John Kilgore at Kilgore Sound & Recording, NYC
Mastered by Oscar Zambrano / Zampol Productions

Art Direction by Stefan G. Bucher for 344design.com
Cover Photo: Sekou Luke | Hair & Makeup: JSterling | Stylist: Prince Riley
© 2016 Gramercy Nightingale Music Co. All Rights Reserved.

LINER NOTES BY DAVID ZIPPEL

First Class all the way, champagne cocktails, cashmere blankets, Rockefeller Center. These are the images that come to mind listening to Celia Berk’s elegant second album “Manhattan Serenade.”

A tribute to her hometown, this collection is anything but renditions of the obvious New York songs. “Manhattan Serenade” is curated: a connoisseur’s compilation of one exquisite, undiscovered musical gem after another. Celia Berk and her arranger/conductor, the esteemed Alex Rybeck, consider themselves to be “musical truffle hounds,” and they have indeed rooted through the Great American Songbook to uncover superb, overlooked songs by the crème de la crème of composers and lyricists: Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes, Richard Whiting & Gus Kahn, Burt Bacharach, Rupert Holmes and Cy Coleman. I have to admit I am flattered to have one of my songs included among those of my songwriting heroes.

There are so many reasons to love this beautiful collection of songs—the lush arrangements, the extravagant orchestrations and, of course, Celia Berk’s knowing vocals sung with charm, warmth and wit. Celia has impeccable taste. She chooses great songs, has superb arrangements and then trusts her material. Her interpretations are honest, unadorned and imbued with intelligence, sensitivity and an intuitive understanding of what she is singing about.

And, like the City of New York, with this eclectic and unexpected mixture of songs there is the joy of discovery.

The more familiar of these selections have been reimagined. Kander & Ebb’s All I Need (Is One Good Break) from Flora, The Red Menace, which was Liza Minnelli’s break, gets a Latin twist. And a lovely intimate performance of Gerry Goffin & Carole King’s Up On The Roof, shed of its R&B/Pop roots, is reborn as a soulful delight.

Irving Berlin’s wacky Manhattan Madness and Rodgers & Hart’s I Gotta Get Back To New York deliver the period punch their creators intended. There is a sly pairing of Kurt Weill & Sam Coslow’s The Romance Of A Lifetime and Rupert Holmes’ The People That You Never Get To Love that becomes a wistful, touching mini-musical play about missed romantic opportunities. And totally new to me is Spring In Manhattan, which is merely lovely.

One song being recorded for the first time is The Broadway Song, which Cy Coleman and I wrote for Pamela’s First Musical, an as-yet unproduced musical adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein’s delightful children’s book of the same name. Celia and a chorus of cabaret stars, aided by Alex Rybeck’s witty arrangement and Larry Moore’s sumptuous orchestration, capture all of the affectionate whimsy of our love song to Broadway musicals.

But my favorite cuts are a bluesy, mournful performance of Lonely House from the Kurt Weill & Langston Hughes opera Street Scene and a shimmering rendition of Rodgers & Hart’s A Tree In The Park, two very contrasting pictures of New York City.

And wait! There’s more!

Like me, I bet you will listen to these recordings over and over. Enjoy!

David Zippel, Manhattan 2016

ABOUT THE SONGS

Track 1 - MANHATTAN HOMETOWN

David Heneker
Chappell & Co. OBO Chappell Music Ltd.

LOVE IS HERE TO STAY used by permission
George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin
Imagem Music LLC d/b/a OBO Nokawi Music; Songs Of SMP OBO Frankie G Songs; WB Music Corp. OBO Ira Gershwin Music

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Michele Fox, violin
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, guitar
Tom Malone, trombone
Marc Phaneuf, flute, tenor saxophone
Dave Rogers, trumpet
Alex Rybeck, piano
Peter Sachon, cello
Mark Thrasher, clarinet, tenor saxophone
Krystof Witek, violin
Sarah Zun, violin

Celia: This song was suggested by several friends, and it couldn’t be more accurate. I was born in Manhattan. Its size doesn’t intimidate me. It never pales in comparison to other great cities (and I’ve seen quite a few). And it is – and always will be – my home. The song has the added attraction of being a hidden gem, which Alex and I take particular pleasure in finding. Alex reached out to his friend Ann Morrison, who originated the title role in the 1983 musical “Peg,” and she kindly shared her original score with us. It’s the perfect way to set the scene for the songs to come.

