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Sunday, February 19 at 2 p.m. – Michael Feinstein's American Songbook

(Rochester, NY) – Michael Feinstein's American Songbook takes a multifaceted journey through the history of American song by the acclaimed musician and five-time Grammy®-nominated vocalist. Produced and directed by Amber Edwards of Hudson West Productions, Michael Feinstein's American Songbook premieres Sunday, February 19 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT 21.1/cable 1011 and 11). The three-part series, airing back to back on Sunday afternoon, gives viewers an intimate look at Feinstein on stage, behind the scenes, and on the road, where he has all-new adventures in his quest to celebrate and preserve the gems of classic American music.

“I don’t know if it’s some sort of karmic thing that I am supposed to be given all of these recordings and pieces of music to preserve,” Feinstein says in the show, “but it’s clear that for whatever reason, it is also my responsibility to share it and get it out there.”

“In our second season, we continue to find a surprise around every corner — and what unexpected corners we turn,” says Edwards.  “Las Vegas, Kansas City, the Mississippi Delta, Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion — everywhere we go we find that this music reflects a different aspect of who we are as a people.  It’s as if the American Songbook is an ever-spinning prism.”

Michael Feinstein's American Songbook chronicles Feinstein’s lifelong mission to keep the Great American Songbook alive, as he champions the lyrics and melodies of songwriters like George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart, all while performing more than 200 shows a year across America. Season two further illuminates Feinstein’s passion for American song, as he meets fanatical collectors of sheet music, records, manuscripts, and memorabilia, and solves an astonishing musical mystery. Feinstein and his fellow collectors represent a tiny world devoted to saving a gigantic body of work. Their eccentricities make for a colorful cast of supporting characters.

Filled with generous portions of live performance and a wealth of archival footage that puts the music in historical context, the series offers both an intimate portrait of a multi-talented artist and a fresh appreciation of 20th-century popular culture. It makes the material accessible to viewers who are new to the music and its history, yet offers sophisticated details and analysis for the connoisseur. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers(ASCAP) honored season one ofMichael Feinstein's American Songbook with its Deems Taylor Award for Outstanding Musical Content.

Pictured: Michael Feinstein plays one of Liberace's rhinestone-encrusted pianos at the now closed Liberace Museum in Las Vega
Credit: Courtesy of Dave Davidson, Hudson West Productions


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.