Press Release

October 31, 2017

Lincoln Center’s 2018 American Songbook Season

American Songbook

Amanda Angel / Isabel Sinistore

212.875.5863 / 212.671.4195

[email protected] / [email protected]

 

 

Lincoln Center’s 2018 American Songbook Season

January–March 2018

 

Musical legends Randy Newman and Rosanne Cash Bring Series Back to the

Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center for First Time Since 2005

 

Composers & Lyricists Spotlights Include Stew & The Negro Problem, Scott Frankel & Michael Korie with Kelli O’Hara and Julian Ovenden, Matt Ray performing Hoagy Carmichael,

and Justin Vivian Bond presenting the music of The Carpenters

 

The Blind Boys of Alabama, Rachel Bloom & Adam Schlesinger, Cloud Cult, Jackie Hoffman,

Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, Aaron Tveit, John Paul White, and Lizz Wright

round out Appel Room Concerts

 

Jalen N’Gonda to perform free show in the David Rubenstein Atrium

 

NEW YORK, NY (October 31, 2017) – The 19th season of Lincoln Center’s acclaimed American Songbook series opens this January, presenting the voices and stories of singers, songwriters, and musicians across a range of genres. From musical theater to Americana to R&B and gospel, these performers will chronicle personal journeys, pay tribute to legendary artists, and showcase the breadth of creativity, emotion, and expression found throughout American song.

 

The season opens in the iconic Appel Room on January 24, 2018, with Grammy Award winner John Paul White (The Civil Wars) performing his lyric-driven Southern gothic folk. And in March, the series will return to the Rose Theater for the first time since 2005 for a pair of special evenings with Oscar-, Emmy-, and Grammy Award–winning songwriter Randy Newman (March 26) and Rosanne Cash (March 27), a four-time Grammy Award winner, best-selling author, and activist.

 

Composers and lyricists are a centerpiece of this season, as Tony winners Stew & Heidi Rodewald (Passing Strange¸ The Total Bent) reflect on two decades of music-making through the prism of their self-described “Afro-Baroque cabaret” (Feb. 7); Matt Ray pays homage to Hoagy Carmichael with singer Kat Edmonson (Jan. 27); composers Scott Frankel & Michael Korie (Grey Gardens, War Paint) are joined by stars Kelli O’Hara and Julian Ovenden (Feb. 17); and downtown legend Justin Vivian Bond weaves the trials of Karen Carpenter’s complicated life into a modern context using her music (Feb. 15).

 

Additional featured musicians ranging from icons to iconoclasts include comedian Jackie Hoffman, coming off her Emmy-nominated performance as Mamacita in Feud: Bette and Joan (Jan. 25); indie band Cloud Cult, which mixes swelling harmonies and orchestrated arrangements with an environmentalist message (Jan. 26); sisters Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, each a groundbreaking artist of Americana in her own right (Feb. 8); Broadway star Aaron Tveit, who headlined Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can (Feb. 9); the team behind Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom & Adam Schlesinger (Feb. 10); vocalist Lizz Wright, whose 2017 album Grace melds the spirituality and sensuality of the American South (Feb. 14); and gospel legends The Blind Boys of Alabama, who are celebrating their more than 70-year legacy with a new album inspired by the memories of founding members James Carter and Clarence Fountain (Feb. 16).

 

The rising Maryland-born, Liverpool-based soul and R&B singer-songwriter Jalen N’Gonda will also perform a free show on February 1 in the David Rubenstein Atrium.

 

“Each season of American Songbook juxtaposes the popular music of our time while honoring that of the past and anticipating the voices of the future. From the world of Broadway to television to the backroads of Alabama to Duluth, Minnesota, this year we are covering considerable ground,” said Jane Moss, Lincoln Center’s Ehrenkranz Artistic Director. “Each of these artists moves us with their creativity, personal stories, and, for many of them, their much-needed humor.”

