By Tom Surowicz
It'll be a big week for Twin Cities jazz singer Connie Evingson. She'll make her debut at Lincoln Center in New York, as part of the all-star cast of "Swinging With the Big Bands," a two-night, three-show event June 12-13 that's sold out.
Evingson will share the stage with jazz superstar Wynton Marsalis, cabaret king Michael Feinstein, the ever-charming and disarming Nellie McKay, rising singing star Sachal Vasandani, and Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, the Big Apple's premier classic jazz ensemble, and the band that provides lots of the music for HBO's show, "Boardwalk Empire." Talk about fast company.
"I'll be singing two songs from my Peggy Lee tribute show that fit the big band theme -- 'Why Don't You Do Right?' and 'I Wanna Be Loved,' " Evingson told us. "And there's a surprise for listeners, an illicit thrill. Before it was a big Peggy Lee/Benny Goodman hit, the song 'Why Don't You Do Right?' was written by Kansas Joe McCoy for the Harlem Hamfats band. The original title was 'Weed Smoker's Dream,' and the lyrics were completely different. And by request of jazz journalist Will Friedwald, I'll be doing some of those original lyrics from 1936."
Before heading to the city that never sleeps, Evingson has a big date Sunday in the Minneapple with amazing pianist Jon Weber, venerable saxophonist Dave Karr and the trusty rhythm section of Gordy Johnson (bass) and Phil Hey (drums). She'll revive her winning show, "He's Hip: Songs of Dave Frishberg," saluting the witty St. Paul-born songwriting great, at the Jungle Theater.
There are performances at 4 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday ($25), and good seats can still be had. Hey, look over there, is that my attorney Bernie in the third row?