This conference continues the essential conversation on the art of cabaret among performers, teachers and coaches, writers and historians, and fans. Come meet each other!

Cette conférence poursuit l’essentiel de la conversation sur l’art du cabaret entre interprètes, enseignants et entraîneurs, écrivains et historiens, et fans. Venez vous rencontrer!

Workshop/Master Class Leaders

Anne has performed for WDCB Jazz Salon, Jazz at the Logan, Chicago Humanities Festival, Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Convention, Metropolis, and the Auditorium Theatre. Along with her husband pianist/vocalist Mark Burnell, she has toured in Paris and Amsterdam, and has sung the national anthem for the Cubs, White Sox, Arlington International Race Track, and the Special Olympics. Recordings:Summer Days and Dreamy Nights,Blues in the Night, Serious, Little Things We Do Together. Shows include: Cry Me a River: the Music of Julie London with Mark Burnell, and guitarist Henry Johnson, The Brill Building Songwriters, Tales of Our Travels, Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves. Anne is current president of Chicago Cabaret Professionals.

Mark Burnell performs at Studio Raspail in Paris.

Pianist and singer, Mark trained vocalists for ten years at Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his M.F.A. He has worked with Dave Frishberg, Connie Francis, Ward Swingle, Howie Mandel, Laura San Giocomo, Richie Cole, Rob Marshall, Blair Underwood, and Seth Myers. Mark’s overseas tours have taken him to Bern, Zurich, Paris, Freiburg, Geneva, Panama, and Amsterdam. The Chicago Sun-Times hailed his work as “silky smooth and highly polished”, and Cabaret Hotline praised him as “one of the most talented pianists and arrangers I’ve seen.” Mark was twice a Master Instructor at the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University, and he has also taught at Northwestern and Roosevelt Universities. In Chicago, he can be heard at the Tortoise Supper Club, City Winery, Davenport’s, and the Signature Room. Discography: Summer Days & Dreamy Nights, Blues in the Night (with Anne Burnell), Christmas Piano, Cooler by the Lake.

The magnet for many years at Chicago’s famed Pump Room, singer-pianist-composer ELIZABETH DOYLE has created, performed in, and often music directed an array of shows at Chicago’s major cabaret rooms and theatres. A featured guest on Marian McPartland’s NPR program Piano Jazz, Doyle’s compositions have been featured in New York ASCAP programs, at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, and at Disney/ASCAP in California.

Her musicals include Sleepy Hollow, Fat Tuesday, Alice In Analysis, Burnham’s Dream, Treasure Island, and Duo. She has two CDs: Elizabeth Doyle and Time Flies.”Elizabeth Doyle is one of Chicago’s most captivating performers.”—NPR Piano Jazz Elizabeth will headline with David Edelfelt their show, Cole Porter in Paris . She will music direct several performances and accompany workshops.

Elizabeth Doyle and David Edelfelt performing at Au Lapin Agile in Paris

David is “a consummate song interpreter [who] probably sounds great singing the weather forecast”—”one of Chicago’s best” [Chicago Tribune]. His one-man cabaret shows have been called “superlative from start to finish, hilarious, deliciously engaging and simply brilliant.” Singing roles from Mozart to Kander and Ebb, David has found a home in recent years in cabaret at Davenport’s, Victory Gardens, The Park West,Skokie Theater, Claudia Cassidy Theater, Maxim’s, the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention and for three consecutive years at the Elkhart Jazz Festival. David is not only one of Chicago’s top-tier cabaret performers, but also voice teacher, vocal coach, accompanist and arranger to some of Chicago’s most talented and in-demand cabaret, musical theater and classical singers. In his part-time work, he is also a respected choral conductor. He will be appearing at Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre this November in a special concert celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday with other top names from Chicago’s diverse music community. See or for his nationally acclaimed CDs: Love is Born at Christmas and the inspiring better.

Claudia Hommel

Actor-singer, teacher, cabaret promoter, Claudia brings to the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion all her personal connections and passions. Born to two “Americans in Paris,” she has been seeking the cabaret scene in her birthplace of Paris for twenty-some years. Her recordings of Paris/Paree, Paris in the Jazz Age, Romance Language: French Songs for Lovers, and the two Jazz Fauré Project albums are a reflection of her eclectic, yet Paris-centric repertoire. She is on faculty at the Community Music Division of DePaul University School of Music with the award-winning workshop in song interpretation called SongShop. She instigated the founding of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals in 1998 and is prone to doing something similar for France with our French team of cabaret colleagues.