 

Hailed for its expansive embrace of American songwriting spanning centuries and geography, American Songbook is based at three venues at Lincoln Center. The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center, with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Columbus Circle, hosts cabaret-style performances that include table seating, close proximity to the performers, and an incomparable view of the Manhattan skyline. In addition, the series will return to the Rose Theater, which maintains an intimate atmosphere as the largest of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s performance spaces, and the David Rubenstein Atrium, a vibrant indoor public commons offering hundreds of free programs each year.

 

“PGIM, the global investment management businesses of Prudential Financial, is proud to be the lead supporter of such an innovative concert series as Lincoln Center’s 2018 American Songbook,” said David Hunt, President and CEO of PGIM. “The array of performances allows Lincoln Center audiences to celebrate the diverse aspects of the American experience through music, and we are honored to be a part of it for the fifth year in a row.”

 

Tickets for Friends of Lincoln Center go on sale November 6 and to the general public beginning November 13. They may be purchased online at AmericanSongbook.org, via CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, and at the Alice Tully Hall and David Geffen Hall Box Offices. Premium packages, which include red wine, dinner, and the best seats in the house, are available for purchase for Appel Room performances; find more information at AmericanSongbook.org, and learn about our Friends of Lincoln Center program at Support.LincolnCenter.org.

 

 

American Songbook 2018

 

John Paul White

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Emerging from the music-rich earth of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Etta James, The Rolling Stones, and many other music legends recorded iconic hits, singer-songwriter John Paul White weaves melody and plainspoken poetics into intricate tales of heartache, resentment, and redemption. The four-time Grammy Award winner rose to fame as one half of the Americana duo The Civil Wars and has performed alongside Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, and Jason Isbell. His critically acclaimed solo debut, Beulah, and breakout performance at the Newport Folk Festival last summer reintroduced White to fans as a solo artist steeped in Southern Gothic style, seamlessly moving between dark country ballads, Southern rock, cinematic string arrangements, and lyric-driven folk.

Tickets start at $40

 

Jackie Hoffman

Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Long on comic talent and vocal power but short on patience, actor and comedian Jackie Hoffman is a favorite scene stealer on stage and screen. After shining in supporting roles on Broadway in Hairspray, Xanadu, The Addams Family, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, she made the transition to leading lady in last year’s critically acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of Once Upon a Mattress. She is a regular at Joe’s Pub, where she has performed a string of bawdy, vaudevillian solo shows, including The Kvetching Continues, the venue’s longest-running show of all time. Fresh off her Emmy-nominated performance as Mamacita in FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan, Theatre World Award and Obie-winning Hoffman takes over The Appel Room for a night of showtunes, covers, and original songs.

Tickets start at $55

 

Cloud Cult

Friday, January 26, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Singer-songwriter and Cloud Cult founder Craig Minowa has a gift for finding silver linings among life’s tragedies that has attracted a fervent community of followers. Two decades in, his Minnesota-born indie band reached an artistic height in 2016 with The Seeker, a concept album and feature film that showcased the band’s hard-won optimism, expansive music-making, and reverence for the earth’s beauty. For this evening, the band brings one of its uplifting stage shows to The Appel Room, featuring a colorful collection of acoustic and electronic instruments, live art-making by Scott West, and encouragement to sing along.

Tickets start at $30

 

Matt Ray Plays Hoagy Carmichael

featuring Kat Edmonson

Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Jazz pianist, vocalist, and arranger Matt Ray presides over an evening highlighting the music of one of the essential architects of the classic American Songbook. To help him, he enlists Kat Edmonson, who delivers songs with an airy voice evocative of 1950s and ’60s cabaret singer Blossom Dearie. Ray is best known for his work as music director for downtown luminaries, including Joey Arias, Justin Vivian Bond, Bridget Everett, and Taylor Mac with whom he shared the 2017 Kennedy Prize for Drama for A 24-Decade History of American Popular Music. Like Ray, the Texas-born, Brooklyn-based Edmonson is a student of American song and styles. Together with other surprise guests, they revisit personal favorites from Carmichael’s vast catalog, which includes “Stardust,” “The Nearness of You,” and “Georgia on My Mind.”

Tickets start at $40

 

Stew & The Negro Problem

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Their Tony-winning Broadway run of Passing Strange was a surprising detour for self-proclaimed rock ’n’ roll lifers Stew and Heidi Rodewald, who hail from the indie music subculture of turn-of-the-millennium L.A. Neither rock music nor musical theater is big enough to contain their vast artistic vocabulary, as each album, show, or song is a carefully crafted universe unto itself. In the midst of a rich creative period that has included the premiere of their latest play The Total Bent at the Public Theater, the critically acclaimed James Baldwin–inspired song cycle Notes on a Native Song, and a few Spike Lee–directed music videos, including “Klown Wit Da Nuclear Code,” Stew and Heidi reflect on more than two decades of music-making and offer a glimpse into their future. Returning to American Songbook for the first time since 2003, they perform their signature “Afro-Baroque cabaret,” featuring a kitchen-sink full of musical and lyrical references and riveting stories delivered with charm, wit, and truth.

Tickets start at $30

 

Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer

Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Both groundbreaking solo artists in the country-Americana sphere for the past two decades, sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer bring their long-awaited live collaboration to The Appel Room. The performance follows the August 2017 release of their first joint studio album, Not Dark Yet, on which they reinvigorate the songs of the Louvin Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, and Nirvana, and craft a beautiful original, "Is It Too Much," which explores the heartbreak of a shared past, the divergent roads they took, and the natural bond that leads them back to each other.

Tickets start at $40

 

Aaron Tveit

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Tveit is best known for his roles as Danny Zuko in Grease Live!, Enjolras in the 2012 film of Les Misérables, his turn as a haunting son in the Tony and Pulitzer-winning musical Next to Normal, the leading (con) man of Catch Me If You Can, John Wilkes Booth in the West End revival of Assassins, and as Bobby in Company with the Barrington Stage Company. In between it all, he’s been honing a high-energy club act, which he brings to The Appel Room for a night of musical theater signatures, songbook standards, pop covers, and more.

Tickets start at $55

 

Rachel Bloom & Adam Schlesinger

Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Musical comedy is alive and well and on network television thanks to the exuberant Rachel Bloom, the Golden Globe–winning star and writer of The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. An NYU Tisch and Upright Citizens Brigade alum, Bloom burst onto the scene in 2010 with several viral YouTube videos—including the Hugo-nominated “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury”—that established her as a one-woman sketch comedy act and opened the door to television writing. For American Songbook, she performs alongside her two-time Emmy Award–winning and Oscar-nominated Crazy Ex-Girlfriend musical partner Adam Schlesinger, known as part of the band Fountains of Wayne. Together they have penned more than 100 songs over three seasons of the show, touching on everything from slow-burn R&B (“The Sexy Getting Ready Song”), crooner vehicles (“It Was a Shit Show”), klezmer pastiche (“Remember That We Suffered”), and Broadway-style belters. For this highly anticipated show, they bring a collection of hilarious originals and songs that influenced their deliciously twisted artistry.

Tickets start at $55

 

Lizz Wright

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Lizz Wright returns to American Songbook for a special Valentine’s Day performance, following her acclaimed 2009 turn in the series. Her latest album, 2017’s Grace, reveals a new register that lends an affecting vulnerability to her sensual contralto voice and regal poise. Spurred by the divisiveness of the 2016 election, Wright felt compelled to reconnect with her Southern heritage both physically and artistically. The resulting sound boosts the down-home blues and gospel elements of her musical style that also traverses jazz, folk, and confessional singer-songwriter traditions.