Alex: I love the lighthearted wit of the lyric, in which a native New Yorker describes the great city in terms of someone from a small town. Melodically it’s quite fetching. As for the instrumental interpolation of a certain Gershwin tune, it just felt appropriate and organic to conjure that authentic native voice. (Perhaps the singer is away from New York, nostalgically dreaming of being back home.)

Ann Morrison: How wonderful to hear this great song in someone else’s voice! Here is the Story of the Song: In 1983, I was cast in a new musical called “Peg” based on the old play by J. Hartley Manners (written for the great America stage star Laurette Taylor). “Peg” was American-produced but British-owned. The music and lyrics were by dear British composer David Heneker, known for his musical “Half A Sixpence.” When I was cast as the lead, Peg O’Connell, he hadn’t finished the score. I was asked to do backer auditions and spend time at the Cooperstown, New York, home of Louis Busch Hager, the American producer, along with the creative team. We had more money to raise for the production Mr. Hager wanted for London’s West End. One evening over dinner, David Heneker told me he was stuck on a song he wanted to write about Peg’s homesickness for her New York hometown. Since the story took place in 1912, David thought she would describe Manhattan like a small town. So he began to describe Manhattan as he and I imagined it to have been in the early 1900s, yet reminiscent of a small town. The next morning I awoke with David calling me into the parlor where a baby grand lived. He played me this song. I learned it very quickly and boy was I thrilled to be a part of the hit showstopper of the musical. In 1984 we opened at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End to tame reviews, but MANHATTAN HOMETOWN was considered hands down the favorite of the critics.

Track 2 - ALL I NEED (IS ONE GOOD BREAK)

John Kander/Fred Ebb
Trio Music Company, Inc.; Alley Music Corp.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck; Orchestration by Jeffrey Klitz

Celia Berk, vocals
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, guitar
Jeffrey Klitz, piano
John Miller, bass
Roger Squitero, percussion

Celia: After we had chosen quite a few songs, we decided we needed one that expressed “striving” and the particular urgency of pounding the New York pavement to get your one, big break. Kander & Ebb wrote it for Liza Minnelli in “Flora, The Red Menace” and it foreshadows NEW YORK, NEW YORK, which they also wrote for Liza, with its lyric “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”

Alex: Celia and I looked at a number of songs that dealt with striving and climbing, dreams and ambition. I had an instinct this tune might lend itself to a Latin feel. Pianist-arranger Jeff Klitz took a sketch that Celia and I conceived and fleshed it out, aided by dual percussionists Dan Gross and Roger Squitero.

Track 3 - UP ON THE ROOF

Gerry Goffin & Carole King
Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck; Orchestration by Jeffrey Klitz

Celia Berk, vocals
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, guitar
Jeffrey Klitz, piano
Matt Lepek, flute
John Miller, bass

Alex: This is one of those songs that doesn’t mention NYC specifically but seems to have Manhattan in its DNA. We were also looking for some familiar contemporary songs to balance the lesser-known numbers on the album. Musically, I wondered if the song could exist beyond its original R&B origins in order to feel like it belonged intrinsically to Celia’s sensibility. We tried it as a laid-back jazz waltz. We tossed the sketch to Jeff Klitz, and he brought it to fruition with an arrangement featuring guitar and flute entwining in peaceful harmony.

Celia: I remember making a mental note of this song when I saw the Broadway musical “Beautiful” early in our search for album material. But it was only when Alex pared it back to its essence that I began to see the opportunity to offer a fresh take. It’s a great example of how a sensitive arranger can help a singer and a song find their way to each other.

Track 4 - SECONDS

Burt Bacharach/Neil Simon
BMG Gold Songs OBO New Hidden Valley Music Co.; Nancy Enterprises

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Michele Fox, violin
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, guitar
Tom Malone, trombone
Marc Phaneuf, tenor saxophone
Dave Rogers, trumpet
Alex Rybeck, piano and keyboards
Peter Sachon, cello
Krystof Witek, violin
Sarah Zun, violin

