Remember we told you to keep your eyes on Julie Benko the Broadway understudy funny girl? Well CLUB44 RECORDS just signed the married musical team of Benko and Jason Yeager for their debut duet album Together. Benko is becoming a star Jason is an acclaimed jazz musician and composer who has performed in concert halls around the world. Together includes theater favorites (“People” from funny girl“All I’ve Ever Known” by Hadesville), jazz standards (“The Nearness of You”) and pop classics (“Mercedes Benz”), in addition to Yeager’s original songs. Benko is featured on vocals, clarinet, flute and percussion, with Yeager playing Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Celeste, organ and percussion. The album is scheduled for release on Friday, August 26 to coincide with Benko’s upcoming performance weekend previously scheduled for funny girl.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to release our next album on Club44 Records,” says Julie Benko. “Jason and I spent the pandemic isolating ourselves together, essentially becoming each other’s only musical collaborator for a time. It was during this time, before our marriage, that we developed most of these arrangements. I think the intimacy and joy of this moment is evident on every track on the record. We had so much fun discovering our own interpretations of tunes from Broadway and The Great American Songbook, as well as recording two of Jason’s original compositions. This album is a true celebration of love – for our community, for social justice, for theater, for music, for each other. i’m so proud that Together has found its musical home at Club44, and I can’t wait for the world to hear it!
Joel Lindsey, co-founder and A&R director of Club44 Records, adds “A colleague sent me a rough recording of Together and said, “I know you’re not really looking for someone new to sign right now, but I’d like you to listen.” She was right; we had our hands full and our release schedule was stacked nicely as we wanted. But I listened to it anyway. From the third song, I was hooked! I started passing the project on to other colleagues asking them to listen. There are lots of reasons a record company signs on to a project but in this case we just fell in love with them and once we met them we fell in love with Jason and Julie! This may be the first time you’ve heard of Julie Benko and Jason Yeager, but I promise it won’t be the last!
Julie Benko is an award-winning actress, singer and writer based in New York. She has performed on stages on and off Broadway and across the country, including recent Broadway shoots in fiddler on the roof and Wretched. She is the recipient of the Wilde Award for “Best Leading Actress in a Musical” for her performance as Girl in once. She also received a BroadwayWorld Nominated for “Best Lead Actress in a Musical” for her portrayal of Luisa in The Fantasticas well as Theater Bay Area Award and SF Critics Circle Award nominations for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” for Cloths. In addition to lending his voice to 85and The Oscars and the 70sand During the Tony Awards ceremonies, Julie won the gold medal and the Johnny Mercer prize from the national American Traditions Vocal Competition. In the spring of 2021, she was named a semi-finalist of the international Lotte Lenya competition. His first jazz album, Presentation by Julie Benko, is currently available. Julie recently wrote, directed and starred in her first short film, “The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy”. The film won an honorable mention when it premiered in 2020 at the New Faces New Voices Film Festival. His first complete play, The neighborhood, received a public reading at the Astoria Performing Arts Center in 2021 and is currently in development. She holds a BFA and MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. JulieBenko.com. Instagram/Twitter/TikTok @JujujulieBee
Jason Yeager – the New York-based pianist, composer, recording artist and educator – creates deeply expressive and multi-faceted music, defying convention while reveling in the traditions of black American music, jazz, blues, from 20th century European classical music to Latin American folk music and traditions. This year it will also be released Taken Off in Time: The Kurt Vonnegut Sequel (Sunnyside Records) with his eponymous septet and special guest soloist Miguel Zenón. Yeager has released five albums of original music, including Everything to Once (called a “compelling new album” by the boston globe); United (named “Best album of 2017” by Downbeat); and his last, New resistance songs. Yeager has performed across the United States at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Birdland, and internationally at festivals and concert halls in Argentina, South Africa, Panama, China, Republic Dominican and Costa Rica. A frequent accompanist and collaborator, he has played and/or recorded with such remarkable artists as Luciana Souza, Jason Anick, Ayn Inserto, Fleur Seul, Ran Blake, Sara Serpa, Noah Preminger, Ben Monder and Fernando Huergo, among others. Yeager is also a committed teacher, working with music students around the world as an assistant professor of piano at Berklee College of Music, where he has taught since 2012. He graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory/ Tufts University. , and holds a Master of Music degree with honors from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. JasonYeager.com. Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Tiktok @JYeagerMusic
CLUB44 RECORDS – based in the Music City of Nashville, Tennessee – is a new independent label that aims to showcase the genres of Broadway, cabaret and jazz, preserve the American Songbook and provide a home for artists who represent this timeless music. After their first studio release, Christmas at Birdlandthe label presented love notesthe latest album from Tony Award and Golden Globe winner Linda Lavin; At Billy’s Grammy Award-winning Billy Stritch; act one rising vocal star Nicolas King; by Jane Monheit Whatever happenswhich celebrates the international Billboard #1 Pop/Jazz Singers 20and anniversary as a recording artist; Spencer Day’s broadway by day, emphasizing creative arrangements of theatrical standards; and Carol Sloane Living in Birdland, an intimate set captured in the mythical place. Club44 Records also serves as the creative home for many other singers, instrumentalists and writers. All releases are distributed digitally through Universal Music Group and at retail by Provident/Sony. Club44Records.com