Singer Monica Mancini will headline a roster of artists who will perform the music of the late composer Henry Mancini, who would have turned 100 in 2024, on Friday, November 3 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. The concert will debut the 2023-24 Jazz Roots Series at the Knight Concert Hall at the Arsht Center.
Mancini won 20 Grammy and 4 Academy Awards for his 40 plus years as the composer of music for films, records, scores of theme songs from television shows as well as composing music for both the film version and the Broadway musical “Victor/Victoria”. He also was awarded a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, one year following his death from pancreatic cancer at age 70 in 1994.
Mancini is famous for composing the song “Moon River”, his most popular song for the 1961 film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” as well as the song “Days of Wine and Roses” for the film with the same title in 1962.
His other memorable highlights include composing the theme song from the television series “Peter Gunn”, “The Pink Panther”, the songs “Charade”, “Dear Heart”, “Two For The Road”’ and the musical scores for numerous television series such as “Newhart” “The NBC Mystery Movie”, “NBC Nightly News” and “Remington Steele” among other television show themes.
Mancini’s only composition for musical theater “Victor/Victoria” was not fully completed when he died in 1996. Mancini never saw “Victor/Victoria” on stage for its run of Broadway from 1995-1997.
“Above everything else, my father loved composing music and lived to write music through to the end of his life,” said Monica Mancini, who will be performing her father’s most memorable song “Moon River” in the concert.
“It has been more than sixty years since the recording of ‘Moon River’ and the song never gets old. Its rich melody, strongly identified as my father’s classic number one song as well as the favorite and most well-known song from Andy Williams, will endure for generations to come.”
Joining Monica Mancini onstage in tribute to her famed father will be singer Dawnn Lewis, jazz pianist Shelly Berg, guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, performing over 35 songs from the Henry Mancini musical collection.
Mancini’s husband, music producer Gregg Field, is also the director of the multimedia show, which includes video footage of Henry Mancini.
Along with a love of Henry Mancini’s music, the show also celebrates the Frost School of Music from the University of Miami, which has housed the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra since 2007.
Jazz pianist Berg, after becoming Dean of the Frost School of Music in 2007, approached the Mancini family about moving the Henry Mancini Institute to Miami, inspiring young musicians to explore many musical genres in developing into professional musicians.
“I am proud that the Frost School of Music has given a broader musical education to our students who have performed at the Frost School’s performing venues, the Arsht Center and many other professional stages over the years. In fact, we had a number of fundraising events in which Monica Mancini and Gregg Field have both contributed for many years to the success of the Henry Mancini Institute,” said Berg.
Lewis, who will be singing “Days of Wine and Roses” at the concert is an alumni from the Frost School of Music
Monica Mancini did not want to reveal who will perform which songs in concert, but it is highly anticipated that Berg will show his flair in a jazzy arrangement of the Mancini theme to “Peter Gunn” with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
“There is no better way for both the audience and the performers to show the love and admiration for Henry Mancini’s work than by performing his music with unique flair he had for making the music timeless and eternal,” said Mancini.
The Arsht Center begins its Jazz Roots series with “The Henry Mancini 100th Birthday Celebration”, a tribute concert starring his daughter, singer Monica Mancini, along with singer Dawnn Lewis, jazz pianist Shelly Berg, guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli along with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami on Friday, November 3 at 8 pm at the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in downtown Miami. Tickets range from $45-125. To purchase tickets, call 305-949-6722 or go to arshtcenter.org