If you are a child of the ’60s like me, get out your calendar. There’s no need to fight the parking downtown or schlep to the Beach or Broward. One concert you won’t want to miss will be right here in our community this month. Melissa Manchester, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and actress, returns to the JCC for a command performance on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m.
The celebrated career of this dynamic talent includes countless movie scores, recurring television roles and theatrical stage presentations. She has just released her 16th CD. After graduating from the High School of the Performing Arts, Manchester enrolled in a songwriting class taught by Paul Simon. She landed a staff-writing job at Chappell Music and performed as a solo singer/pianist in the clubs of Greenwich Village. While working in the New York jingle singing circuit, she met Bette Midler and Barry Manilow.
As a back up singer for Midler, she fulfilled her childhood fantasy of playing Carnegie Hall. Six months later, she had a recording contract. Manchester went on to headline at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall and performed for sold-out audiences across the country.
Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis and Mel Torme are a few of the performers who have recorded her songs. Her friend and frequent collaborator Carole Bayer Sager, Marvin Hamlisch and the late Peter Allen, wrote her international hits, Through the Eyes of Love and Don’t Cry Out Loud.
Manchester won the Grammy Award in 1982 for best female vocalist. In 1980 she became the first artist to have two nominated movie themes in a given year — Through the Eyes of Love and The Promise.
Manchester has combined her acting and singing talents in theater including Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Song And Dance and Music of the Night. She co-starred with Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and recently appeared in the Chicago premiere of Hats!, a new musical featuring several songs she co-wrote.
For more information, call 305-271- 9000, ext. 238, or log on to www.alperjcc.org