By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Grammy-nominated jazz singer Jane Monheit will begin the spring Lyceum Series Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Lee Hall’s Bettersworth Auditorium at Mississippi State University.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for MSU faculty, staff and senior citizens, and $8 for children 3 to 12 years old. MSU students are admitted free with valid student identification. All previously purchased tickets for TALK Dance will be honored for the Monheit concert.
According to a release, Monheit, a New York native and jazz vocalist, celebrates her roots as a jazz musician by performing American jazz standards. Some of her song selections include popular pieces by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, Rodgers and Hart, Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern.
Monheit is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her recording career with “Home,” a collection of standards that represents a return to her roots as a jazz musician. According to her website, the CD features the band she has worked with onstage and off for most of her career, as well as special guests such as John Pizzarelli, Mark O’Connor and Larry Goldings. This is her first album for Emarcy/Universal and also marks her debut as sole producer of a recording.
“I didn’t feel the need for anyone to help me realize the vision of this record,” Monheit said. “This is a project I’ve been thinking of for a long time –– an album of songs and a group of musicians that are deeply important to me. There was no need to discuss what should or should not be included or who should play. This is clearly me from the heart. My relationships to these songs and my love for the people playing them make this album what it is.”
Monheit said “Home” is the first album she’s made in its entirety since becoming a mother. Her son was born halfway through the recording of her previous album, “The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me.”
“I’m so much more drawn to the happier songs,” Monheit said. “Having a beautiful child in my life has really lightened me up, especially where music is concerned. I’ll always have a high level of drama, though. It makes me who I am and certainly helps me be better at what I do.”
Monheit has garnered numerous accolades in the past decade. Her first album “Never Never Land” was voted top debut recording by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and stayed on the Billboard Jazz chart for over a year. Subsequent albums either charted high or, in several cases, debuted at No. 1 and yielded two Grammy nominations in the best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocals category. Critics have said Monheit is a gifted vocalist whose sincere and romantic interpretations have made her a favorite in both the jazz and cabaret worlds.
For more information regarding Monheit, visit http://janemonheitonline.com/ . For more on MSU’s Lyceum Series, visit http://www.lyceum.msstate.edu  or contact the Center for Student Activities at 662-325-2930.