Michael Jay Feinstein
(born September 7, 1956) is an American singer
, and music revivalist
. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist
for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook
. In 1988 he won a Drama Desk Special Award
for celebrating American musical theatre
songs. Feinstein is also a multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated recording artist.
Feinstein was born in Columbus, Ohio
, the son of Florence Mazie (née Cohen), an amateur tap dancer, and Edward Feinstein, a sales executive for the Sara Lee Corporation
and a former amateur singer. At the age of five, he studied piano for a couple of months until his teacher became angered that he wasn't reading the sheet music she gave him, since he was more comfortable playing by ear. As his mother saw no problem with her son's method, she took him out of lessons and allowed him to enjoy music his own way.
After graduating from high school, Feinstein worked in local piano bars for two years, moving to Los Angeles
when he was 20. Through the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant
, in 1977 he was introduced to Ira Gershwin
, who hired him to catalogue his extensive collection of phonograph records. The assignment led to... Read More