Since its founding over four years ago, the Andreassian Music Fund (AMF) has presented over a dozen events. Yet none drew in a larger audience than the show “Music of Our Great Soul Brothers,” a production from New York, on May 1, at the Emmanuel Church’s Parish Hall in Boston.
Armand Andreassian introduced the performers, whom he had met a year earlier. Among them was Michael Thomas Murray, a Yale graduate working in New York as a writer, musician, and actor. As resident writer and musical director at the American Cabaret Theater, he had collaborated on over 70 original shows and cabarets. A music director of several acts including the “Chantels,” “The Counts,” and Kid Kyle, he has also played behind such legends as Patti Labelle. As an actor, Murray’s New York debut was in “Murder Mystery Blues,” the recent adaptation of Woody Allen’s short stories.
The two male vocalists Murray accompanied on the piano were Gordon Michaels, baritone, and Tony Perry, tenor. They are two powerful voices from New York with an extensive repertoire of rhythm and blues, soul, and gospel music. Gordon’s smooth style and reputation as a premier vocalist has led to performances with such nationally known singers as Jennifer Holiday, James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Rod Stewart, Patti Labelle, Aerosmith, and others. Gordon’s many awards include the 1996 “Searching for the Stars” competition and nominations for best male vocalist for jazz and gospel by the Boston Music Awards. Classically trained Tony Perry found his true musical love in rock and roll, modern pop, and classic soul. He is featured in two critically acclaimed CDs and has performed in the national tour of many stage productions, including “The Wiz,” “South Pacific,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and “Me and My Girl.”
The event was a hit with the audience and will be well worth an encore presentation, according to Andreassian, who is already working on their second visit next year.
Among the guest attending their first AMF event was Joe Barry, who was opening the following week in the lead role (Max) of a local production of the award winning musical, “The Producers.”