Marilyn Maye

2018 - Lifetime Achievement Award

Marilyn Maye is a cultural and musical treasure. Her entire life has been committed to the art of song and performance. After working as a professional singing performer since she was 15 years old, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen during her eight-year engagement at the Colony in Kansas City.  He presented her various times on his national television show. From those appearances came an RCA recording contract. She has appeared 76 times on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the record for a singer. Perhaps the simplest Marilyn Maye accolade came after one of her show-stopping appearances on the show, turning to his audience of millions, Johnny Carson said, “And that, young singers, is the way it’s done.”


Her recent feature with Mo Rocca, on “CBS Sunday Morning,” January 28, 2018, was an outstanding tribute to her career and her talent.


In March 2013, she completed a two-week run with added Held-Over performances at the new New York nightclub, then named 54 Below. Since that time she has performed six more engagements at New York’s now called, Feinstein’s 54 Below and in April 2018 she will appear, six nights including April 10, her 90th birthday at this prestigious club. February 15, 16, 17, 18th her appearance in Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center is her 2nd engagement there.  In October 2017 Ms. Maye performed four sold-out shows in the Appel Room, at Jazz at Lincoln Center with a 17 piece orchestra.   


Her place in popular music history was assured when The Arts Council of The Smithsonian Institution included her RCA recording of, “Too Late Now” to add in their essential album of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century.  


Ms. Maye’s RCA recordings consist of seven albums and 34 singles, including the first hit recordings of “Cabaret; ”and “Step to the Rear,”  She also recorded “Step to The Rear” as the national commercial theme for Lincoln Mercury for four years. Her album of great ballads, “The Lamp Is Low,” arranged and conducted by Peter Matz, is considered a classic.  Her versions of “Misty” and “Take Five” are noted as ‘timeless’ by jazz reviewers.


Among her many symphony concert appearances are; Philly Pops,  Peter Nero conducting, Phoenix Symphony, Doc Severinsen conducting, Florida Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, and other orchestras.


Maye’s starring roles in theater include Can Can, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and two Jerry Herman blockbusters, Mame and Hello, Dolly.  Inspired by her repeated successes playing the irrepressible Dolly Levi, Maye recorded the album, “Marilyn Maye Sings All Of Hello, Dolly,” with liner notes by Herman himself, which was newly released as a CD.  


Marilyn’s recent recordings on compact disc include, “Rapport”, “The Singing Side of Life”, “Maye Sings Ray (Charles)”, and “Super Singer”.


Ms. Maye’s 100-plus engagements, in the last eleven years, at various venues in New York include multiple-night runs at the Metropolitan Room, the jazz venue, Birdland, five two-week runs at Feinstein’s, Loews Regency Hotel, New York’s Town Hall, the 92nd Street Y Theater and 54 Below.  Ms. Maye has appeared multiple times at the following venues: Mabel Mercer Convention, on the Regent Seven Seas World Cruise, San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, Hollywood’s jazz club - Catalinas, West Coast Jazz Party, New York Symphony Space, Town Hall NY, the Colony Hotel, Palm Beach, Dakota’s in Minneapolis, the McCallum, the Annenberg Theater and the Purple Room, Palm Springs Gem Theater and the famed jazz room, Jardine’s in Kansas City.  For the past 61 years, she’s appeared at The Inn at Lake Okoboji.


In 2017 she returned for her 10th yearly engagement at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach Florida.  March 13, 2018, she will appear for her 2nd engagement at the Kravis Performing Arts Center in Palm Beach Florida.

In New York, Los Angeles, Florida, St. Louis, San Francisco and Kansas City, Ms. Maye conducts her master classes “The Art of Performance” and, also, coaches privately. Sharing the techniques and the experience of her lifelong career brings great joy to her.


Honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists.

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