Photos courtesy of Musical Instrument Museum
On Saturday, Dec. 2, Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) will play host to the Grammy-nominated sensation, Marilyn Maye. With performances scheduled at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., attendees are in for a timeless treat from this 95-year-old treasure of the jazz and cabaret worlds.
Described by the “New York Times” as “still enterprising and still twinkling at nearly 95, the last of a great generation of American Songbook singers,” Marilyn Maye’s journey is nothing short of remarkable. Starting her professional singing career at the tender age of 9, she has since dedicated her life to the art of song and performance. Steve Allen was instrumental in bringing her talent to a national audience, leading to her storied tenure on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” where she appeared an astonishing 76 times. As Carson once noted, “And that, young singers, is the way it’s done.”
In a glowing tribute, the “New York Observer” encapsulates her artistry: “She can belt, and she can sing ballads with the kind of warmth that makes your heart smile… She’s the real deal.” And she is. Her accolades include having her recording “Too Late Now” selected by the Arts Council of the Smithsonian for an album representing the 110 best American compositions of the 20th century.
Her dynamism isn’t bound by the studio recordings; her live performances are magnetic. Will Friedwald from the “Wall Street Journal” observed, “Ms. Maye is the only pop-song diva working today who can satisfy both the Broadway and jazz crowds at once.” And she does, with an enviable prowess and energy that belies her age, earning her the title of being ‘younger than springtime.’
Her upcoming engagement at MIM is poised to be a culmination of all her experiences and achievements. With each song, Maye makes it her own, her off-the-cuff comments drawing hearty laughter from the audience, while her backing musicians complement her without overshadowing her brilliance.
But what makes the December 2 performance even more special is the venue — Musical Instrument Museum. Located at 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., in Phoenix, MIM stands as a testament to the universality of music. Founded by Bob Ulrich, the former CEO of Target Corporation, MIM showcases instruments played daily by people worldwide, emphasizing that music is, indeed, the language of the soul. With over 7,500 instruments from more than 200 countries, MIM is an immersive journey into the world of music.
Visitors don’t just see instruments; they experience them. State-of-the-art interactive media allows one to hear the sounds and witness the instruments being played in their original cultural context. It’s a celebration of diversity, craftsmanship, and the profound sensory nature of music.
Maye’s performance at MIM isn’t just another concert. It’s a melding of two musical forces, both dedicated to celebrating the power and universality of song. As MIM aims to deliver an experience that is “enriching, inspiring, interesting, and fun,” Maye is the perfect embodiment of that mission.
In a world often divided, Maye’s performance at MIM is a beautiful reminder of the power of music to unite, to inspire, and to remind us of the shared language of our souls. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Tickets are expected to sell out quickly for this iconic event. Those eager to be part of this unforgettable evening should call phone 480-478-6000 or visit mim.org.