A critically acclaimed performer of both standards and contemporary music, Jeanne MacDonald?s talent has garnered multiple awards for her work in cabaret. In January she received the 2004 Nightlife Award for Cabaret Female Vocalist at New York City?s Town Hall, followed by the 2004 MAC Award (Manhattan Assoc. of Cabarets & Clubs) for Female Vocalist in May. This performer has also earned a BACK STAGE Bistro Award and the prestigious MAC Hanson Award. In 1999, MacDonald was named one of the Ten Best Female Solo Acts in cabaret by InTheater Magazine and she has been a Cabaret Hotline Online Critics?s Choice for Female Vocalist.
?Watching a singer like Jeanne MacDonald, who brings an emotional balance; a subtle, good-humored sexiness; and an originality to everything she sings, makes you realize the crucial role good instincts play in the self-consciously confessional world of cabaret.? Stephen Holden - NY Times
In November of 2003, Barbara & Scott Siegel of TheaterMania.com wrote: ?Roll out the red carpet: Jeanne MacDonald has arrived. In her recent show at The Duplex she proved herself to be accomplished, confident, and utterly natural. Add a beautiful, warm voice, throw in thoughtful interpretive skills, and there's no doubt now that MacDonald has evolved into one of cabaret's brightest talents.? Of this same show David Finkle of Back Stage wrote ?positively fiery...always personal, unaffected...she is really cooking on all burners,? and Stu Hamstra of Cabaret Hotline Online called MacDonald?s performance ?uniquely, incomparably beautiful.?
Originally from Freeport (Long Island) NY, Jeanne MacDonald began her cabaret career at the Bradstan Country Hotel in White Lake, NY in 1991. She continues to perform there each year in their distinguished ?Inn Cabaret Series? in The Nancy LaMott Room, which has been host to such talents as the late Nancy LaMott, Karen Mason, Ann Hampton Callaway, Karen Akers, the legendary Margaret Whiting and the incomparable Julie Wilson.
Some of the other rooms in which MacDonald has appeared are the renowned Oak Room at New York?s Algonquin Hotel, the FireBird Cafe?, Danny?s Skylight Room and the former Eighty Eight?s. Jeanne has performed in the Mabel Mercer Foundation?s Annual Cabaret Convention at Town Hall and in The Amazing Singing Voice: A Celebration in Song to benefit the Schein Voice & Laryngeal Center at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Other appearances include the Manhattan Plaza Aids Project Benefit with Audra McDonald and Robert Cuccioli, MAC/ASCAP Songwriters? Showcases, Ruby Rims? Annual Teddy Cares Benefits, and the Holiday Cabaret Benefit for Hale House.
In 1997 Jeanne participated in the Eugene O?Neill Cabaret Symposium and was invited the following year to perform in their Master Teachers? Evening. MacDonald has performed at such venues as the Turning Stone Casino and Resort Hotel in Oneida, NY, Eighty Eight?s Cafe Society in Hollywood, FL, the Hotel Syracuse, and the Villa Roma Resort in Callicoon, NY.
As a recording artist, Jeanne?s debut CD ?Company,? produced and arranged by her longtime musical director Rick Jensen, was nominated for a MAC Award for Recording of the Year. Lesley Alexander of WRTN-FM/WVOX-AM had this to say about the recording: ?The long awaited release of Jeanne MacDonald?s first CD entitled ?Company? (no, not Sondheim but a wonderful Rickie Lee Jones song) is a blend of nostalgia and newly mined material including the title track which shows off MacDonald?s pure and mellifluous vocals. It?s the sweetest, warmest voice. So easy on the ears.? Jeanne is currently working on her second CD which is being recorded Live at The Bradstan Country Hotel.
"You can sit back and relax, letting her share her joy in music, never having to worry that she'll let you down. And she never does...MacDonald has come into her own as a performer. ...Though she displays exceptional vocal control, she allows both her instrument and her emotions to soar...MacDonald has become a versatile talent, easily and effectively moving from poignant ballads to comedy numbers. It would seem, in fact, that she can sing just about anything with aplomb."
TheaterMania.com - Barbara & Scott Siegel - January 2002
"When you watch her singing, she seems like the friend from across the
way chatting with you over coffee and a slice of home-made pie. On disk,
there's a different kind of sophistication at play, something that could
set connoisseurs to thinking of Jo Stafford. MacDonald puts a shine on
everything she does, which means there isn't a clinker on the entire
package. In addition to the laziest "Lazy Afternoon ever recorded, she
takes her ever-lovin' time with "Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)" and Rick
Jensen's plangent, trenchant "Amanda Sang." She co-produced and
co-arranged with Jensen, and they've treated themselves to the kind of
full, evocative sounds they can't always get in small rooms."
David Finkle - Back Stage - Jan. 5 - 11, 2001
"The long awaited release of Jeanne MacDonald's first CD entitled
Company (no, not Sondheim but a wonderful Rickie Lee Jones song) is a
blend of nostalgia and newly mined material including the title track
which shows off MacDonald's pure and mellifluous vocals. It's the
sweetest, warmest voice. So easy on the ears. Take for example Irving
Berlin's Let Me Sing And I'm Happy done soft and slow, with shadows of
bittersweet resignation, it allows the singer's soul to come through, as
does the traditional The Water Is Wide."
Lesley Alexander on WRTN(93.5 FM )/ WVOX(1460 AM) October 16, 2000
"This superb soprano, a winner of the prestigious MAC Hanson Award, is a
sublime interpreter of lyrics, both funny and sad, and she has wisely
selected a slew of her previously performed favorites for her virgin
outing: Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," "Lazy Afternoon," Hard Hearted
Hannah" and Berlin's "Let Me Sing(And I'm Happy") to name a few. The
producer and arranger is the multi-talented, multi-MAC winner Rick
Jensen. If you want a taste, MacDonald will play the Algonquin on Oct.
17 and participate in the Cabaret Convention "Salute to Anne Francine"
at Town Hall on Oct. 19."
Brian Scott Lipton - Encore -September 2000
"Listening to MacDonald sing is akin to lying in a hammock on a warm
summer day and letting a breeze blow over you. Her voice is a warm,
soothing mezzo that combines the cool reserve of a young Peggy Lee with
the Broadway sensibility of Mary Martin. Nothing is forced or rushed or
hurried, which is not to say that MacDonald is lazy, far from it. Her
phrasing and dynamic variation are carefully thought out, allowing the
lyric to speak naturally and unaffectedly. It is not a big voice nor is
it a showy voice. What it is, however, is a voice that has an
all-American, girl-next-door quality that is very appealing and
perfectly suited for her choice of repertoire.
Jeanne MacDonald comes with an impressive pedigree as well as a raft of
MAC Award nominations. Currently, she is nominated for Female Vocalist,
her producer arranger Rick Jensen is nominated for Musical Director and
her new recording, Company, is nominated for Recording by a Solo
Female... she's already a winner with this lovely and thoughtful CD that
confirms that her many nominations are well deserved."
David Hurst - Show Business Weekly - March 21-27, 2001
"She is a lyricist's dream, a nightingale who not only understands the
essence of what she's singing but can convey it to her audience in a
gift package of a mellow voice wrapped in enticing musical
Peter Leavy - Cabaret Scenes Magazine - January 2001