(Above: The jazz vocal stylings of Johnny Hartman and Lena Horne are celebrated at The Shedd in Eugene and the LaSells Stewart Center in Corvallis, sung by Eugene vocalists Siri Vik and Bill Hulings.)

By Randi Bjornstad

Two of the Eugene area’s most popular singers — Siri Vik and Bill Hulings — take on the “songbooks” of two iconic jazz vocalists in four concerts, three in Eugene and one in Corvallis, from Oct. 14-17, backed by the Emerald City Jazz Kings under the leadership of Glenn Griffith.

Johnny Hartman, who died in 1983 at age 60, worked with many of the top jazz musicians of his day, including pianist and composer Erroll Garner, pianist and bandleader Earl Hines, and trumpeter and bandleader Dizzy Gillespie. He favored singing romantic ballads and is reportedly the only vocalist to have recorded with jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.

In fact, the two recorded an album together, titled John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, samples of which are available on YouTube. And, four of his recorded ballads grace the soundtrack of the 1995 movie, The Bridges of Madison County.

Lena Horne, of course, is a household word, having had a long and illustrious career as a dancer, singer, and actress as well as an untiring activist for civil rights. All of that took up much of her 92 years, from her joining the chorus of the Cotton Club when she was 16 to her death in 2010.

To bring all that music back, Vik and Hulings between them will perform a two-set concert with the following songs:

  • On a Clear Day (1965)
  • All of Me (1931)
  • Almost Like Being in Love (1947)
  • My One and Only Love (1953)
  • That Old Black Magic (1942)
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It (1937)
  • The More I See You (1945)
  • I’m Glad There Is You (1941)
  • Blue Skies (1927)
  • East St. Louis Toodle-Oo (1927)
  • I Concentrate on You (1940)
  • Stormy Weather (1933)
  • Get Out of Town (1938)
  • Old Devil Moon (1946)
  • The Lady Is a Tramp (1937)
  • Is You Is, Or Is You Ain’t (1943)
  • The Look of Love (1967)
  • My Funny Valentine (1937)
  • I’ve Heard That Song Before (1942)
  • Honeysuckle Rose (1929)
  • It’s Only a Paper Moon (1933)
  • As Long As I Live (1934)
  • I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (1928)
  • On a Slow Boat to China (1948)
  • On the Sunny Side of the Street (1930)

They will be working with the following group of musicians: artistic director, bandleader, and trombonist Glenn Griffith; Vicki Brabham on piano; bass player Sean Peterson; Ken Mastrogiovanni on drums; Idit Schner on alto sax and clarinet; Matt Taylor on tenor sax and flute; baritone sax and bass clarinet player Miles Griffith; and trumpeter Paul Krueger.

I’m Glad There Is You: The Song Stylings of Johnny Hartman and Lena Horne

When and where:

  • 7:30 pm. on Thursday, Oct. 14, Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd, 868 High St., Eugene
  • 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, LaSells Stewart Center, Oregon State University campus, 875 SW 26th St., Corvallis
  • 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17, Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd, 868 High St., Eugene

Tickets: $25 in Corvallis, $22/$28/$32 in Eugene, some discounts available); available from the ticket office at 541-434-7000, or online at theshedd.org