The February Show!
with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske
with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske
St Mane Theater, 206 Parkway Avenue North, Lanesboro, MN
A wonderful show of all things February (yes, including Valentine's Day! Steve is joined by jazz singer pianist JoAnn Funk and bassist vocalist Jeff Brueske. Enjoy an evening of music and humor! St Mane Website
The Dunsmore Room, 6161 Highway 65 NE, Fridley, MN
Music and laughter! In February! Jazz pianist singer JoAnn Funk brings her unique piano vocal style to this entertaining show. Her style has been compared to Blossom Dearie and Diana Krall but is very much her own. JoAnn is a Twin Cities favorite who most recently performed with Jeff Brueske for Jazz in The Lobby Bar at The Saint Paul Hotel. Her fourth and most recent CD, Jazz in The Lobby Bar, continues to receive international airplay. These days she is traveling and performing - enjoy this rare treat to hear her in the Twin Cities! Baritone Steven Marking will be performing an astonishing range of music, from Schubert, Samuel Barber and Flanders and Swann, to songs from musicals. Steven has over 40 opera roles to his credit. Since his move to the Twin Cities in 2012, he has sung with the Minnesota Chorale, Metropolitan Symphony, performed a role with Minnesota Opera, sung many oratorios, led hymn sings and performed his popular show Our Mighty Mississippi, as well as shows with Jeff and JoAnn. His newest CD, "Holy Chestnuts", is collection of Victorian Era Anthems, recorded with organ and piano at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, where he was the bass baritone soloist for four years. Never one to take himself too seriously, Steve has a comfortable stage presence and is a marvelous storyteller. Bassist and vocalist Jeff Brueske rounds out the talented trio, adding swing and beauty to everything, and also doing some great singing. Jeff might be the most understated musician you will ever meet. He is a choir director, educator, has a master's degree in guitar performance and is also a fine bassist. His vocals are a treat and are reminiscent of John Pizzarelli.
•The audience jumped to their feet for a standing ovation after Steven Marking's show "Our Mighty Mississippi". Being we are a river town, folks could easily relate to the music, stories and photos of this great river and Steven's beautiful baritone voice and warm presence made it even more captivating! ... Kris Niebler, Program Director, Coon Rapids, Minnesota
•So good, I am going again! ... Irma V
•I loved the photography and videos and how well they were matched to his music. A unique and apparently ever evolving show. ... Roxanne
•This was an excellent show. I would highly recommend it. Marking was great with his storytelling, videography of the Mississippi and singing ... Goldstar Member
•All three of us really enjoyed the storytelling and video. Would go again! ... Goldstar Member
•Wonderful performance as we were held spellbound with the images of the river, wildlife and human use of the river that flashed behind him as he was singing or talking. I will be taking kids and grandkids the next time I see him performing. His voice was SO impressive with such a huge vocal range to fit each song ... Pat Rummenie
•It was a delightful show and alot of fun learning about the Mississippi River, learning things we never knew ... Rose Gebo
•Beautiful photography, good voice and well put together program ... Norman Berg
•Steve Marking is an exceptional photographer and singer ... Mary Jo Halverson
•The Daily Gazette, Cambridge MA: Marking's Baritone Suited to River Theme
Baritone Steven Marking has a remarkable voice. On Saturday night at Hubbard Hall, he shared it in a program inspired by songs about rivers.
Marking's voice was particularly suited to the repertoire he chose. His voice, which was smooth as silk, was wonderfully regulated and controlled. The color was consistent whether it was a clarion in Lee Hoiby's dramatic "I Was There" with words by Walt Whitman or a gravelly bass in H. T. Burleigh's arrangement of "Deep River." His phrasing was finished, his breath control and pitch excellent and his diction superb.
Although any or all of these can be found in other baritones, Marking's ability to change the texture of his sound was unusual. He was able to lighten the color and tonal depth when he sang many of the "pop" tunes, such as Harold Arlen's "Get Happy" or "The Eagle and Me."
But when he took on a more serious or thoughtful song, such as Samuel Barber's "Shining Night," the resonance and color seemed to deepen with darker overtones. It was an amazing display of vocal control that only the best singers achieve. As such, each of Marking's offerings became a gem ... 2009 Geraldine Freeman