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Margaret Wakeley sings of 'The Mystery and Magic of Love' at CSMA, Ithaca Feb. 9
Margaret Wakeley sings of 'The Mystery and Magic of Love' at CSMA, Ithaca Feb. 9
Margaret Wakeley sings of 'The Mystery and Magic of Love' at CSMA, Ithaca Feb. 9
Margaret Wakeley
Margaret Wakeley speaks with WSKG's Gregory Keeler about the fundraiser for the Community School of Music and Arts, Ithaca Ithaca's Community School of Music and Arts presents
"The Mystery & Magic of Love" Valentine Cabaret
with Margaret Wakeley

8pm Saturday, February 9
3rd floor performance space
Community School of Music and Arts
330 East State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


phone: (607) 272-1474

Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door and will include savory appetizers, desserts, one complimentary glass of wine, and a Margaret Wakely CD.

"Music is as magical as love; it entertains, it heals, it inspires and it brings people together in joyous community," says singer Margaret Wakeley, and so she's organizing a Valentine Cabaret Benefit for the Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) to explore the Mystery and Magic of Love. This elegant evening will feature romantic, joyful and soulful singing of jazz ballads, Broadway show tunes, and even opera, and will include some actual magic. It takes place on Saturday, February 9th, 2008 at 8:00 pm in CSMA's historic ballroom, 330 E. State Street in downtown Ithaca, NY.

A member of the Board of Trustees for CSMA, Wakeley observes, "I cannot think of a more pleasurable way to support arts education than calling on some of the best musicians in the area and putting on an exciting, elegant show." Wakeley has entertained audiences in Europe, New York, and Los Angeles with honeyed vocals in a unique blend of jazz standards and contemporary gems. She does voice-over and narrations, and has performed for local theater groups in the Ithaca region.

Wakeley has invited two other singers to join her. "Cabaret in particular lets you showcase performers in a more intimate setting and allows for more personal, direct communication with the audience." This year, the Cabaret will include the songs of Jan Nigro and Sally Ramirez. Jan Nigro is a singer/songwriter/musician who has composed music for Disney and National Geographic and is the co founder and songwriter and performer for the nationally acclaimed young people's chorus Vitamin L. Sally Ramirez has a classical singing background, and her music covers the range from opera to folk music and the Latin jazz of Puerto Rico. She has performed with various musical groups, from the Wolverines in Minneapolis to Art Deco in Los Angeles and is also an accomplished actress who has performed on stage and television.

In keeping with the theme of the Cabaret, the evening will include the magic of James Warren, husband to Sally Ramirez. James Warren is a professional magician who recently moved to Ithaca from Los Angeles where he became a member of the famous private club for magicians in Hollywood, The Magic Castle. He has entertained celebrities such as Sinbad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Goldie Hawn, Smokey Robinson, and Warren Beatty, and has a corporate client list that includes companies such as Boeing, Bank One, and Sony.

Molly MacMillan, pianist, Cary Joseph, bassist, and Michael Wellen, percussionist will rejoin Margaret Wakeley in this second edition of the Valentine Cabaret. Brian Earle will join the band, playing clarinet and saxophone.

The Community School of Music and Arts is recognized as a leader in community arts education for Tompkins County for nearly 50 years, offering year-round instruction in music, visual arts, dance, theatre, and creative writing to people of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds.

Admission includes special desserts and chocolates from local patisseries, and selections of fresh fruits, savory appetizers, wines and sodas, and the gift of a Margaret Wakeley CD. Tickets to the "Mystery and Magic of Love" Valentine Cabaret are $35 in advance and $45 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the CSMA office, 330 E State Street, in person or by phone at 607-272-1474.

Margaret Wakeley studied piano for twelve years and then earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University before pursuing a career in entertainment. Basing herself first in Atlanta, then Los Angeles, she enjoyed many solo singing engagements in premier hotels, resorts and clubs throughout the United States and Europe.

After suspending her career for a few years while she raised two sons, she began doing special performances and benefits. Collaborating with jazz musicians freed Margaret up to sing a repertoire she had always favored: The Great American Songbook, jazz standards, and a diverse range of Broadway songs.

Settling in Upstate New York in the 1990s, Margaret began creating and performing benefit cabarets for the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, New York. She has developed a devoted following as a cabaret and a jazz singer at supper clubs, festivals, and special events in Central New York State, appearing regularly at Rochester's Downstairs Cabaret Theatre.

Margaret made her New York City debut at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre with the show "An Evening of Perfect Relationships...and Other Romantic Fantasies." Her songs and stories about the agony and ecstasy of seeking and sustaining love's mixed blessings drew a highly enthusiastic response, prompting the club to extend her debut. In 2000, Margaret shared the stage in New York with Roger Bart, Rob Evan, Heather McRae and other performers in the TRULove Cabaret Benefit for Theatre Resources Unlimited. Accompanied by David Lewis at the Helmsley Hotel, Margaret sang at the publication party for Nathan Silver and his updated, re-issued book, Lost New York.

Her newly released CD "Perfect Strangers," arranged and produced by Warren Hartman, pairs songs that seem to offer incompatible sentiments but meet to embrace the multi-faceted joys and conundrums in love and life. Margaret's previous CD, "Quality Times" was released by Original Cast Records and earned wide critical praise. She had earlier recorded two vinyl albums of original songs. Her song-writing honors include being a four-time American Song Festival quarter finalist, winner of the 1981 Helen King Festival of New Music, and Grand Prize Winner of Nashville's 1981 Music City Song Festival.

Margaret has recently appeared on stage in venues near her Central New York home, including the prestigious Hangar Theatre, and continues to do voice-overs and narration for radio, television and film.