From Broadway to pop and rock; from gospel to blues and jazz, Michelle does it all, with a gutsy voice and unique arrangements. Best known for her work at some of New England's premier piano bars, Michelle is thrilled to be working with our fabulous Front Porch Team as she begins her 12th season. You may have seen her previously at the famed Napoleon Club in Boston, where she enjoyed a successful 12 year run, or at Boston's Encore Lounge and Club Cafe, Diamond Jim's and the Kennebunkport Inn, ME. Michelle's one woman show, "At Last", was nominated for the prestigious IRNE Award (Independent Reviewers of New England) for Best Female Cabaret Artist 2005.
Michelle has been involved in musical theatre since the age of 8 when she did her first show with the Worcester County Light Opera Club and has been on stage or behind the piano ever since. At 13, she began accompanying the Summer Children's Theater Workshops at Worcester County Light Opera Club and continued her theatre performance with the Shrewsbury Players, Westboro Players, and the Entre' Actors Guild.
She began her professional career in Provincetown, MA, and continues to be seen in many venues throughout New England including her return to Boston's Club Cafe this coming September, and has also appeared on stage at Sculler's Jazz Club, The Lyric Stage, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse, The Mt. Washington Theatre Company at the Eastern Slope Playhouse, the White Mountain Hotel, the Ritz Carleton Hotel with the Boston Dance Company, and the Majestic Theater.
Michelle also collaborates with local musicians on a variety of songwriting and recording projects, and currently serves as Music Director at Union Church in Biddeford Pool where she can be found leading eclectic music services most Sundays. Michelle is featured on "A Seam of Song" and "Hallelujah", two CDs showcasing local musicians from the Union Church in Biddeford Pool, Maine.
Michelle is thrilled to debut her solo CD "Simply Red" at the beautiful Vinegar Hill Music Theater on June 26th 2017, accompanied by the incomparable Jim Rice and his band.
Robert Dionne is the founding and artistic director of The Majestic Theatre in Manchester, NH. Robert has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Maine (Orono), where he studied a complete coursework in Music Education, Vocal and Instrumental Performance. Active in the local NH theatre scene, Robert has worked as a Producer, Director, Musical Director, and Actor with many area theatre companies over the years, including The Majestic Theatre, StageCoach Productions, Community Players of Concord, Leddy Center, New Thalian Players, Nottingham Theatre Project, Hampstead Middle School Drama, Nashua Theatre Guild, Manchester Community Players/Second Stage, and Murder and Mayhem Productions. Robert is also the Director of The "VOLUNTAIRES", a 30+ member senior citizen choir that has been performing for local health care and assisted living facilities in southern NH for over 35 years. Robert's career as a Piano Cabaret Entertainer spans New England and beyond, and he looks forward to singing the night away with you at The Front Porch - "I'm having a blast around the piano" - join me!
Keith Belanger has been playing the piano and singing since he was six years old. From being a church organist to singing lead vocals in a rock band as well as working as a theater music director and actor Keith loves to play and loves to sing.
Keith is the music minister at Grace Episcopal Church in Concord NH. He is also the resident music director at the Majestic Theatre in Manchester. Keith has worked with many other groups in Northern New England including Windham Actors Guild, the Village Players of Wolfeboro, the Pentucket Players and many others. Keith is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform for the great audiences at the Front Porch and he is looking forward to making new friends while doing what he loves best - Making Music!
Jonathan Richardson has been playing piano since the age of five. Throughout his childhood he performed in regional theater at his home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He developed a love for musical theater and Broadway. In high school and in college he starred as Frederick in Pirates of Penzance, as Bobby Strong in Urinetown, as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, as Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie and as Harold Hill in The Music Man.
After moving to Boston, Jonathan became interested in classical music and has sung as a tenor for various prestigious choral groups in New England. This includes Marsh Chapel at Boston University, Trinity Church in Copley Square, Schola Cantorum, the Catata Singers and many others. In 2015 he was accepted to New England Conservatory where he earned a master's degree in musicology and sang in the Chamber Singers which is NEC's top vocal ensemble.
He's thrilled to be joining the Front Porch and can't wait to serenade the guests there with an eclectic mix of showtunes, jazz, folk, pop, as well as music from his favorite group, the Beatles.
