Stepping Out 2022

Client: College of the Desert Foundation

Ronstadt’s Moving Songbook Takes Center Stage in Stepping Out 2022 Tribute by Ann Hampton Callaway.

By popular demand COD features one of America’s leading pop and jazz singers of our time.

Ann Hampton Callaway has been a longtime fan girl of the “queen of rock and roll,” Linda Ronstadt. But it was Ronstadt’s 1983 release What’s New, celebrating the Nelson Riddle Orchestra’s standards, that made her a personal legend to the then young cabaret singer.

Callaway was mesmerized by the range of Ronstadt’s talent, from her performance in Broadway’s The Pirates of Penzance to her award-winning Spanish-language albums that honored her Mexican heritage. Callaway set off on a journey to explore the versatility of Ronstadt’s career, which eventually led to performing a selection of the 11-time Grammy award-winner’s material.

Ronstadt retired from the stage in 2009 and, in the years following, was diagnosed with the rare disorder that had robbed her of her singing voice (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, which is similar to Parkinson’s disease). Callaway recalls, “I was heartbroken that somebody of Linda’s talent couldn’t sing anymore. So, the poignancy of exploring the life of a singer silenced by a disease is emotional.”

As a storyteller herself, Callaway shares, “I’ve never had the audience respond so strongly as I have for The Linda Ronstadt Songbook. People go absolutely crazy for the memorable pop songs. I’m amazed to see how deeply the grooves of her music have been etched into people’s hearts.”

Callaway’s breadth of experience is reminiscent of her hero’s. She has made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. Voted “Performer of the Year” two years in a row and “Best Jazz Vocalist” by, Callaway is a born entertainer. Her unique style blends jazz and pop, making her a mainstay in concert halls, theaters and jazz clubs as well as in the recording studio, on television and in film.

Callaway is best known for the Tony-nominated, Broadway musical Swing! and for writing and singing the theme song to the hit TV series The Nanny. A Platinum Award-winning writer, her songs are featured on seven of Barbra Streisand’s CDs. She is the only composer to have collaborated with Cole Porter; she has also written songs with Carole King, Rolf Lovland, Amanda McBroom and Shelby Lynn.

With tremendous stage presence, Callaway has shared the spotlight with great artists from many genres: George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Dr. John, Liza Minnelli, Betty Buckley, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Audra McDonald, Harvey Fierstein, Ramsey Lewis, Kurt Elling and Michael Feinstein among them. She has been a special guest performer with Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. Over the course of her 30 plus-year career, she has sung with more than 40 of the world’s top orchestras.

Callaway has an enormous Coachella Valley fan base; all the more reason COD Foundation’s 2022 Stepping Out Co-Chairs Barbara Foster Monachino and Jane Saltonstall are honored to have such an incredible talent grace the stage on March 31, 2022.

The Linda Ronstadt Songbook will include the star’s beloved Broadway standards along with her legendary rock-and-roll favorites,” shares Monachino. “Stepping Out for COD is one of the most important philanthropic events of the year, raising critical donations for the Fund for Student Success. Your generous gift helps the Foundation meet the most pressing initiatives on campus and enrich academic offerings ultimately providing our students the opportunity to achieve their educational dreams.

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