Showcase Sommerfest 2014 - page 46

Doug LaBrecque
, vocals
Doug LaBrecque has thrilled theater
audiences through his star turns as the
Phantom and Raoul in
The Phantom of
the Opera
and Ravenal in
both productions of esteemed director
Harold Prince—and through a national
tour of
Les Misérables
and leading roles
in regional productions. A frequent guest
of the Minnesota Orchestra, he last
performed here at a 2009 Broadway-
themed concert. He has performed with
other top orchestras on four continents,
from the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland
Orchestra, National Symphony and New
York Pops to the Israel Philharmonic,
Korean National Symphony, Naples
Philharmonic and Brazilian Symphony
Orchestra. His other performing
highlights include appearances at
Oscar Hammerstein’s 100th birthday
celebration on Broadway and a tribute
to Richard Rodgers at Carnegie Hall,
as well as engagements at Feinstein’s
in Manhattan and the Cinegrill in Los
Angeles. More:
Charles Lazarus
, trumpet
Charles Lazarus, a member of the
Minnesota Orchestra since 2000,
has masterminded several original
productions with the Orchestra,
including the pops concerts “A Night in
the Tropics” and “A Big Band Valentine’s
Day Celebration.” Both programs
featured him as soloist, composer and
bandleader. Since debuting at Carnegie
Hall at age 19 with the New York String
Orchestra, he has been a member of the
Dallas Brass, Meridian Arts Ensemble
and Canadian Brass, and has given
additional performances with such
ensembles as the New York Big Brass,
New York Trumpet Ensemble, London
Brass, New York Trumpet Ensemble,
London Brass and Montreal Symphony.
In addition, he frequently performs at
festivals, conferences and other events.
His many recordings include three
CDs of original music:
Solo Settings
Merry & Bright
. More:,
Joining Lazarus at the July 5 concert
are pianist
Tommy Barbarella,
Brian Courage
and drummer
. Barbarella, who
has worked extensively with Prince,
has also collaborated with such artists
as Art Garfunkel, the Backstreet Boys
and Clay Aiken and is an accomplished
composer. Courage, a prominent young
voice on the Twin Cities jazz scene,
also composes and arranges music,
in addition to playing with many top
local instrumentalists. Schmalenberger
is assistant head of the percussion
department at McNally Smith College
of Music; he performs with nationally
renowned artists and is active as
a clinician.
Courtney Lewis
, conductor
Belfast native Courtney Lewis, the
Minnesota Orchestra’s associate
conductor since 2010, concludes
his tenure here with Sommerfest
2014, taking up two major new
Debbie Gravitte
, vocals
Tony Award-winning vocalist Debbie
Gravitte is in demand from the
Broadway stage to the concert hall
and beyond. She has sung in several
Broadway-themed concerts with the
Minnesota Orchestra, most recently at
Sommerfest 2006. She has appeared in
such Broadway productions as
Playing Our Song
Perfectly Frank
Les Misérables
Robbins’ Broadway
, for which she won
a Tony Award. She has performed her
nightclub act worldwide, and has sung
with more than 100 orchestras, from the
Boston Bops and Cleveland Orchestra
to the London Symphony and Chinese
Philharmonic. She co-starred on the
CBS series
Trial and Error
, has starred
in several PBS specials and appeared
with Bette Midler in the film
Isn’t She
. Her discography includes three
solo CDs, and her newest recording
project is
Big Band Broadway
. More:,
sommerfest 2014
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