George Howe comes to The Front Porch directly from Davenport's Piano Bar and Cabaret, Chicago's premiere piano bar. His repertoire runs the gamut from Golden Age musical theatre to classic rock, Garth Brooks to One Direction with a bit of everything in between. He is the "Howe" part of "The Nitz and Howe Experience", Chicago's longest running cabaret act. George is on the adjunct faculty at the Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) at Roosevelt University where he musical directs and teaches musical theatre history. He is also an award-winning composer-lyricist and has written the scores for over a dozen musicals, his latest being a musical adaptation of Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey" which premiered earlier this spring at Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. George is a proud Connecticut yankee and is pleased to back on the civilized East Coast.
I started studying Jazz at the age of 21 from a blind man in Los Angeles. After 3 months he had me on my first job, though I did not feel I was ready. But he insisted, saying this is the way one learns to perform in public. Since then I have gone on to work with some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians including Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Bellson, Buddy Rich, and Herbie Mann to name a few. I have also played for 2 US Presidents, 1 Prime Minister of the UK, performed at the legendary Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the historic Edinburgh Castle. It is my passion to “Keep the Music Playing”.
Jason Weber is an acclaimed pianist, singer and songwriter. He graduated with a BA in Piano Performance in 1996. Since then, Jason has incorporated his musical studies into every facet of his career from piano arranger and teacher to music editor to entertainer. He currently entertains fans at various piano bars, cabarets and private parties. Jason performs every summer and fall at the Front Porch, a world famous sing-a-long piano bar in Ogunquit, Maine, and is grateful to have been performing the past 12 winters in the Coachella Valley entertaining in various venues from Palm Springs to Indian Wells. He is most delighted to be playing his first season ever at The Purple Room in Palm Springs.
Jason is an avid songwriter and has composed hundreds of original songs in the past twenty years. In 2006, he was commissioned to compose a song for the Natchez Opera Guild in Natchez, Mississippi. The song Natchez In The Spring was met with a standing ovation by those attending the event. In April 2011, Jason performed his original song, Breath Of Hope, for LAMposiuma yearly fundraiser for the LAM Foundation which benefits people diagnosed with LAM disease by funding research and medical trials.
Over the past fourteen years, Jason has performed in many wonderful places and for countless grand events and galas. Here are just a fewThe annual Las Madricitas Debutante Ball at the Wilshire-Beverly Regent in Beverly Hills, CA; Mrs. Nevada and Mrs. California pageants at the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs, CA; US Mint introduction of new platinum coins at The Bel-Air Hotel; Opening act for Joan Rivers at the Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs, CA. In addition to entertaining, Jason has self-produced and recorded two CD projectsPrelude in 1998, and If I Were in 2004. An album of all original material is still in the works and hopefully completed before Jason loses ALL of his hair!
Kim Kuzma’s extensive vocal range and sassy stage presence have earned her a reputation as a dynamic performer.
Her casual often candid conversations with her audience have earned her a loyal and rapidly growing following of fans.
Heard worldwide, Kim’s award winning debut CD Contradictions received rave reviews from critics and fans alike and held the No.1 spot on the HMV Vancouver Indie Sales Charts for over seven and a half months.
The late Walt Grealis, founder of the Canadian Juno Awards (Canada’s equivalent to the Grammy’s), called Contradictions, “pretty powerful stuff”.
Voted Canada’s Best Independent Artist in 2001 by fans at canadian-music.com, Kim Kuzma continues to build on her career collaborating with other artists and continuing to produce new music. She has written music for film and co-penned a song for singer Lara Fabian. Kim’s latest studio album was released in the Fall of 2005. Interlaced with the strong, soaring vocals that Kim is best known for, Who You Are is a bold new release from Kuzma. A pulsing collection of remixed pop songs and original dance music, this new album features a remix of Bagdad Café hit Calling You, The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows and Kim’s originals I’d Miss You, Come Along and the bond-esque Price You Pay. Recorded in San Francisco, this new album explores a side of Kim that her fans previously only experienced during her live shows. Humourous, upbeat, daring & sometimes provocative Who You Are is more representative of who Kim truly is.
An absolute hit with the audience! Keep an eye on this name! — Mister Marcus, Bay Area Reporter
Kuzma has performed across Canada, throughout the United States, South America and in Europe. She has shared the stage of the Palace of Fine Arts and The Castro Theatre with the renowned San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and opened for legendary singer Harry Belafonte in the wine country. Mister Marcus, a reporter and critic from the Bay Area calls Kim Kuzma, “An absolute hit with the audience”, and encouraged his readers to, “Keep an eye on this name!”
Eric Michael Krop
Originally from San Jose, California, vocalist and songwriter Eric Michael Krop discovered his musical abilities at a young age. Hailing from a musical family, Eric gleaned much of his early inspiration from his grandparents. He would go on to hone his chops at AMDA in New York, thus introducing him to a city he would call home for the next ten years.