A.K.A. Kylie Bear is a Chicago-based cabaret entertainer, producer and club owner. Classically trained as an opera singer (Northwestern University), Kyle has toured nationally and internationally with his avant garde cabaret style. Founder of The Cabaret Project in Chicago, he has produced hundreds of nights and artists for clubs, resorts, corporate as well as private clients. He is the owner of The Monocle in St. Louis, Missouri, a cabaret and burlesque nightlife venue with French-inspired decor and cocktail menu. The Cabaret Project creates opportunities each year for a myriad of artists ranging from voice, piano, vaudeville, cirque and burlesque utilizing approximately 60 artists annually. His most recent endeavor, The Feathered Beaus, have been traveling internationally and are receiving high praise for their handsome vocals, as well as their flashy costume and presentations. As a skilled voice teacher and coach, Kyle works tirelessly with the artists in his employ to make a stronger, more diverse musical product for the cabaret and nightlife market. He hopes to continue marrying stylization from all walks of the nightlife entertainment

Comic, singer, presenter and judge on BBC 1’s All Together Now, Paul L Martin, A.K.A. Paulus, is the foremost teacher and facilitator of cabaret in the U.K. Based in London, Paul has worked for over 15 years in drama schools, acting centers and with clients on a one-to-one basis, as well as offering his own unique courses on the tenets and principals of this much misunderstood and often maligned art-form. Paul is passionate about having cabaret recognized as a genre in its own right within the industry and beyond, and has been a campaigner and champion of the London cabaret scene for over 20 years. He returns to the Connexion to lead again a workshop on The Golden Thread—the Relationship to your Audience.

Founder and director of the former École du spectacle in Paris, and director of Forum du mouvement, Christian has been working on voice for forty years… The voice is the most sensitive, meaningful and instrument that represents the body, spirit, life, and the senses… His work is described as energetic and is associated with the exploration of inner movement and displacement in space. It is specific to the development of the individual. His teaching, coaching, books, CDs all have the same goal, to allow everyone to explore and develop one’s own possibilities of expression and development of one’s being.

Born in Houston, Texas to a Spanish mother and a Cajun father, Angelina is a woman of multiple talents: opera singer, chanteuse, singing-actress, director, producer, dramatist, scenographer, costumer and pedagogue. She commands a repertoire from Strauss to Sondheim and has performed in major venues in the U.S. and Europe.
Best known for works of Kurt Weill and Leonard Bernstein, Angelina began her career in New York as the Beggar Woman in the first national tour of Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury. She was soon engaged by dozens of prominent venues from Houston Grand Opera to Vienna Staatsoper, Glimmerglass Opera to the New York Philharmonic, Boston Pops and Boston Symphony, BBC Symphony, to Caramoor, Ravinia, and Innsbruck Festivals. Leonard Bernstein hand-picked Angelina to sing the role of Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème, and its Grammy-nominated recording by Deutsche Grammophon. She has performed his Jeremiah Symphony around the world, brought a Bernstein Liederabend to the New York Historical Society, premiered five of his posthumous songs, created There Is a Garden: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein for the Chicago Opera Theatre, Bernstein Tonight! in Italy and at the Chautauqua Institute, and recorded songs for Bernstein: A Jewish Legacy.

While at Northwestern University, Angelina performed Kurt Weill’s Berlin to Broadway. Her one-woman Kurt Weill show, Stranger Here Myself, directed by Christopher Alden for the New York Shakespeare Festival, continues to be performed throughout the U.S. She made her début at the New York Philharmonic singing Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, performed Weill’s Marie Galante and Johnny Johnson, also for BBC television. She has brought her Weill cabaret Dancing on a Volcano: Ein Berliner Kabarett to regional theatres, concert halls, clubs and cabarets throughout the U.S. At the Santa Fe Opera she starred as the False Angele in Weill’s Der Tsar lässt sich Fotografieren. She played Jenny Diver in The Threepenny Opera at The Skylight Theatre, and Polly Peachum at the Chautauqua Institute. She has directed and designed productions in Tuscany (Italy), Santa Barbara and Sacramento. She has also served as judicator for the prestigious Lenya Competition on several occasions and her recording of Weill’s Street Scene as Rose Maurrant can be heard on the Decca/London label. Angelina was recently featured in Side by Side by Sondheim at North Coast Rep, and has appeared with some of America’s finest repertory theatres from Yale to Santa Barbara; and in concert and cabaret at Café Sabarsky, the Algonquin, the American Express Concert Series, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall and many more. Angelina lives in San Diego, California with her husband, baritone Michael Sokol and their dog and cats.

