"The beautiful, talented, amazing Miss Haley Reinhart!" - Irvin Mayfield Jr.
Kenny Poo readers will remember that just last month I wrote an open letter to Haley imploring her to dedicate herself to a career in jazz. She's so naturally gifted in this genre she would become one of the true legends of jazz by dedicating herself to the craft, and I believe could carry the torch of elevating jazz popularity to a whole new generation of listeners.
Listening to the stream of the concert, Mayfield did a sensational job infusing this star-studded, Grammy-laden affair with the warmth, humor, charm and style of New Orleans. The man is not only a great musician, conductor, band leader, humanitarian and music professor, he's also a great entertainer and showman with a wonderful sense of humor.
So, how did Haley find him, and why was she performing at this Carnegie Hall extravaganza in the first place? Interestingly, Mayfield invited Haley to perform last year after she blew him away with a stunning, impromptu performance of "God Bless The Child" at his club in The French Quarter on a night out with her good friend Casey Abrams.
Casey filmed the footage of Haley's unbelievable performance and uploaded it to YouTube (where it's received well over 100k views), and also was invited to the Carnegie gig, where he sang a verse of "Hit The Road Jack" along with Haley and others, and got to play bass on another song, too.
But the star of the night (besides Irvin Mayfield Jr) was Haley. She sang two solos, including a reprise of "God Bless The Child" and a fantastic blues number called "Blues In The Night" (posted above). Appearing stunningly gorgeous and refined in her shimmering gold gown, she looked and sounded like she was born to be a world class jazz singer.
One of the more touching moments came when Mayfield could not contain his love for Haley while introducing her to the Carnegie audience, describing her as "The beautiful, talented, amazing Miss Haley Reinhart!" Haley was clearly moved and flattered, holding her heart when he was finished.
In fact, it was obvious Haley was overwhelmed with joy and deeply honored to be performing with such a brilliant cast of legends at this legendary venue, and understandably seemed a bit nervous at first, but as she began to sing her incredible voice just melted the audience's hearts and ears alike. The tone and phrasings coming so natural and buttery smooth.
May this be the first of many such performances for Haley, with several jazz albums and Grammy awards to follow. I truly believe Haley's destined to become one of jazz music's all time greats, and this grand night at Carnegie may very well be looked back upon as the gala that helped launch it all.
Thank you Irvin Mayfield for recognizing Haley's unique vocal gifts and treating her with such respect and class. Thank you Casey Abrams for being such a good friend and helping facilitate this by filming that magical night in New Orleans. And, most of all, congratulations Haley on making it all possible with your incredible voice and talent. You've made me very proud to be a fan.