Remembering Ray Jessel

The Performing Arts Lodges Toronto (PAL), 110 the Esplanade, Toronto

On Monday, November 30, at The Performing Arts Lodges, Toronto, a host of Canada’s music notables will pay tribute to Ray Jessel, the Canadian composer/performer whom Michael Feinstein hailed as "the millennium Noel Coward’. Jessel died last July at age 85, leaving a legacy of music that runs the gamut from Broadway musicals and accomplished classical compositions, chart-topping love songs from his TV days in Hollywood to some of the cabaret world’s most brilliantly funny ditties.

“I learned so much from Ray”, declares the accomplished Jackie Richardson, who will share the stage with performers who have appeared with Jessel in New York, like Theresa Tova and Don Francks. and those like Pam Hyatt and Lorraine Foreman for whom Ray wrote material as far back as his Spring Thaw days, before he was swooped up with partner Marion Grudeff to write the music for the Broadway show “Baker Street”. Jazz FM’s Jaymz Bee first fell in love with Ray’s work at New York’s Birdland. On November 30 Jaymz will sing the song that brought Ray worldwide notoriety via NBC’s “America’s Got Talent, and which U Tube insists on miscalling “The Penis Song”. Ori Dagan, recent winner of Best Jazz Vocals Award at the Toronto International Music Awards connected with Ray just last year at The Jazz Bistro. He will sing Jessel’s Hellzapoppin’ which was a chart topping hit for Louis Armstrong soon after it premiered in the musical of the same name at Expo ‘67 in Montreal. Jessel’s wistful love song “I’m Alright Now” popularised by John Pizzarelli on his “New Classics” recording’ will be sung at this show by Sam Broverman.

Other areas of Ray’s musical brilliance will be illustrated in Morry Kernerman ‘s presentation of an excerpt from “Sonata for Flute and Piano which Kernerman commissioned and which was premiered on CBC; and with a trio of Baker Street songs sung by Robert Missen, Allison Arends and David Warrack, including Richard Burton’s top of the chart’s hit “A Married Man”.

Remembering Ray Jessel, 8 p.m. Monday, November 30, The Performing Arts Lodges Toronto, 110 The Esplanade. Suggested donation $20 will aid PAL Future (tax receipts available) .

Advance Bookings: 416 603-0625