Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra
Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra: The Vocal Jazz Summit
Show date: September 15–16, 2017
Ticket prices: $39.50
Show times: 8 p.m.
Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater
Presented by Dr. Phillips Center
Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra, under the vision and leadership of artistic director Rodney Whitaker, presents an evening of unforgettable hits from the Great American Songbook, blues, soul and jazz favorites, sung by some of Orlando’s best jazz and R&B vocalists.
Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra is made possible through the generous support of Joyce and Judson Green.
Michelle Amato is a dynamic vocalist whose abilities to convey the deep passion of a lyric, then soar effortlessly through the stratosphere have taken her from posh, intimate clubs to The Hollywood Bowl and Radio City Music Hall. She currently performs in Cirque Du Soleil’s “La Nouba,” and with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, with whom she recently toured Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and across the Atlantic on Crystal Cruise Line. Michelle has performed and recorded with an incredibly diverse array of artists, including Liza Minnelli, Al Green, Sandi Patty, Michael McDonald, Donna Summer, Jon Hendricks, Celia Cruz, Rita Marley, and world renowned composer Yanni. Her solo and background vocal work can be heard on his “Ethnicity” cd and “Yanni Live” dvd. Michelle’s debut cd, “I'm All Smiles” features jazz trumpeter Ira Sullivan, and is available on I Tunes and CD Baby. She performs regularly at Eddie V’s and Pilar’s in Central Florida, as well as numerous clubs and music festivals around the country. She continues to love her orchestral work, and has been a featured soloist with The Memphis Symphony, The Sunrise Pops, The Baton Rouge Symphony, The Sarasota Orchestra, The Macon Pops, and The Orlando Philharmonic. Staying extremely active in the recording studio as a singer and contractor, some of her clients include The Walt Disney Company, Royal Caribbean, Costa, Regent, and Carnival Cruise Lines, McDonald’s, Warner Brothers, Alfred, and Shawnee Press Publications, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade, and numerous private artists and production companies throughout the world.
Michelle’s Master’s Degree from the prestigious University of Miami School of Music has created great demand for her expertise as an educator and clinician. She has coached vocalists for Cirque Du Soleil, Walt Disney World, and has been an adjunct professor at The University of Miami, The University of Memphis, Rollins College, and The University of North Florida. Michelle has conducted master classes and clinics for The International Association of Jazz Educators, Appalachian State University, Grammy In The Schools, and The North American Cultural Center in San Jose, Costa Rica. Her adjudicating duties have included The National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, The Florida Vocal Association, Orlando Fest, and various jazz and choral societies.
At age 3, Linda Cole started singing with her father and mother, James and Erma Cole, forming The Singing Cole Family. After 17 years with her family, Linda branched out into rhythm & blues traveling from Manhattan to Detroit. She released several hit singles and has worked with such artists as Billy "Spinner" Henderson of The Spinners; and Billy Davis, Jr. of The Fifth Dimension. Well-known to Central Florida audiences since 1991, Linda has appeared with the Central Florida Jazz Society and Northeast Florida Jazz Association. She currently performs as a guest soloist with the internationally-known Nancy Waldman Trio, including Doug Matthews on bass and Warren Cohen on drums.
Michelle has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Billy Taylor, Mel Tormé, Max Roach, Sheila Jordan, Sandy Patti, Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Liz Calloway, Dick Williams, Pete Barbutti, Thomas Dolby, Don Shelton and Liza Minnelli. Locally, she performs with the Orlando Philharmonic, the Central Florida Jazz Society and the Spacecoast Jazz Society. Orlando audiences know her best as a member of the Drama Desk Award-winning group Vox Audio.
Rick Melvern is thrilled to be performing in the Jazz Orchestra Vocal Summit. A veteran of the stage in Orlando, Rick has worked as a singer and entertainer for Universal Studios Motown Cafe, Disney’s original contemporary a cappella group American Vybe, (now American Music Machine) - and as a singer for Royal Caribbean cruise lines. A highly sought-after band leader and entertainer, Rick has sung around the world and shared the stage with artists such as Smokey Robinson, Gloria Estefan, The Temptations, The Miracles, Sandi Patti, Larnell Harris, and members of NSYNC. Rick currently headlines a Stevie Wonder tribute act in addition to his other various performance endeavors, and recently made his Musical Theatre debut as Bobby in the State Theatre’s production of Memphis!
New Orleans native David Pruyn’s varied background also includes arranging, orchestrating and touring with the show "Satchmo," a Broadway musical based on the life of Louis Armstrong. He has worked with many of the greats including: Dick Hyman, Chick Corea, Mike Renzi, Ray Brown, John Clayton, Jaco Pastorius, Pete Christlieb, Eddie Barefield, Al Cohn, John LaPorta, Bob Mintzer, Ed Calle, Nick Brignola, Bill Prince, Terry Myers, Bobby Shew, Doc Severinsen, Snooky Young, Walt Johnson, Carl Saunders, Byron Stripling, Buddy Morrow, Dave Steinmeyer, Rich Matteson, Dave Wolpe, Bill Allred, the Harry James, Jimmy Dorsey, Tommy Dorsey, and Les Brown Orchestras, as well as singers Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Steve Lawrence, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Walt Andrus, Al Jarreau, Michael Feinstein, Rosemary Clooney, Edie Gorme, Manhattan Transfer and his old hometown buddy, Harry Connick, Jr.
This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes).