The Michener Art Museum’s brand-new space for receptions and special events is opening in April. The 2,500 square foot self-supporting-glass structure will show off its acoustics May 19 for its very first Jazz Night with Amy Banks.
“The Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion is unique, beautiful and stylish… what better way to open Jazz Night with vocalist Amy Banks who has all these qualities and more,” says Director of Programs Zoriana Siokalo. “She sings from the heart and has her audience wanting more.”
Amy Banks has spent two decades performing as a singer, actress and television personality. Originally from Minnesota, she has appeared on stage and screen all over the world, but calls Lancaster, Pennsylvania, home after relocating there to perform at the American Music Theatre.
Since then, she has self-published and produced four music CDs. Her third, When the Sun Comes Out, reached Chartbound status at JazzWeek.
Banks’ performing career began while living in Atlanta, Georgia, where she first appeared in productions with the top stage companies including The Alliance Theater, Jomandi Productions and The Horizon Theater. Throughout the 90s she performed cabaret-style shows with Robert Ray and through working with him, further honed her singing skills. In the late 90s, Banks moved to Orlando, Florida, to work for Walt Disney World Company at the Animal Kingdom theme park. She played both female roles in The Festival of the Lion King, singing favorites from the Lion King movie including “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.” While in Florida she began a year-long engagement singing jazz three nights a week with the Ed Connelly Trio at the Grosvenor Resort.
In 2002, after performing shows with Penumbra Theater and The Illusion Theater in the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, Banks moved to Lancaster and spent four seasons with American Music Theatre (AMT). While there, she nurtured her love for jazz in venues throughout Central Pennsylvania – from Lancaster restaurants to the Harrisburg Hilton’s prestigious jazz room, The Bar. Other appearances include: The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Berks Jazz Festival; Yorkfest and the Studio at the Strand-Capitol Theater in York, Pa.; Bucknell University; the “Jazz Upstairs at the Fulton Theatre” series; and The Pennsylvania Academy of Music, as well as various clubs, restaurants, and local churches.
In June of 2007 Banks returned to Disney World to reprise her roles in the Festival of the Lion King before returning to AMT for a fifth season in 2008. Banks has also made a name for herself in Charleston, S.C., where she has joined Brad and Jennifer Moranz in five different original productions at the Charleston Music Hall over the past five years.
In addition to music, Banks’ other passion is contributing to the community. She was a founding participant in the Divas of Jazz, whose annual concert events raised more than $70,000 to benefit the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. Banks serves on the Board of the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz, acted as Volunteer Music Coordinator at Unity Church in Palmyra, and participated in music programs for the children at Crispus Attucks Community Center.
Jazz Nights are all-inclusive evenings featuring:
8 to 10 pm Hors d’oeuvre reception and galleries open
Hearty appetizers and desserts presented by Havana Catering. Refreshments presented by River Horse Brewing Company and Sand Castle Winery.
8:30 – 11 pm Concert with one intermission
Tickets: All reserved table seating: member $40/non-member $48; student ticket $20 with paying adult; reception and museum admission are included in ticket price. Advance tickets only. Purchase tickets early as seating is limited.
Sponsored by the Friends of Jazz Night.
The James A. Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, Pa. Museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4:30 pm;
Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday noon to 5 pm. Admission: Members and children under 6, free; adults $12.50; seniors $11.50; college student with valid ID $9.50; ages 6-18 $6. New admission prices effective April 21, 2012: Members and children under 6, free; adults $15; seniors $13; college student with valid ID $11; ages 6-18 $7.50. For more information, visit www.michenerartmuseum.org or call 215-340-9800.