Alex: I am a die-hard fan of Burt Bacharach’s music – the unexpected twists and turns of rhythm and harmony, the yearning, the bursts of big emotion, and the sudden, subtle poignant nuances. This is one of his least-known songs. Research reveals that it was written in 1974, for a proposed film version of the 1968 Broadway smash “Promises, Promises,” which featured a score by Bacharach and lyricist Hal David. But by this time, their writing partnership had ended, so Neil Simon (who’d written the book for the musical) tried his hand at writing lyrics. Where this song fits into the story, I’m not sure, as there’s no corresponding number in the stage version. The film never happened. The song ended up, oddly enough, as filler on an album by Gladys Knight & The Pips! As far as I know, that’s the only previously recorded version. I love the drama of this song, including the gorgeous instrumental coda, so typical of Bacharach’s unconventional style. And who hasn’t been stuck in a cab in traffic, heart sinking, knowing you will not make that appointment on time?

Celia: Knowing of Alex’s deep admiration for Burt Bacharach’s music, I was delighted when he told me he had a Bacharach hidden gem for our project. It’s certainly a song from another era; today you’d just text the person who was waiting to say you’re on your way!

Track 5 - MANHATTAN MADNESS

Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin Music Company

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck and Vince Giordano & Earl Norman

Celia Berk and The Gramercy Nightingales, vocals
Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks Combo Orchestra
Vince Giordano, tuba, banjo
Adrian Cunningham, clarinet
Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet
Harvey Tibbs, trombone
Jered Egan, bass
Dan Gross, percussion
Alex Rybeck, piano

Celia: This one was suggested to me by producer-writer-actor William Baldwin Young, who had just come to see my debut show and wanted to know what I was working on next. He immediately mentioned MANHATTAN MADNESS, and when I shared the suggestion with Alex, of course he knew it. I have long wanted to do backups on one of my recordings, and this one seemed to fit the bill. With a nod to the Boswell Sisters, Alex created harmonies to be sung by my “studio sisters” Robin, Wren and Lark. (We think they have a bright future ahead of them!) We then shared our initial rhythm session recording of this 1931 song with Vince Giordano. More than anyone else, he keeps the music of that era alive. He replied, “Hehehe…that’s fun!” and agreed to bring a few members of his famed band The Nighthawks into the studio to complete the arrangement. We had to wait for them to finish work on the latest Woody Allen film, but we then had a recording session I will remember for many years to come. And Scott Lehrer did an extraordinary job of mixing all these elements together.

Alex: A bit of retro fun, aided and abetted by the amazing Vince Giordano and his crew. We wanted an authentic period sound for this Irving Berlin novelty. Vince took my sketch and revamped it as only he could with his mastery of that style. To me, this is a black-and-white Warner Brothers movie in miniature.

Track 6 - LONELY HOUSE

Kurt Weill/Langston Hughes
Hampshire House Publishing; Chappell & Co.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Dan Gross, percussion
Dave Rogers, trumpet
Alex Rybeck, piano

Celia: Alex pressed for this one, and I’m so glad he did. After years of learning opera roles, I loved the idea of approaching it as a jazz aria. And the music and lyrics are so perfectly paired, and so evocative, that I just let them, and these great musicians, lead me into the heart of the song.

Alex: This is another song I’ve loved for many years. In “Street Scene,” the opera for which it was written, it’s sung by a tenor. Yet I began thinking of how it might sound as more of a bluesy jazz song, less as an aria. I really think that Kurt Weill’s music and Langston Hughes’s lyrics lean in that direction already. We actually recorded it twice – once as a straight theater ballad (true to the score), and then as a jazz improv, with Dave Rogers adding some muted trumpet licks. We went with Version 2. (It’s a great song either way, and contains what I think is one of the best lyrics ever: “Sparrows have companions; even stray dogs find a friend.”)

Track 7 - THE ROMANCE OF A LIFETIME / THE PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER GET TO LOVE

Kurt Weill/Sam Coslow; Rupert Holmes
EAMC/Kurt Weill; WB Music Corp.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Michele Fox, violin
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, guitar
Tom Malone, trombone
Marc Phaneuf, tenor saxophone
Dave Rogers, trumpet
Alex Rybeck, piano and keyboards
Peter Sachon, cello
Krystof Witek, violin
Sarah Zun, violin

Celia: Being a self-styled “musical truffle hound,” I started yelping the minute I heard soprano Lauren Flanagan sing THE ROMANCE OF A LIFETIME one evening at OPERA America. The next morning, I emailed The Kurt Weill Foundation and quickly obtained the song. It turned out to have been written for the 1938 Fritz Lang movie “You And Me,” but fell victim to a change in concept. I took it straight to Alex, who immediately connected it to Rupert Holmes’s THE PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER GET TO LOVE. That song has gotten some lovely recordings by singers as diverse as Nancy LaMott, Susannah McCorkle and Margaret Whiting, but I think our pairing offers a unique take on both songs.

