Anaïs Reno – A Star Shines at Birdland

Tierney Sutton fans showed up at Birdland on May 25, only to be told that the popular jazz vocalist was ill. Her band would be performing with another singer, Anaïs Reno. Ticket buyers were given the choice of a refund. We decided to stay. We’re glad we did.

Reno was a familiar name, thanks to reviews and stories by Alix Cohen. The young vocalist has appeared on Woman Around Town several times. In one story, Alix posed questions to Anaïs, who won the 2019 Mabel Mercer Foundation’s Elow Songbook Competition, whose aim is to encourage teenagers to study and perform the Great American Songbook. (Read Alix’s story.) Anaïs’s Birdland performance was proof that she has learned that lesson well. 

Any performer, whether a vocalist, actor, or dancer, called to step in for a star, has to have moments of anxiety. Substituting for Sutton, who has such a strong fan base, had to be intimidating. Anaïs made the stage and the night her own. In between songs, she shared some interesting facts about herself, including that she just completed her first year at SUNY Purchase where she’s studying jazz voice, She is grateful for the support she’s received from Birdland’s Gianni Valenti and considers the club a home. After only one night to rehearse, Anaïs was comfortable and confident working with Sutton’s band, including pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Trey Henry, and drummer Ray Brinker.

Anaïs confessed she “loves” Duke Ellington, and so included several of his standards, including “Mood Indigo,” “Autumn Leaves” (in both French and English), and “Caravan.” No one had to admonish the audience to remain quiet during her performance. They seemed mesmerized that one so young could possess a voice and presence far beyond her years. This is one vocalist to watch.

It seems that the American Song Book is in very good hands indeed.

For more information go to Anaïs Reno’s website.

On Amazon, purchase her album, Lonesome Thing – Anaïs Reno Sings Ellington and Strayhorn. 

About Charlene Giannetti (591 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that had its premiere at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, where it won two awards. The film is now available to view on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services. Charlene and her husband live in Manhattan.