Musings on Marilyn Maye’s Actual Birthday Celebration at 54 Below

Marvelous Marilyn Maye

By Sandi Durell


The lady was on fire kickin’ it up once again. That should sum it up for April 10, Ms. Maye’s real birthday and everyone was there a second, third time because they couldn’t get enough of the powerful, emotionally driven lady of jazz who makes her audiences laugh out loud when she gets down or messes up a lyric on occasion. But we all know it’s more, much more. It’s the love. . . the love that emanates from someone who knows and understands life, lives it to the max and wants to share it.

For Marilyn Maye it’s all about telling the story through the song lyrics – the song choices above reproach that fit the moment, the feeling and telling of the tale. Adding some new songs, new arrangements was thrilling to hear – “Glory of Love” (Billy Hill) along with “Come in From the Rain (Carole Bayer Sager, Melissa Manchester) – with just the perfect touch to end the love fest “That’s What Friends Are For (Friends Closer) “ by Burt F. Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager.”

On April 10, Billy Stritch took the keys in his own inimitable style leading Tom Hubbard on bass and Eric Halvorson on drums.


MM with Sidney Myer

Sandi with MM

MM with Maryann Lopinto

MM with Nick Cordero


The birthday cake this year, offered up by dear friends Dino and Michael of the luxurious Dino’s Backstage supper club, right outside Philadelphia in Glenside, was a Dragon cake (see photo). It’s a secret choice but, as in previous years, the entire audience was offered up a delicious serving.

Marilyn Maye is like an electric bolt of lightening and you still have a chance to be there tonight April 13 for some sizzle at her final performance of an eight night run at Feinstein’s/54 Below where she’s been celebrating her 91st Birthday – I Wish I Were 90 Again! Don’t miss the opportunity!


Photos: Maryann Lopinto