Alex: Celia brought over the Kurt Weill/Sam Coslow song during our song search. It was a discovery for both of us. We both agreed the melody was intoxicating. But it’s a short song. So we wondered if it might go together with something else. The subject matter – passing ships in the night – put me in mind of Rupert Holmes’s terrific contemporary ballad. When we tried them together, we felt we had something special that made for a more complete story.

Rupert Holmes: An utterly impeccable interpretation of “THE PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER GET TO LOVE”, as warm as it is wise. And so beautifully framed, almost as if “THE ROMANCE OF A LIFETIME” were the original introduction (remember those?) for the song at the center.

Track 8 - A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN

Richard A. Whiting & Hubert “Tex” Arnold/Gus Kahn
Gilbert Keyes Music Co.; One Less Car Music; Etienne Marrix Music; My Ideal Music, Inc.; Bamboo Bay Publishing, LLC.; Riverdale House Music.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Dan Gross, percussion
Mark Phaneuf, clarinet
Alex Rybeck, piano

Celia: Early in our search for songs, I had coffee with my friend Debbi Bush Whiting, granddaughter of Richard Whiting and daughter of one of my idols, Margaret Whiting. When I told her we were working on a New York album, her eyes lit up and she said, “I have something for you.” That night, a wonderful recording of A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN, sung by Carol Woods, arrived by email and was immediately forwarded to Alex. The song had languished in a box in Debbi’s basement until “Tex” Arnold, who was Margaret Whiting’s musical director for almost 30 years, rescued it. We are profoundly honored to be entrusted with this song more than 75 years after it was written. Debbi and Tex were in the studio when I did the vocals. Debbi brought a copy of the first page of the manuscript, in Richard Whiting’s handwriting, and I swear I could feel the musical guardian angels in the sound booth with me.

Alex: What fun to be gifted with this unknown “trunk song” written by two of Tin Pan Alley’s greatest names, composer Richard (“Hooray For Hollywood”) Whiting and lyricist Gus (“It Had to Be You”) Kahn. The third collaborator is pianist-composer Hubert “Tex” Arnold, who harmonized Whiting’s melody. Another “helpful hand,” wordsmith Roger Schore, further personalized the lyric for Celia. The result is a truly lovely (and catchy!) song. I think it’s an undiscovered standard.

Debbi Bush Whiting: I was thrilled that Celia and Alex chose A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN for their new CD. Their rendition is heartwarming. As they know, it takes dedication and hard work to preserve a legacy. So this kind of confirmation gives me reason to feel on top of the world.

Hubert “Tex” Arnold: I was so happy to receive Celia’s heartfelt rendition of A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN. She sounds great and Alex’s arrangement certainly captures the era when it was written. This wonderful recording helps keep the memory of Richard Whiting and Gus Kahn alive!

Track 9 - I GOTTA GET BACK TO NEW YORK

Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart
Williamson Music Co.; Chappell & Co.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck; Orchestration by Larry Moore

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Michele Fox, violin
Vince Giordano, banjo
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, guitar
Tom Malone, trombone
Marc Phaneuf, clarinet, tenor saxophone
Dave Rogers, trumpet
Alex Rybeck, piano
Peter Sachon, cello
Mark Thrasher, clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Krystof Witek, violin
Sarah Zun, violin

Alex: This is quintessential Rodgers & Hart, with all the qualities one associates with their best work: an instantly catchy tune fitted with literate, witty lyrics. I asked Larry Moore to run with my piano/vocal arrangement, and orchestrate it in appropriate period style, because he has a great understanding of that era. I especially love how he brought the choo-choo train to life!

Celia: This one had to come right after A DAY AWAY FROM TOWN! I’m not averse to leaving the city – but preferably only for “a day.” Then I gotta get back to “civilization”! It was originated by Al Jolson in the 1933 movie “Hallelujah, I’m A Bum” and has been known by several different titles: “I Gotta,” “I’ve Gotta,” “I’ve Got To…” I like the reference to six million New Yorkers, and started tracking the number that appears in other songs about the city. In fact, 1931’s MANHATTAN MADNESS says there are seven million people!

