Winer, Lewis leaf through Great American Songbook

From Staff Reports
Black Mountain News | USA TODAY NETWORK
Maddy Winer has opened for Dave Brubeck, Lou Rawls, David Sanborn, and Joe Sample and the Crusaders.

The White Horse Black Mountain’s Wednesday Jazz Series takes a turn toward the vocal side at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 30 with a night of classics from The Great American Songbook. Singer Maddy Winer, accompanied by guitarist Vince Lewis, will perform timeless standards from Broadway, Hollywood, New Orleans and Tin Pan Alley, paying tribute to the artists who popularized the songs that shaped America’s musical identity.

Tickets are $10 advance, $12 door and$6 students. 

The show offers a cross section of a Golden Age in American popular song, spanning from the ’20s to the ’80s, including songs by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kerm, Rodgers and Hart, Henry Mancini, Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Arlen and Antonio Jobim. Winer and Lewis will also perform selections from their newest CD, "Crossroads."

A successful entertainer for the past three decades, Winer grew up in a large Italian family that celebrated life, food and music. She first stepped onstage at age three and attributes her unerring way with a song to the pop music of her youth and an early appreciation of jazz standards. 

After college graduation, she sang contemporary pop, but always included jazz classics in her sets. A turning point came in 1985 when she was contacted by pianist/composer Loonis McGlohan, host of NPR’s “American Popular Song.” Performing songs from The Great American Songbook, Winder gathered a strong following in major venues, including a sold-out show at Lincoln Center.

Winer's work with McGlohan led to an NPR television special “North Carolina Is My Home,” hosted by Charles Kuralt, who said “she nails it every time, an exceptional talent.” Winer has since headlined prestigious concerts and has opened for heavy hitters like Dave Brubeck, Lou Rawls, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, Ellis Marsalis, Diane Schuur, and Joe Sample and the Crusaders.

Lewis is described by critic Bob Gish as a player who “swings and swings and then some. He sees to it that melody prevails. A master guitarist that has more than paid his dues.” Lewis has been hailed by every major jazz publication as an accompanist whose formidable and refined technique remains in service to the song, maintaining a peak of musical excellence.

He has been a headliner with Dave Brubeck, B.B. King, Ellis Marsalis, Lou Rawls, John Pizzarelli and Melissa Manchester