Before relocating to New York City two years ago to pursue a career in the performing arts, Ms. Ackerman was a frequent performer in many of Portland, Oregon's musical theaters. Like most starving young artists in New York, she searched for odd jobs in between rounds of auditions and landed part-time work as a nanny with several Manhattan families. It was from these experiences that her CD, “Wish To Be...” was born.
“Children have a secret,” says Ackerman, “they know that it isn't far from a dream to a reality. All you have to do is wish hard enough and anything can happen. As adults, we forget the power that wishes hold. I think this music serves as a great reminder.”
The CD is a collection of cabaret-style music for adults celebrating the child within. This unique compilation consists of songs from movie classics such as CHITTY CHITTY BANG, BANG, WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and THE WIZARD OF OZ; tunes your grandmother may have taught you, like “Mairzy Doates” and “How Much is That Doggie in the Window;” and little-known cabaret songs including the poignant “New Words” by Maury Yeston. Music Director Rick Lewis has created four unique theme medleys celebrating these old favorites, and spiced up stand-alone songs including Barry Manilow's “Soon” from the animated feature film THUMBELINA and Joe Raposo's “Not Much of a Dog.” Jennifer is backed by a piano, bass and drums combo, as well as an acoustic guitar and vocal quartet on several selections.
Although the CD is marketed to adults, it is specifically family-friendly. Music Director Rick Lewis says, “We took kids' songs and gave them an adult edge.” But “this is not 'Barney goes Broadway!'” adds a smiling Ackerman.
Jennifer Ackerman is an emerging cabaret singer in New York who has recently appeared at Don't Tell Mama's and other Manhattan and New Jersey venues.
“Wish To Be. . .” was recorded in Portland, Oregon in July, 2002 with musical direction, arrangements and piano accompaniment by Rick Lewis. Local musicians Garrett Jellesma, Greg Lind and Ross Seligman round out the band. Singers Alan Anderson, Rick Lewis, Sharon Maroney and Melinda Miller lend their voices.