St. Paul, Minn. – Soprano Patrice Michaels, celebrated recording artist, will present a free concert of familiar tunes and original compositions that explore the relationships between classical and jazz forms, harmonies and rhythms.  

“INTERSECTION: Jazz Meets Classical Song” includes blues, ragtime, ballads and art songs is at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, in Mairs Concert Hall, in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center & Gallery, 130 Macalester Street, St. Paul, Minn.   Joining Michaels are Zach Brock, violin, Nick Photinos, cello and Kuang-Hao Huang, piano.  Michaels is part of Macalester’s New Music Series, sponsored by the Rivendell Foundation and the Pulliam Fund. 

“Jazz was my first musical passion, and has remained hugely influential and inspiring for me – a sort of ‘silent partner’ behind my work as a classical singer,” said Michaels.  “For quite some time I’ve been collecting pieces that bridge the two genres in a way that feels genuine to me. Working with other musicians who share this cross-pollination, and sharing our results with an audience is an absolutely thrilling opportunity for me.”

About her talent, Fanfare has written, “(Patrice Michaels’) instrument is beautifully shaped, balanced, and focused . . . I find her a major talent for interpretation of American vocal music.”  And the San Francisco Examiner, “Not only is Michaels a fine soprano with a bell-like sonority…but she’s got sophisticated taste in music… Witty, adult and smart.”

Among the unique offerings, Michaels performs a ragtime-style vocalise (song without words) from 1920s Paris by Tibor Harsànyi.  Contemporary expat composer Laurie Altman is represented by three radically inventive “re-imaginings” of 18th century Italian songs. Lee Hoiby, Leslie Adams and John Musto, all masters of the post-romantic American song, offer contrasting blues pieces. Chuck Israels, composer/arranger and long-time bassist for Bill Evans, provides piano and voice settings of American folk songs.  And a new work written for the ensemble by Macalester Music Department Professor Randy Bauer is another of the many delights on the program.

Michaels, a graduate of the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, has performed on stage, in concert, and in recital since her debut in 1991, and has appeared with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cleveland Opera, Central City, Tacoma Opera, The Banff Centre, and Chicago Opera Theater.

She currently serves as Director of Vocal Studies at University of Chicago and can be heard on more than two-dozen critically acclaimed recordings.

Past New Music Series guests have included women’s singing group Lorelei Ensemble, string quartet ETHEL, guitarist/composer Bill Frisell, cellist Matt Haimovitz, So Percussion, jazz pianist/composer/arranger Uri Caine, singer Lucy Shelton, Enso String Quartet, pianist/composer Frederic Rzewski, Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Yehudi Wyner, chamber group eighth blackbird, and jazz composer/bandleader Maria Schneider and Theo Bleckmann, jazz singer and new music composer. Guest artists work with Macalester students in classes and master classes and give free concerts open to the public.

Michaels’ concert is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.  There are no tickets or reservations. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. For more information call 651-696-6808 or email

Thanks to generous funding from the Rivendell Foundation and The Pulliam Fund, the Macalester Music Department presents two to three concerts per season focusing on New Music and Jazz.  

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,045 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

January 12 2015

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