Track 10 - MANHATTAN SERENADE

Louis Alter/Harold Adamson
Songwriters Guild of America OBO Louis Alter Publications; EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, guitar
Tom Malone, trombone
Marc Phaneuf, tenor saxophone
Dave Rogers, trumpet
Alex Rybeck, piano and keyboards
Mark Thrasher, tenor saxophone

Alex: I came across this in a back issue of Sheet Music Magazine. There’s just something very appealing about this smooth, elegant tune. To me it conjures high society folks, dancing the night away at The Rainbow Room.

Celia: Alex was so convinced about this one that he sketched out an arrangement, recording it on his phone, and sent it to me one morning. I was pretty quickly hooked. The music was written in 1928 for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and when lyrics were added years later it became a hit for Jo Stafford & the Tommy Dorsey Band and Helen Forrest & the Harry James Orchestra. Alex’s arrangement captures that pedigree perfectly.

Track 11 - SPRING IN MANHATTAN

Anthony Scibetta/Alice S. Reach
WB Music Corp.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Michele Fox, violin
Dan Gross, percussion
Marc Phaneuf, flute
Alex Rybeck, piano
Peter Sachon, cello
Krystof Witek, violin
Sarah Zun, violin

Celia: Rex Reed and jazz singer Joyce Breach immediately recommended this 1952 song when we mentioned our search for New York songs. It was unknown to both of us, and has been blessed with only a few recordings, including those of Tony Bennett and Blossom Dearie. It’s simply lovely, and that’s how we approached it. So did the musicians in the studio, all of whom were as charmed by it as we were.

Alex: I had never heard of this simple yet haunting song until jazz singer Joyce Breach mentioned it to me. Good choice, Joyce!

Track 12 - THE BROADWAY SONG

Cy Coleman/David Zippel
Notable Music Co. Inc. (ASCAP). Administered by Downtown DLJ Songs (ASCAP); Williamson Music Co.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck; Orchestration by Larry Moore

Celia Berk, vocals
The Rialtos (Joshua Lance Dixon, Jeff Harnar & Kristoffer Lowe), vocals
Jered Egan, bass
Michele Fox, violin
Dan Gross, percussion
Sean Harkness, acoustic guitar
Tom Malone, trombone
Marc Phaneuf, tenor saxophone, flute, piccolo
Dave Rogers, trumpet
Alex Rybeck, piano and keyboards
Peter Sachon, cello
Mark Thrasher, tenor saxophone, clarinet
Krystof Witek, violin
Sarah Zun, violin

Celia: Andy Propst, who had just completed a biography of Cy Coleman, suggested this one to me. I mentioned it to Alex, who of course already knew it. It came together in layers. First we sketched it out in my key, then spent one giddy evening adding the musical theatre quotes. (There was one line that didn’t make sense out of context, so Alex emailed lyricist David Zippel. Within an hour, an alternate line had arrived!) We then agreed to give it a true Broadway orchestration by Larry Moore. And, as that took shape, it became clear we needed backup singers. I first approached Jeff Harnar, who had just directed my cabaret debut. Once he was on board, I approached several of my new cabaret friends and was thrilled that Joshua Lance Dixon and Kristoffer Lowe agreed to join us. We were then in the hands of our Co-Producer/Engineer Scott Lehrer, who made all those layers work together to create what we hope is a showstopper!

Alex: Liz Callaway introduced me to this one years ago. It was in her extensive file of songs she has demoed through the years. Celia and I both felt it would be a great deal of fun to do. And enlisting a trio of male cabaret stars (and dear friends) to be our Broadway chorus boys upped the fun quotient even further when we got to the studio. The song is such a joyous celebration of all things Broadway, I couldn’t resist quoting a few iconic Broadway musical moments (“Gypsy,” “A Chorus Line,” “West Side Story” and “Funny Girl”). I hope Cy wouldn’t object to these musical winks. Larry Moore once again ran with my piano arrangement and orchestrated it for the pit orchestra of our dreams! (Special thanks to David Zippel for the lyric tweak we needed to make the song accessible to singers who aren’t named Louise.)

