News & notes from Claudia Hommel

November 2009

The party season is upon us and I haven't even had time to update my Private Affair calendar. Didier Durand grabbed us for New Year's Eve so come on down to Cyrano's for the 2009 grand finale. And there's still time to book us for a few more events before the year is over .

Elizabeth Doyle and I celebrated the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau at Cliff Bell's Nightclub in Detroit. The wine was pouring thanks to Jean Jacques Fertal of Eagle Eye Imports. The songs were soaring thanks to our new collaborators Jordan Schug on bass and Carl Cafagna on drums, clarinet and alto. Very HOT! A smooth-moving fellow (who was that man?) whirled me around the stage and local tenor Jimmy Rico sat in for a tune. Friends old and new packed the place from 9:30 to past 1 AM. We're looking forward to a return in 2010, for sure!

Oct09Newsletter (516K)

March 2009

Getting ready for a very busy April—9 shows, 4 cities, and more. April starts with a rare treat, bringing the Jazz Fauré Project to the Evanston Space, a new venue with a growing reputation. The Project goes on the road to perform at the Frick Museum in Pittsburgh two weeks later. Then, Bob Moreen and I will be performing in Detroit at another recently revitalized venue, Cliff Bell's. Our first appearance there is also my first collaboration with world-class jazz accordionist Julien Labro. Check out his website and you'll see why I look so forward to singing with him.

We'll grab a moment on April 20 to join the Chicago Cabaret Professionals' production of "April Love" at the Drury Lane Water Tower . I'm not the one singing "April in Paris" but I'll be there with bells on, some wonderful songs and a fabulous lineup of Chicago singers. The following week I'll be with Elizabeth Doyle and Sean Harris to perform and work with audiences from age 5 to 85 during a four-day residency in Jacksonville, Illinois. One more quick stop (on May Day) at Cyrano's bistrot to welcome you and a group of Greenville, Michigan, students in a reprise of the rarely-public Souvenirs of Paris, 1950. Shortly thereafter, to Paris!

February 2009

Photographer and sales wizard Mary Horton has joined me part-time in the office to help with promotion. Day 1 she landed us her first gig and April dates are filling in with her help. As the French would say, "Elle est super!"

January 12, 2009

I'm in the glow of two shows yesterday, one at the Glenview Library and the other at Cyrano's cabaret room with participants of my weekly "Songshop" song workshop. I am especially proud of the Songshop Cabaret performance. The audience gave a great round of applause—sometimes right in the middle of a song, and cheered the entire ensemble. As several spectators were heard to say, there was "magic in the air". Congratulations to all who sang and played (Sue Keller, Adrienne Minnes, Carmen Bodino, Carol Weston, Jo Rainey, Michelle Greenberg, Mike Ward, and Sue Susman). It does our heart good.

On Sunday, October 26, 2008, we had a fabulous evening with Eric Vincent and a World of Friends, at the newly opened Morse Theatrein Chicago. It truly was an international event, with audience members from the Ivory Coast to the Philippines, from Ukraine to Haiti. We opened with Greta Pope, Bob Moreen and myself offering up some Parisian classics. My friend French Consul Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière earnestly sang and played guitar. And then, with energy gathered from four corners of the world, Eric Vincent bounded on stage for the second act. By the end of the show, the whole audience was singing and all the performers and the Haitian Consul Lesly Condé were on stage clapping and dancing through yet another encore of Haiti Kimbé Fò.

The Morse Theatre's directors caught the fever and assure us there will be more opportunities to perform on their stage. We love the uncrowded intimacy, heavenly acoustics, and great staff.

We thank our many recent sponsors.