Clotilde has been working in theater and performing arts for 15 years. She has directed and performed in various original musical comedies, multi-disciplinary and multi-media acts such as Sur la route des Tziganes and Mr. Jazz, mixing spoken word, music and dance. Most recently she has performed as half of the duo Madeleine & Salomon in A Woman’s Journey, which reinterpreted protest songs of female American singers with improvisation and dreamlike video of a dancer’s “escapades”. She is about to release XXY, a collaboration with artists from France, China and U.S., combining performance, dance, video and live music, exploring the feminine and masculine, generations and borders.

Christine Steyer, soprano, has distinguished herself as an artist of great versatility. In addition to being the recent recipient of seven national performance awards including the 2018 American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award and 2011 Johnny Mercer Award, Steyer has received acclaim for her portrayals of the title role in Madama Butterfly and Violetta in La Traviata. Since 2000, she has sung as a chorister and in several small roles in over 40 productions at Lyric Opera of Chicago. A frequent recitalist, Steyer sang several concerts of Russian and American music with pianist Philip Morehead and concerts of Spanish music with guitarist Brandon Acker.

Steyer seeks many innovative ways to keep classical vocal music relevant in today’s world. As a proponent of new works, she collaborated with numerous poets and musicians to publish Six Songs for Soprano and is currently collaborating with Jean-Claude Orfali on a book of original cabaret songs. Since 2005, Steyer has brought classical music to 23,000 youth in underserved areas with Bellissima Opera Outreach, an organization that she founded. Additionally, Steyer is the President of the new arts alliance, Working In Concert as well as the Artistic Director of one of its major initiatives: Bellissima Opera, the primary goal of which is the realization of The Transcendence Triptych—three new operas by acclaimed composer David Shenton that explore our shared humanity set to premiere in Chicago in June 2020. Recent and upcoming engagements include a UK Tour of the musical Persuasion, The Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion in France and the Schubert Festival in Oak Park. Steyer teaches voice privately in Oak Park and is an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois.


Michèle began her career as actress, singer and author (Comédie Française, Festival d’Avignon, etc). But she left everything to live in the world of circus for thirty years, traveling to Scandinavia, Germany and then, running her own company in France. While in Denmark, she was discovered by the legendary Josephine Baker who hired her as her personal secretary from 1969-1971. Returning to theater, writing and song, she released three albums, published twelve books (novels, historical essays, plays and poems) and produced and performed in five plays, including a one-woman-show inspried by the circus world. She has produced televised events, such as the Gala de la Presse and Kréatika, the Festival of Authors-Composers-Performers. She is vice-president of the Alliance Francophone for which she has performed and traveled to many countries, including Japan.

A native of Chicago, Sue relocated to metro Detroit in 1999, after living in Montreal and Las Vegas. She has performed in community theater productions in all four cities. As a child, she learned the complete scores of Broadway musicals by singing to the cast recordings. A regular participant in karaoke venues, Sue has also entertained at assisted living venues, with show tunes, country, pop/contemporary, and French language songs. A natural performer, Sue loves to connect with her audience. She participates in Claudia Hommel’s SongShop whenever possible, joined the Singers Jazz Workshop in Paris in 2015 and the first Cabaret Connexion in Paris 2017, with stops at the Café Universel.

Marie-Mélaine est flûtiste, pianiste et chanteuse amateur. Elle a découvert le plaisir de la voix dans des choeurs et chorales de différents styles, en particulier les choeurs universitaires de Paris et de Grenoble. Elle anime depuis plusieurs années la chorale de son village où elle aime faire vivre la musique avec toutes les générations et sensibilités. Son goût pour les textes l’a incitée à rejoindre la Chicago-Paris-Cabaret-Connexion en 2019.
Marie-Mélaine is a flutist, pianist and amateur singer. She discovered the pleasure of voice in choirs of different styles, especially the university choirs of Paris and Grenoble. For several years she has been leading the choir in her village where she likes to make music live with all generations and sensibilities. Her taste for lyrics prompted her to join the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion in 2019.

“A travaillé avec différents groupes. Il est conteur d’histoire en patois, imitateur (de Bourvil), auteur, compositeur, interprète. Il prépare un nouveau spectacle en solo.” Henri has performed with many different groups. He is a storyteller in patois, imitator (of comic singer Bourvil) author, composer, performer. He is preparing a new solo show.