Tickets start at $40

 

Justin Vivian Bond is Down on Creation: On Top of the World with The Carpenters

Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

The downtown cabaret star Justin Vivian Bond remembers singing The Carpenters’ “Superstar” as a seven-year-old and taking credit for its composition. Fast forward to the present and the performance artist and transgender trailblazer has transformed a lifelong passion for The Carpenters into a full-length show. For this special evening, Mx. Bond explores the extensive catalog of “gender outlaw and body dysmorphia poster-girl Karen Carpenter,” bringing a thoughtful new context to the troubled life of the ’70s icon and shining a light on a tantalizing corner of the American Songbook.

Tickets start at $30

 

The Blind Boys of Alabama

Friday, February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

They began performing together at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the Jim Crow South during the Great Depression and now they are five-time Grammy-winning legends. In the course of their 70-plus years as an ensemble, the Blind Boys of Alabama have influenced the development of rock and soul music, sung alongside Martin Luther King Jr., collaborated with a who’s who of popular music, and performed at the White House for three presidents. With the release of 2017’s gospel homecoming Almost Home, the two remaining original members—Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter—looked back at their lives and told an essential American story of tribulation, jubilation, and resilience. For this exceptional night, Carter and the current lineup of singers are joined by their tight band for one of the Blind Boys’ signature roof-raisers.

Tickets start at $40

 

The Songs of Scott Frankel & Michael Korie

featuring Kelli O’Hara and Julian Ovenden

Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 8:30 pm

The Appel Room

 

Composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie, the celebrated team behind Broadway musicals Grey Gardens and War Paint, are two of today’s top contributors of new standards to the American musical theater repertoire. For this intimate evening of song and story, Frankel and Korie are joined by one of the foremost leading ladies of the stage, Kelli O’Hara, who starred in Frankel and Korie’s Playwrights Horizons production of Far From Heaven, and the celebrated English stage, television, and film star Julian Ovenden (Downton Abbey).

Tickets start at $55

 

Jalen N’Gonda

Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 7:30 pm

David Rubenstein Atrium

 

Growing up immersed in his father’s crates of jazz, hip-hop, soul, and classical records and influenced by the likes of Jackie Wilson and The Kinks, Jalen N’Gonda displays a vocal range that can soar like Prince in falsetto or deepen into a classic Stax-era blues growl, following the ebb and flow of his hook-filled songs. Having honed his craft in Liverpool and gigged across the U.K. and Europe, N’Gonda is now headlining shows in London, releasing a debut EP, and supporting touring acts, including Laura Mvula, Martha Reeves, and Lauryn Hill.

Tickets are free, first come, first served

 

Randy Newman

Monday, March 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Rose Theater

 

With songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores, Randy Newman has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences. Over 50 years and 11 solo albums, including last year’s celebrated Dark Matter, Newman “remains first and foremost a craftsman of song, capable of telling ordinary stories in ways no one quite has before” (NPR). There is perhaps no other American singer-songwriter who can transform an audience’s laughter so quickly into tears. With just a grand piano and his familiar voice, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer presents a lifetime of stories and songs in one extraordinary evening.

Tickets start at $55

 

Rosanne Cash

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Rose Theater

 

An extraordinary songwriter, witty storyteller, ardent activist, and sensitive interpreter of songs, Rosanne Cash explores the impressive arc of her artistry during this special evening. An heir to country music royalty, she is a revolutionary who never lost reverence for the traditions she inherited, as well as a literary songwriter who embraces her role as plainspoken American storyteller. Cash, who performed in the 2005 season of American Songbook, helped create and master the “new country” of the 1980s only to transcend it once more with a series of deeply personal, critically acclaimed albums, the last of which—2013’s The River & the Thread—won three Grammy Awards. In this career retrospective, Cash provides an honest reflection of her one-of-a-kind life.

Tickets start at $45

 

Artists, programs, and ticket prices are subject to change.

 

* * *

 

Since its launch in 1998, American Songbook has been dedicated to celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the popular American songwriter from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. Spanning all styles and genres from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway to the eclecticism of today’s songwriters working in pop, cabaret, rock, folk, and country, American Songbook traces the history and charts the course of the American song from its past and current forms to its future direction.

