2017 Cabaret Festival

15th Annual Cabaret Festival

May 17-21, 2017


Steve Ross        Matt Baker

Matt BakerVeronica SwiftVeronica Swift

Pamela Lewis




        Steve Ross                  

            Jon Weber                     Nicolas King                                                         Nicolas King                                      Pamela Lewis



          Jon Weber          

15th Annual Cabaret Festival

  CABARET 2017  The American Songbook -- Great At Any Age!


Wednesday, May 17     2 pm  Susan James  "Cabaret Memories"  video clips of previous performers  from the AIP Festival archives will be shown and discussed

Thursday, May 18    8 - Pamela Lewis - Cabaret Performance with Bill Heller on piano and Ritt Henn on bass.

Friday, May 19   8 - Steve Ross  - Cabaret Performance 

Saturday, May 20   1:30 - 4pm  "Conversation on the Arts"  Songs and behind the scenes insights from artists   Veronica Swift, Nicolas King, Joan Jaffe, Joie Bianco, with Matt Baker pianist,  Rob Lester cabaret critic, and Susan James 

Saturday. May 20    7 - Nicolas King - Cabaret Performance with Matt Baker on piano

                               8:30 -Veronica Swift  - Cabaret performance with Matt Baker on piano

Sunday, May 21   1:30- 4pm  " The American Songbook  . . .  Great at Any Age"  performances by artists from 9 -  80ish with Joie Bianco (16), + Nyla Robotham (12), Julian Lerner (9), Barbara Malley, Ira Lee Collings , Cynthia Crane,  Robin Westle and Jon Weber on piano

  Schedule is subject to change

(Pictures and biographies are displayed in performance order)

  Pamela Lewis 
Pamela Lewis

 Pamela Lewis is thrilled to be a part of The Long Beach 15th Annual Cabaret Festival

 this year! Pamela is the recipient of the 2013 BroadwayWorld.com New York Cabaret Award and is a nominee for a 2016 MAC Award - Both in the “Best Female Vocalist” category. For the last 15 years she has been the lead female vocalist in the most successful band for hire in Long Island - CODE BLEU, and most recently has been performing with Long Island’s Premiere 18 piece Big Band - THE NEW MILLENNIUM JAZZ BAND.

“She makes it look easy, a performer in full control of her gifts . . . Her pitch and diction are flawless . . . She moves from pop standard to show tune to jazz to rhythm and blues with aplomb.” ~Bistro Awards

Please join Pamela and her long time Musical Director Bill Heller on piano with Ritt Henn on Bass for an evening celebrating the beautiful, intimate art form - CABARET! www.champagnepam.com


  Steve Ross rose to fame as a cabaret entertainer during his lengthy sojourns at New York's Ted Hook's Backstage in the late 1970 followed by years of residency at the celebrated Oak Room at the Hotel Algonquin.  Steve has long delighted audiences on six continents with his shows celebrating the American Songbook and saluting figures like Noël Coward, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, Johnny Mercer and Alan Jay Lerner. He was on the Concerts and Lecture roster at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Steve Rosseight years, and has also hosted radio series on the BBC and NPR. In 1992, he starred off-Broadway in "I Won't Dance - Steve Ross Sings and Plays Fred Astaire.” He made his Broadway debut in a revival of Noël Coward's "Present Laughter” which starred Frank Langella – he played the cockney valet and performed at the keyboard. In 2000, following Steve's debut at The Plush Room, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "Attending a Ross performance is like opening a treasure chest of great, often rare, songs. No one performing today is his equal. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.” He was hailed by the New York Times as “the suavest of all male cabaret performers,” and by the Times of London “the smoothest cabaret act in the world.”