David Zippel (excerpted from his album Liner Notes): One song on the album receiving its first recording is THE BROADWAY SONG, which Cy Coleman and I wrote for “Pamela’s First Musical,” an as-yet unproduced musical adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein’s delightful children’s book of the same name. Celia and a chorus of cabaret stars, aided by Alex Rybeck’s witty arrangement and Larry Moore’s sumptuous orchestration, capture all of the affectionate whimsy of our love song to Broadway musicals.

Track 13 - A TREE IN THE PARK

Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart
Williamson Music Co.; Warner Bros. Music.

Arrangement by Alex Rybeck

Celia Berk, vocals
Alex Rybeck, piano

Celia: We settled on this one pretty early on, and always knew we would keep it simple. In fact, it became the one track that is just the two of us (as we had done with one song on my debut album). After all the madness of the Manhattan we had depicted in the previous 12 songs, we wanted to end on something quiet and personal. It was recorded at the emotional end of our second album’s journey, and I think you can hear us talking to each other through the music.

Alex: I think this song speaks to Celia because she looks out upon the serene, hidden oasis of Gramercy Park from her apartment. I love the simplicity of this song; to my ear, the tune shows the influence of Jerome Kern on the young Richard Rodgers. And Hart’s lyric is extremely touching, describing and romanticizing what would now be considered an act of vandalism. What could be more New York than that?

Acknowledgments

Thank you to… Everyone who offered song suggestions, shared music, or provided support on the way to this second album, including Jason Aylesworth, Phyllis Berk, Deb Berman, Joyce Breach, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jane Wilson Cathcart, Alix Cohen, Nate Cyphert, Frank Dain, Donald Feltham, Luis Feliciano, Billy Goldenberg, Stephen Hanks, Beth Howlett, Rick Jensen, Michael Kerker, John Kilgore, Barry Kleinbort, Marilyn Lester, Andrea Marcovicci, Nick Markovich/The Yip Harburg Foundation, Amanda McBroom, Mitchell McCarthy, John Meyer, Theresa Montgomery, Ann Morrison, David Pearl, Lynn Pinto, Chris Poe, Andy Propst, Rex Reed, Jay Rogers, Keith Sabado, Robert Sacheli, Mark Sanderlin, Mark Sendroff, Harold Simons, KT Sullivan, Joanne Yeoman, Peter Wagenaar, Ronny Whyte, William Baldwin Young, Oscar Zambrano and especially Steve Ross, who lent us his entire collection of New York songs.

Laura Thomas and Brian Hurley for creating the safest of places for me to keep learning.

Sekou Luke, JSterling, Prince Riley, Barbara Flood, Richard Nesbit, Giedrius Jankauskas, and my extraordinary collaborator Stefan Bucher for helping me develop my visual identity.

Jered Egan, Michele Fox, Dan Gross, Sean Harkness, Matt Lepek, Tom Malone, John Miller, Marc Phaneuf, Dave Rogers, Peter Sachon, Roger Squitero, Mark Thrasher, Krystof Witek, and Sarah Zun for their inspiring musicianship. Larry Moore for his joyous orchestrations. Joshua Lance Dixon, Kristoffer Lowe and my treasured friend Jeff Harnar for creating The Rialtos. Vince Giordano and Adrian Cunningham, Jon-Erik Kellso, and Harvey Tibbs for allowing this Nightingale to make music with the Nighthawks.

Debbi Bush Whiting and Tex Arnold for entrusting us with her grandfather’s trunk song, and Roger Schore for his artful assistance.

Jeffrey Klitz for his distinctive orchestrations and guiding us through our penultimate recording session.

David Zippel for his generous words about what we have created.

Scott Lehrer for his indefatigable support and friendship. At 2nd Story Sound, I truly found a paradise that’s trouble proof.

And Alex Rybeck for turning the city’s roar into thirteen songs, each one beautifully wrought, to create our Manhattan Serenade.

All Recordings:

Celia Berk A Simple Prayer

A Simple Prayer
Single

Celia Berk Holiday Bells Medley

Holiday Bells Medley
Single

Celia Berk Now That I Have Everything

Now That I Have Everything
Single

Celia Berk You Can't Rush Spring

You Can't Rush Spring
Album

Celia Berk April Showers
April Showers
Single
Celia Berk Manhattan Serenade

Manhattan Serenade
Album

Celia Berk Still, Still, Still

Still, Still, Still
Single