This week I talked with singer/songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway about her upcoming concerts and new jazz holiday CD The Hope Of Christmas singing the lyrics of William Schermerhorn. Ann will be performing at the upcoming Tyler Clementi Foundation's 2015 Upstander Legacy Celebration on Monday November 16th at Studio 450 in NYC. Tyler Clementi was the accomplished violinist who took his life after being cyber-bullied by his Rutgers roommate for being gay. Callaway's concert schedule is non-stop including returning to Feinstein's/54 Below with her new show "Feminine Persuasion: Ann Hampton Callaway Celebrates Women Songwriters" from November 22nd through the 28th in NYC. I talked to Ann about her new CD, upcoming tour and her spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Callaway stated:
Well I don't think it gets more personal than getting married. November 7th last year I married the love of my life Kari Strand and that was a big decision for us because I think both of us never thought 'Oh I need a piece of paper to prove I love someone', and we went through eight years together thinking that. But when we realized we were in this point of history and how much we love each other and what a gift it was, we had to step into this commitment in a historical, politically active way and say This is our moment to stand and shine and be part of something that will hopefully inspire a new wave of courage and joy for other couples. And it's had a much more powerful effect in our relationship than we realized. It was such a sense of giddy joy about it and also a renewed responsibility and I don't mean that in a serious way like Oh now I must do my duty as a wife, I mean that in the sense that I really want to be the best partner I can possibly be and the intention behind that and I know Kari shares that it is something that has really touched our lives in many ways. We had an amazing celebration that I'm glad that you and Marilyn could be part of. It was just an incredible experience to share that. I feel living your life out loud and not being afraid to share what matters to you is a great quiet revolution for this time when we're really trying to make a world more inclusive for everyone and a world that accepts that love belongs to everyone. In fact I recently wrote a song with Michelle Brourman called 'Love & Let Love' and I think it comes out of the spirit of this that each of us is here to be exactly who they are and Kari and I getting to share our relationship in a bigger way with marriage has been quite a ripple effect.
Ann Hampton Callaway is a champion of the great American Songbook whose gifts as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator and producer have given her one of the most unique careers in music today. Callaway won the Theater World Award and received a Tony nomination for her starring role in the Broadway musical Swing! Known for writing and singing the theme of the hit TV series The Nanny, she's written over 250 songs including the Platinum Award winning hits for Barbra Streisand At the Same Time, I've Dreamed of You and Christmas Lullaby. Currently Ann and her sister Broadway star Liz Callaway have been nominated for their London engagement of Sibling Revelry for a Broadway World UK Award for Best Theatrical Event of the Year.
For Tour Info & CD: annhamptoncallaway.com