Indeed, it would be difficult to identify a major composer in the American Popular Songbook canon whose works have eluded Mr. Ross' delightful performance attentions. In light of this reality, in March, 2015, Steve was presented with a MAC Lifetime Achievement Award, a singular honor reflecting his extraordinarily diverse and longstanding contributions to the cabaret genre worldwide. Steve's current projects include preparing a theatre piece about Cole Porter. Visit www.steveross.com


         Nicolas King Nicolas Kinghas been performing since age 4.  He was seen first on Broadway in "Beauty and the Beast", then in "A Thousand Clowns" opposite Tom Selleck, and "Hollywood Arms" directed by Hal Prince, all before age 13.  Other credits include 8 consecutive annual performances on the 

Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon., "The View", the "Today" show, "Liza and David", "Sally Jesse Raphael" and twice on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno".

Other career highlights include originating the role of "Oscar" on Discovery Kids "Kenny The Shark", and well  over two dozen national television commercials.  His "Oscar Mayer Lunchables" commercial went international and won the Golden Marble Award in 1998.

Nicolas went on the road with his mentor Liza Minnelli to perform as her opening act from 2002-2012.  The Mabel Mercer Foundation awarded Nicolas their coveted Julie Wilson Award at the 2010 Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center.  He's the recipient of the 1995 Talent America Award, 2012 Bistro Award for Outstanding Performer of the Year, 2015 AMG Heritage Award for Artist of the Year, as well as receiving a Grammy consideration for his album "Nineteen" with jazz great Mike Renzi, available now on CD Baby, Apple ITunes and other retailers. Listen to Nicolas at http://cdbaby.com/ArtistNicolasKing.

Veronica SwiftVeronica Swift, age 22, is now being recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene. In the fall of 2015, she won second place at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition.  Following that she in April of 2016, she was a guest artist with Michael Feinstein at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York with the Tedd Firth Big Band and Marilyn Maye and Freda Payne.   Veronica’s first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center was at age 11 for “Women in Jazz” series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. In the summer of 2016 she headlined at the Telluride Jazz Festival in Colorado – her 10th appearance there – but first as a headliner.  She first appeared there at age 10 with Dave Adams’ Young Razzcals Jazz Project with Richie Cole and then in 3 other years with that group – one as a co-director.  In one of those years she sang a duet with the featured artist Paquito d’Rivera.  In 2010, she was selected as the first vocalist in the Telluride Jazz All-Stars and sang with them for 2 festivals. Veronica finished her undergraduate degree (BM in Jazz Voice) at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in December 2016, where she was a full scholarship student.  From there she moved to New York to continue her professional career which started at age 9. Veronica has been on tour with her parents, renowned jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and celebrated jazz singer and educator/author Stephanie Nakasian.  She has appeared on stage with Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Bob Dorough, Kim Nazarian, Danilo Perez, and others.  With her family she has appeared at  The Great Waters Music Festival in NH, Blues Alley Jazz Club in DC, the Jazz Standard in NYC, the jazz cruise, and for the NJ and Hilton Head Jazz Societies.  Her latest recording project “Lonely Woman” out this year features some of the hottest young jazz players on the scene including Emmet Cohen, Benny Bennack III, Daryl Johns (with whom she shared the Grammy Choir/Band experience), Matt Wigler, and Scott Lowrie.                         

  Matt Baker 

Australian born Jazz Pianist Matt Baker leads a powerful quartet with three of New York’s finest young rising stars, double bassist Endea Owens, drummer Darrian Douglas and vocalist Veronica Swift. Baker has performed jazz festivals, clubs and concert halls in Australia, Europe, the USA and Pacific Rim. As of 2010, he is proud to call New York City his home. Matt Baker released a live DVD in April 2017 entitled Live at Birdland (via JazzElm Music). Baker’s previous albuMatt Bakerm Almost Blue (via JazzElm Music), his 5th as a leader, was recorded with producer Matt Pierson and released in June 2016. He also recorded Underground in 2011 which received rave reviews in Downbeat, Jazz Times and Jazz Wise UK, and reached #26 on the US JazzWeek charts. 

