Jane officially released her album with a live performance and CD signing at Barnes and Noble at Lincoln Center, in New York City. She and 4 members from her orchestra performed 7 songs from the CD.
Step inside the dreamy, off-beat world of Moon Garden. This debut album from chanteuse/pianist Jane Labanz, opens with her original, elegant love song, then proceeds to smartly merge easy rumba and graceful country, wicked charleston and quirky parlor tune; classics and classical.
The eclectic collection, highlighting the ensemble of seventeen musicians and guest singers, combines sheer artistry with wild imagination. Though each piece has its own distinct mien and charm, there is an artistic, yet whimsical quality seamlessly woven throughout, that toasts the moonlit garden.
The twelve page, accompanying booklet is designed to be an integral element of this trend-setting package. Renowned for combining her many sets of skills, Jane blends her talents as musician, lettering artist, and writer, by flourishing the pages with her luscious script, then setting the stage for each piece with written “nouvelettes." The disc and booklet, which go hand in hand, also bring awareness to the Honey Bee Crisis and the Little Seeds Project.
Moon Garden is designed to be enjoyed at that moment of the day when work is complete. When you truly ease the pace of life, and unwind. When you step onto the terrace with your beau and a champagne cocktail in hand, or cozy up in an over-stuffed chair with a magazine and a cup of tea. This is the music you select, just as you strike a match to light your candles, and await the arrival of a few close friends for dinner. Hit play and your capers will begin.
At one moment you are conjured away to a shameless party in the roaring twenties, and in the next, surrounded by lavish percussion, compelled to dance the beguine. Taken to an intimate evening of chamber music in one era, then unexpectedly drawn to the present with a current twist. All with an underlying, subliminal message of daring to dream and making dreams come true.
Drawing on the diverse talents of her many musicians, and her own classical and theatrical background, Jane and her ensemble excel at creating a mood with dramatic finesse. Michael Ambroszewski, percussionist, and Bruce Barnes, principal pianist, spearhead the troupe. Guest singers are jazz vocalist extraordinaire, Kirby Shaw; country singer, Neil Scott Johnson; and The Love Birds, an enchanting, male quartet.
Your Moon Garden experience will not end when the music ceases. . .you will wonder why you suddenly feel the need to stroll outside, sniff the evening air, ponder the galaxies and soak up the moonlight. Moon Garden will wrap you in romance. A must-have for that little place in everyone’s heart that dares to dream.
Jane is the perfect entertainer for your fund raiser, benefit, garden club or Botanical Garden. Her unique style has her playing a concert hall one night, followed by a performance for a small book club the next. Her "backstage" stories which she gracefully entwines amidst the music are as entertaining as the songs themselves.
Moon Garden was recorded in New York City at Avatar Studio C, known the world over for its Neve VRP 72 input console, 5 iso booths, and acoustically excellent room. Anthony Ruotolo, principal engineer.
WHAT IS A MOON GARDEN?
There is a place that awakens when the sun begins to set, and the stars begin to light. That place is a Moon Garden. Usually a small part of another larger garden, and fashioned to be enjoyed at night, a Moon Garden typically displays white and silver plants which reflect moonlight and ambient nighttime lights. Curiously, some flowers, such as the majestic moonflower, unfurl only after dark. Others mysteriously release their perfume solely at night, attracting nighttime pollinating moths. This collection of music is not merely about white gardens, but the beauty of all flowers, the nighttime sky and inevitable, fine romance.
JANE LABANZ, vocalist/pianist/actress/composer/lettering and botanical artist/writer. Refusing to be locked into a box, Jane is renowned for combining her many talents with aplomb.
The unusual combination of Jane’s musical, entrepreneurial and artistic talents was featured in an article on the cover of the Job Market section of the New York Sunday Times. The article praised her ability to combine her music, her theatre and her art. “It’s all the same art,” she says. She has now taken those talents, and a charity cause, to a new level with the debut of what she likes to call “her solo album with lots of people,” Moon Garden.
After earning a degree in classical piano (Miami Univeristy), Jane proceeded to earn a Masters in Conducting (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music). During those years she also continued her voice lessons and dance training which she began as a child.
Upon graduation, she performed in both classical and popular genres. FIrst with the Hungarian Symphony in a European tour of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis under the direction of Robert Shaw and subsequently joining the Kirby Shaw Jazz Ensemble and studying vocal jazz with Kirby and recording an album with his group.
From there, Jane turned her talents toward yet another passion, the stage, and met with much success as an actress. She has appeared in 39 professional productions, including a stint playing opposite Patti Lupone on Broadway at Lincoln Center in Anything Goes. She has shared the stage with Ann-Margret, Marie Osmond, Tommy Tune, Charles Nelson Reilly, Marilu Henner, Anne Reinking, Leslie Uggams, Stefanie Powers and Mitzi Gaynor to name a few. She has performed at nearly one hundred theatres in the country including large venues such as Radio City Music Hall, and smaller ones such as Arena Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and the Burt Reynolds Theatre.
To begin her Moon Garden CD, Jane partnered up with longtime friend and percussionist, Michael Ambroszewski. Working for nearly two years from New York (Jane) and Boston (Michael), the team roughed out songs with piano and percussion. Wanting to defy the typical piano, bass, drum arrangement, Jane worked on arrangements that would feature marimba, multitudinous percussion, tuba, tenor sax, clarinet, violin, cello, and guitar as well. She selected Bruce Barnes as co-musical director, and from there, she and her 11 musicians, 5 arrangers, 6 engineers and 6 guest singers created 13 tracks of diverse yet connected music.
There are two tracks which feature Jane on solo piano.
Jane is also the founder, owner and principal artist of The Delicate Pen, a lettering and botanical arts business. She sells her line of hand-lettered, hand-painted stationery in stores across the country, and provides traditional calligraphy services as well. Her work has been displayed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., featured by Barbara Walters on the View, and has been reproduced in countless magazines including Martha Stewart Weddings and books including Perfect Wedding Details by Maria McBride.
As a member of Screen Actors Guild, Actor’s Equity Association, and American Guild of Variety Artists, she is a live calligrapher for film, television and commercial shoots. She designs vintage letters as props for period theatrical productions as well. Her lettering art was featured in the 2008, 09, and '10 Macy's Holiday campaign on posters throughout Macy's stores nationwide. Her client list also includes President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, Sotherby's, President Fox of Mexico, Audemars Piguet and her work has been featured on The View. She has licensed her designs for many products-to companies such as the greeting card company Design Design and the collectible company America Retold.
What is next? Another album is already in the works.
“Jane Labanz is so enchanting that her talent and ease onstage could not be hidden by all the make-up placed on her.”
“For lack of space to expound, let it be said, she is simply divine. Miss Labanz is at least thrice blessed.”
“Jane Labanz is excellent!”
“Jane Labanz is as she should be, femininely saucey.”
“Jane Labanz is an absolute darling!”