Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer, and recording artist Leslie Uggams (On Golden Pond, King Headley II, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, Jerry’s Girls, Her First Roman, Hallelujah, Baby! and television’s Roots) has launched her new CD UPTOWN DOWNTOWN, now available online at iTunes and CDBaby.com. This 2-CD cast album includes 21 tracks (24 songs) from her critically acclaimed one-woman autobiographical musical that charts her historic career from Harlem (Uptown) to Broadway (Downtown), and everywhere in between.
On UPTOWN DOWNTOWN the legendary star is backed by a seven-piece band that features Steve Bargonetti, Dan Block, Larry Farrell, Tony Kadleck, Ray Kilday, Don Rebic, and Buddy Williams. Tracks include “Born in a Trunk” which tells of her beginnings as a nine-year-old at the famed Apollo Theatre, opening for greats like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington, and “My Own Morning” and “Being Good” which recall her Tony-winning performance in Hallelujah, Baby! in which she made her Broadway debut at the age of 24. Other great hits include “There’s a Boat That’s Leaving for New York,” “Sunny Side of the Street,” “Up on the Roof,” “Hello, Young Lovers,” “Good Morning, Heartache,” “Summertime,” “If He Walked into My Life,” and “Stormy Weather.”
UPTOWN DOWNTOWN is written and conceived by Leslie Uggams and Michael Bush; directed by Michael Bush; and conducted by Don Rebic. Producer is Grahame Pratt. The CD is currently available online at iTunes and CDBaby.com and in New York at the Barnes & Noble on East 86th Street. Soon it will also be available online at BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and other major music outlets.
Despite her long and distinguished career as a stage actress, concert performer and recording artist, Uggams is probably best known for her history-making role as Kizzy in the unforgettable television series, Alex Haley’s “Roots.” Gaining worldwide recognition as a dramatic actress as a result of her remarkable portrayal, Uggams earned the Critics Choice Award, an Emmy nomination, and a Golden Globe nomination. She later starred in the NBC miniseries “Backstairs at the White House.” Recently Uggams was reunited with several “Roots” cast members in “Oprah and the Legendary Cast of ‘Roots’ 35 Years Later,” an anniversary special that aired on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
In performances across the country, UPTOWN DOWNTOWN has earned the LA Drama Critics Circle Award, the NAACP Theatre Award, an IRNE Award, and the Broadway World People’s Choice Award. Critics have called it “dazzling,” “glorious,” “splendid,” and “absolutely stunning.” Uggams hopes to bring the show to Broadway in the near future.