• Kara Johnstad

    Johnstad’s Jumpin’ Jivin’ Jazz Just Jubilant!

    Kara Johnstad an American expatriate now living and brilliantly concertizing in Germany as well as other countries across the continent and in Asia.

    Chanteuse Kara Johnstad may well be the single greatest surprise to hit the cabaret-jazz spectrum since Randa McNamara, over two decades ago.

    Her show Le Grand Love at Metropolitan Room, a tribute to legendary composer Michel Legrand, is so exquisitely and seamlessly assembled that she miraculously revitalizes a plethora of pop standards written by the gentleman, and the result is, in a word, masterful.

    Backed by a trio of international musicians (Rolf Zielke on piano, cellist Stephen Braun and Rhani Krija on percussion, all of whom are simply sensational), it isn't merely Johnstad's outstanding voice that helps sell the songs that might crumble in the hands of a lesser artist, but her ability for phrasing that is at times other-worldly in its brilliance, as well as unquestionably perfect pitch and definitive command of the stage.

    Selecting any one particular highlight is exceedingly difficult, because she literally tears into each with equal brio and elan, and hits them all out of the park one after the other; that said, however, it's impossible not to mention "Happy," upon which Legrand collaborated with Smokey Robinson. Likewise an infectious "I Will Wait For You" from The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, with lyrics by Jacques Demy. "After The Rain" is stunning at every turn, and Johnstad absolutely owns "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" (with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman) in quite possibly the single finest rendering of the song since Barbra Streisand. After she winds up the evening with a brilliantly-forceful "The Windmills Of Your Mind," she hits the crowd with a final bolt of lightning in the form of "Pieces Of Dreams." And Jean-Pierre Perreaux's ever-excellent technical direction, only helps drive the evening further into a masterpiece.

    This humble writer couldn't possibly express more strongly the importance of seeing Kara Johnstad when next she graces New York with an on-stage appearance. In point of fact, and for lack of a better expression, she will simply blow your mind. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she is THAT good.

  • KARA JOHNSTAD - Direct from Berlin singing a wonderful array of Michel Legrand's greatest hits in the New York debut of her show, Le Grand Love.

    For 2 nights only at THE METROPOLITAN ROOM, 34 W. 22nd, NYC, April 9 & 10, 9:45 p.m. Kara will perform her acclaimed versions of The Summer Knows, Papa Can You Hear Me, Windmills of Your Mind and other rarely heard titles suggested by Legrand personally for her.

    Backed by internationally acclaimed musicians, Rolf Zielke - piano (Charlie Mariano, Thomas Quasthoff); Stephan Braun - cello (Jazz Blues Award, Berliner Ensemble) and Rhani Krija - percussion (Sting, Herbie Hancock). These exceptional musicians bring a fresh approach to Legrand's timeless classics.

    "Simply Perfect Passion, Sexiness and Grace!" Billboard