 

American Songbook is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA), which serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 16 series, festivals, and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, The Performing Arts Hall of Fame at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center at the Movies, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating 41 years enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are—physically and digitally—has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. For more information, visit LincolnCenter.org.

 

Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at 212.875.5375.


 

About PGIM

PGIM is a top 10 global investment manager offering a range of investment solutions for retail and institutional investors around the world across a broad range of asset classes, including fundamental equity, quantitative equity, public fixed income, private fixed income, real estate, and commercial mortgages. Its businesses have offices in 16 countries across five continents and had over $1 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2017. PGIM is the global investment management businesses of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU). For more information, please visit www.pgim.com.

***

 

Lead Support provided by PGIM the global investment manment business of Prudential Financial, Inc.

 

Endowment support provided by Bank of America

 

Additional support for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook is provided by The DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, The Shubert Foundation, Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council, and Friends of Lincoln Center.

 

Public support is provided by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

 

American Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center.

 

Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center.

 

NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center.

 

Artist catering provided by Zabar’s and Zabars.com

 

PHONE NUMBERS/CONTACT INFORMATION:

CenterCharge: 212.721.6500

Lincoln Center general website: LincolnCenter.org

American Songbook page: AmericanSongbook.org

Lincoln Center Customer Service: 212.875.5456

Lincoln Center Information Line: 212.875.5766

 

Additional information, photos, and videos available at Lincoln Center Press Room:

AboutLincolnCenter.org/Press-Room

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High Resolution Images Return to Top

Aaron Tveit
Photo Credit: Nathan Johnson
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Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne
Photo Credit: Jacob Blickenstaff
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The Blind Boys of Alabama
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Rosanne Cash
Photo Credit: Sam Rayner
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Caption: Rosanne Cash
Photo Credit: Clay Patrick McBride
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Scott Frankel
Caption: The Songs of Scott Frankel & Michael Korie featuring Kelli O’Hara and Julian Ovenden
Photo Credit: Kevin McDermott
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Jackie Hoffman
Photo Credit: Stephen Churchill Downes
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Michael Korie
Caption: The Songs of Scott Frankel & Michael Korie featuring Kelli O’Hara and Julian Ovenden
Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
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Justin Vivian Bond
Caption: Down On Creation: Justin Vivian Bond sings The Carpenters
Photo Credit: Bob Krasner
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Randy Newman
Photo Credit: courtesy of the artist
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Jalen N'Gonda
Photo Credit: Ryan Jafarzadeh
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Kelli O'Hara
Caption: The Songs of Scott Frankel & Michael Korie featuring Kelli O’Hara and Julian Ovenden
Photo Credit: Laura Marie Duncan
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Julian Ovenden
Caption: The Songs of Scott Frankel & Michael Korie featuring Kelli O’Hara and Julian Ovenden
Photo Credit: courtesy of the artist
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Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch
Caption: Rachel Bloom & Adam Schlesinger
Photo Credit: Smallz & Raskind/The CW @2015 The CW Network
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Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch
Caption: Rachel Bloom & Adam Schlesinger
Photo Credit: Smallz & Raskind/The CW @2015 The CW Network
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Matt Ray
Caption: Matt Ray Plays Hoagie Carmichael featuring Kat Edmonson
Photo Credit: courtesy of the artist
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Matt Ray
Caption: Matt Ray Plays Hoagie Carmichael featuring Kat Edmonson
Photo Credit: courtesy of the artist
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Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer
Photo Credit: Jacob Blickenstaff
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Stew & Heidi
Caption: Stew & The Negro Problem
Photo Credit: © Jeff Fasano
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Stew & Heidi
Caption: Stew & The Negro Problem
Photo Credit: Steven Menendez Photography
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John Paul White
Photo Credit: Allister Ann
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John Paul White
Photo Credit: Allister Ann
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Lizz Wright
Photo Credit: Jesse Kitt
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Lizz Wright
Photo Credit: Jesse Kitt
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