Baker’s sideman credits include engagements with, among others, guitar icon Bucky Pizzarelli, tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, bassists Endea Owens, Marco Panascia and James Cammack, drummers Darrian Douglas and Jerome Jennings and vocalists Veronica Swift, Alexis Cole, Brianna Thomas, Tierney Sutton, Judy Collins and Barb Jungr. Baker has played numerous trio engagements that feature his own repertoire in diverse NYC rooms like Birdland, The Blue Note, Cleopatra’s Needle, Gin Fizz, Iridium, Kitano, Bemelmans, Le Cirque, the Zinc Bar, as well as The Side Door in CT and Scullers Jazz Club in Boston.

Matt Baker was an award winner in the 2003 Montreux International Solo Jazz Piano competition and a semi-finalist in 2004 and 2005. The Montreux Jazz Festival also engaged the Matt Baker Trio as its exclusive in-house band for 2 years straight, where they performed 17 nights in the Montreux Festival Jazz Club, accompanying and supporting many of the headlining artists. A student of Taylor Eigsti’s since moving to New York, Matt watched Oscar Peterson perform live an entire week at the Blue Note, from which a friendship between the two formed in the remaining years of Peterson’s life. Baker has also studied with Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, Fred Hersch, Aaron Goldberg, Jacky Terrasson, James Williams, Ralph Sutton and Ella Fitzgerald’s life-long accompanist Paul Smith.


   Joan Jaffe


Joan Jaffe  - WINNER MAC Award - Best Musical Comedy Performer 2012, and named one of the Top 15 in New York Cabaret 2010 by Kevin Scott Hall - EdgeNewYork.com. A veteran of Broadway, Off-Broadway, tours, cabaret, films, TV appearances include SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O’BRIEN, Comedy Central. She is excited to present an encore of her highly acclaimed show Joan Jaffe's fOOD - at Pangea on June 15.




Rob Rob LesterLester has been a cabaret journalist for ten years. He writes reviews and articles on NYC cabaret live performances and CDs for Cabaret Scenes Magazine (on the web as cabaretscenes.org), NiteLifeExchange.com, and TalkinBroadway.com and has been a voter helping to choose the recipients of the city's cabaret awards.  Additionally, he's worked with teens as a theatre director/instructor for schools, arts organizations, and theatre companies, and now runs the inter-generational Play Nice! whose all-volunteer actors present his original musicals with positive themes, donating all ticket income to charities.  He has been part of AIP's cabaret weekends for several years and has loved the Great American Songbook since he was a kid being raised on Long Island with music-loving parents.

   Joie Bianco

  Joie Bianco  was first seen in NYC cabaret at age 14 in the Metropolitan Room's otherwise-adult singing contest, MetroStar Talent Challenge, voted to the Top 7 and as "Audience Favorite," later winning the separate MetroMinor teen competition. Selected for Michael Feinstein's Indiana Songbook Academy, its judges chose her as "Most Promising."  In October she sang "People" in the prestigious Cabaret Convention opening night concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Last month, as she turned 16, she did her premiere full Manhattan cabaret and often donates her talents to appear in benefits for charity (including the Cabaret Cares Gala on Sunday after her set with AIP !). Joie is a student of the marvelous Marilyn Maye.


Jon Weber

 As a teenager, composer/pianist Jon Weber's prodigious quintet opened up for jazz luminaries Pat Metheny, Freddie Hubbard and Buddy Rich. Jon newest CD, SIMPLE COMPLEX, was voted 2004's #1 Jazz CD by the Chicago TribuneSwiss National RadioNorwegian National Radio, Estonian National Radio and BBC Online. DownBeat calls SIMPLE COMPLEX "A great stride forward." Jazz UK voted him "Best New Star of 2005... Exceptional." 