Eric has since made a name for himself as one of the most preeminent young vocalists on the pop and musical theater scene, performing in Godspell on Broadway, headlining several cabaret performances at top NYC and L.A venues such as 54 Below and Rockwell, and appearing in Equity theater productions nationwide.
In the past few years Eric has focused his energy towards songwriting and recording. In collaboration with writers Selda Sahin and Derek Gregor, Eric has released two pop singles to critical acclaim, and released his EP in spring 2016. Most recently Eric has partnered with Grammy-nominated saxophonist and pianist Erica von Kleist. Their duo, Eric & Erica, recorded three tracks engineered by Brett Allen at Snowghost Studios in Whitefish, MT which have quickly gained traction. Eric plans on releasing an album with Eric & Erica.
When he is not touring, Eric spends his time in Whitefish, Montana and Los Angeles collaborating with local musicians and recording new material.
Originally from Detroit, Amy has been a professional entertainer since she was a young child. Her powerful and soulful voice mesmerizes listeners while her hilarious and risque humor keeps them doubled over in laughter. Amy made her home in Chicago in 1995 and quickly became one of the Windy City's hottest talents. With Amy's beautiful voice, edgy humor and quick wit, you'll never forget this show at The Front Porch.
Miss Conception (Miss C for those of us who are lazy), is an overnight sensation that has been 17 years in the making. Selling out around the world with her one woman live singing shows that has audiences howling with laughter and leaping to their feet with applause.
This year, this international Female Delusionist® is launching her new show ‘The Immaculate Miss Conception - all 5 of her shows combined into one featuring live singing withcostume changes before your eyes.
In 2012 Miss Conception kicked off her world tour in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, while travelling Canada, The United States and Europe. She has been the opening act for Leslie Jordan (Will and Grace), Lorna Loft (daughter of Judy Garland) as well as performed with Tony award winner Jennifer Holliday from Dreamgirls. Along with having her own show with Second City (Toronto) and being featured on ‘Queer as Folk’ and ‘Degrassi, The Next Generation’ he was the first ever drag contestant on Wipeout Canada.
Recently Miss Conception has taken her tour to the high seas and river cruises through Europe. She has been performing on cruise ships to Alaska, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Prague with Brand G Vacations (www.brandgvacations.com). Miss Conception is your official Hostess for the Hallowe’en Cruise with Aquafest (www.aquafestcruises.com). Book early to avoid disappointment!
When he is not touring, Miss Conception, aka Kevin Levesque (a name he uses on his passport) donates his spare time to fundraising events. He has raised money for the People with Aids Foundation, Friends for Life Bike Rally as well as rode his bike from Toronto to Montréal raising $40, 000. Kevin also has his own charity fund with Fife House called the Miss Conception Resident Comfort Fund. Monies raised for the Fund assists residents in need of medication as well as helps give them a new start in life by providing bedding and household items. For more information or to donate to the Fund please visit www.fifehouse.org
Check out Miss Conceptions website
Branden & James
BRANDEN & JAMES, the Cello and Vocal duo, brings the soulful timbre of James on his cello combined with Branden’s emotional and powerful vocals, creating a sound that leaves audiences feeling moved and inspired. “…the always supportive, sometimes haunting power of the cello accompanying Branden’s voice solidifies the classical sound, adds new depth to the popular, and allows the audience to just sit back and take it in…so movingly, that you may forget to breathe!” says Paul Lisnek - Host of Broadway in Chicago Backstage.Bio:
The energy and fervor behind their music has a story to tell of their unique pairing. Branden had a successful career on stage and in recording prior to his meeting the Australian cellist, James. Some of Branden’s accolades include finishing as 2013 Finalist on America’s Got Talent, appearances at The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Los Angeles Opera, two world tours with the renowned Twelve Tenors and two solo releases worldwide. James brought to the mix his own share of musical accomplishments, studying as a pianist at a young age and a career in music education before discovering performance as his ultimate love. James initially came on board to music direct one of many charity concerts that Branden was performing in at the time and their connection was so immense they began to play together. Since then, they’ve been touring around the world playing their original songs and innovative, classically inspired covers.
Reminiscent for some as The Piano Guys meets Josh Groban, they weave familiar melodies of pop tunes in classical style with their own unique sound. Branden says, “people tell us we’re so unique and different. I think that’s what excites us most. We’re actually doing something that hasn’t been done before.”