Jon has toured all over the world and received numerous honors for performance and composition. Gary Burton, Roy Hargrove, Eric Alexander, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and Avishai Cohen have all recorded Jon’s music. He's recorded in Denmark, Switzerland, India, Australia & the USA, performing with distinction as a sideman to Benny Golson, David "Fathead" Newman, Clark Terry and many more. Jon has performed to a sold-out Carnegie Hall six times and scored extensively for television since 1987.   CNN, BET, CNBC, Bravo Arts, NPR, Voice of America, Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Birdland, The Blue Note, Lincoln Center and the BBC have profiled Jon Weber’s unique musical depth and vast knowledge of his craft. UK’s Jazz Journal International writes; “Jon Weber is a virtuoso pianist with outstanding technique plus boundless imagination and enthusiasm who is bound to make a big impression on the international jazz scene.” Jon lives in New York City and frequently served as guest host for Marian McPartland on NPR's "Piano Jazz," and now hosts "Piano Jazz with Jon Weber." 

      Ira Lee Collings



Ira Lee Collings is a graduate of the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and a veteran of dinner theater in the Deep South (very deep). He has been performing his own cabaret shows for the past 10 years and this year he won the Hanson Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC); the award recognizes and encourages performers of outstanding talent.

  Cynthia Crane Cynthia Crane

  Tavern-on-the-Green to Town Hall, California to Italy, Cynthia is a fixture in New York's performing world in a roster of clubs here and gone, (Metropolitan Room, Helen's, Tavern-On-The-Green, Eighty-Eights, Don't Tell Mama, Danny's Skylight Room, Barney's, Mad 61, Jan Wallman's, Royal Roost, Palsson's, the Fives, Panache etc.). She returned to a singing career in the 80's after 10 years and 100 shows as founder/ co-producer of the Impossible Ragtime Theatre (IRT) (Ted Story & George Ferencz). Crane has performed Cabaret Concerts in French at the American Embassy on the Place de la Concorde and the Musée de Montmartre in Paris, played Helen Morgan at the Russian Tea Room, has sung for the Dutch Treat Club, the National Arts Club, the Players and the Friars. Eight great CDs. Fifteen YouTubes. 25 years of CRANE'S CLARION (a 'blog' before there were any).


  Julian Lerner Julian Lerner lives in Manhattan, studies singing with Badiene Magaziner and Minda Larsen,and works with Teri Bostaji, Haley Horbinski and Abrielle Roman at Teri B Talent. You can see him on a national commercial for Halos oranges and in the upcoming movie Pottersville and you can hear his voice as Cian on Super Wings (PBS Sprout) and on Nickelodeon TV's commercial for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayola Air Maker Sprayer. He's at level 6 as a Junior Olympic gymnast and NYS Ring Champion. In his spare time, Julian goes to elementary school.  He is 9 years old.

  Barbara Malley


Barbara Malley is a true New Yorker, having lived for years in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island, Barbara is a true New Yorker. She loves camping in a tent as much as she loves singing on the stage. But most of all, she loves people, especially kids - and most especially teens and pre-teens.


Nyla A. RobothamNyla Robotham is 12 years old and lives not too far from Long Island in the St. Albans section of Queens.   She is a member of the Notre Dame School Drama Club and the summer musical theatre program at The Center for Proprietary Studies in music (CPSM), where participants study music and theatre and perform in a showcase at Lefrak Concert Hall. She studies voice in Manhattan with Minda Larsen, a noted cabaret singer, who won the city's cabaret singing competition MetroStar Talent Challenge in 2015, the same year Nyla developed an interest in musical theatre, which led to her recent start at auditioning professionally for shows and commercials.


Robin Westle Robin Westle is a wife, speech pathologist, singer, actress, and the proud mother of two adopted children, now grown. She appears in NYC cabaret and is the creator, producer, and host of the popular and critically acclaimed Robin's Nest, a variety show series benefiting helpusadopt.org. Her solo cabaret shows have been well received: Why Are You Telling Me?,No Regrets, and the recent/soon-to-return The Adventures of Taffy Longvue, a show about finding your own fabulousness. In theatre productions, Robin recently played Sister in Damn Yankees (Little Radical Theatrics), two roles in Smelly Feet (PMT) and Bess in The Half Ring Circus (Play Nice).  She portrays Great Aunt Miriam in the soon-to-be-released short film The Shiva Callers.