Author-historian (and grand nephew) of the turn-of-the-20th-century singer-songwriter Marcel Legay. Historien du chansonnier Marcel Legay (1851-1915).
Ex-professor of the University of Montpellier, Yves now specializes in the field of French songs of the “Cabarets Artistiques” of the Belle Époque (1880-1914), placing the cabaret song in the societal and artistic context of the era. His presentations are illustrated by the projection of original visual documents and the diffusion (recordings and live performance) of characteristic songs. His presentations include (i) the life and work of his great-uncle, the Montmartre chansonnier Marcel Legay (1851-1915), (ii) the “Cabarets Artistiques” of the Belle Époque, and (iii) the comparison between Café-Concert and Cabaret Artistique. Since 2014 he has presented more than thirty presentations in Paris and several cities in France.

Conductor Valérie Blanvillain earned her diploma in piano and in chamber music at the Superior Conservatory of Music in Geneva. She has a degree in piano accompaniment. She has worked in a psychiatric clinic and related establishments as a music therapist for both adolescents and adults. She trained as an orchestra conductor under Misters Cohen, Peter Erdei and Frieder Bernius. During these master classes, she conducted the Ensemble Musicus (Japan) and the Kammerchor Stuttgart (Germany). From 1993 to 1999, she supervised the season of the Gardoise Operetta, and conducted several rare works like Robert Planquette’s Rip, Hervé’s Mam’zelle Nitouche along with classical operettas like La Belle Hélène, Pomme d’api by Offenbach, Vincent Scotto’s Un de la Canebière, Francis Lopez’s La Route fleurie, Ralph Benatzky’s L’Auberge du cheval blanc, La Veuve joyeuse, Paganini, Le Pays du sourire of Frantz Lehar, Henri Christiné’s Phiphi, Oscar Straus’s Rêve de valse. Since 1999 she has been pianist and opera coach of the National Opera and Orchestra of Montpellier Occitanie (OONMO). She conducts the University Choir of Montpellier Mediterranean and the Ephemeral Choir. Since 2016, she has directed the big amateur choir “Air de famille,” a project of the National Opera and Orchestra of Montpellier. In November 2018, she became vocal coach for the France 2 TV program “Les Prodiges”, at the Zenith Concert Hall in Montpellier, working alongside conductor Zahia Ziouani. Valerie also plays for recitals such as the Chorégies d’Orange festival the national lyric New Voices competition. She has worked as a vocal coach for the Opera of Avignon, the Junior Opera of Montpellier, the festival Folies d’O and the Festival Radio France of Montpellier. During the season 2019-20 of the National Opera and Orchestra of Montpellier, she’ll be playing the piano for the National Opera Choir, and will be opera coach of Reinhard Wagner’s Poil de carotte, staged by Zabou Breitman, Honegger’s Les aventures du roi Pausole, and the choirmaster for the production of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff with “Un Air de Famille”.

Valérie Blanvillain est issue du Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève, en piano, en musique de chambre et diplômée d’état en accompagnement piano. Elle est musicothérapeute et a travaillé en clinique psychiatrique, et en établissements médico-éducatifs auprès d’adultes et adolescents. Elle intègre la classe de direction d’orchestre de M. Cohen, et se perfectionne en direction de choeur auprès des Peter Erdei et Frieder Bernius. Lors de ces master classes elle a l’occasion de diriger l’ensemble Musicus (Japan) et le Kammerchor Stuttgart (Allemagne).
Elle assure jusqu’en 1999 la direction de la saison lyrique d’opérette gardoise et a dirigé des ouvrages rares comme Rip de Robert Planquette, Mam’zelle Nitouche de Hervé, mais aussi les classiques d’opérette comme La Belle Hélène, Pomme d’api d’Offenbach, Un de la Canebière de Vincent Scotto, La route fleurie de Francis Lopez, L’auberge du cheval blanc de Ralph Benatzky, La veuve joyeuse, Paganini, Le Pays du sourire, de Frantz Lehar, Phi-phi de Henri Christiné, Rêve de valse d’Oscar Straus. Depuis 1999 elle occupe le poste de chef de chant à l’Opéra et Orchestre national de Montpellier Occitanie (OONMO). Actuellement, elle dirige le Choeur Universitaire Montpellier Méditerranée, et le Choeur Éphémère spécialisé dans le répertoire d’opérette. Valérie Chevalier, directrice de l’OONMO, lui confie la direction du grand choeur amateur Un Air de Famille(300 choristes) à l’Opéra et Orchestre National de Montpellier depuis 2016 à aujourd’hui. Son activité de pianiste chef de chant l’amène à devenir coach vocal pour l’émission TV de France 2 « Les prodiges », en novembre 2018, au Zénith de Montpellier aux côtés de la cheffe d’orchestre Zahia Ziouani. Par ailleurs elle joue pour divers récitals lyriques dans le cadre du festival des Chorégies d’Orange, le concours national des voix nouvelles et a assuré la fonction de chef de chant pour l’Opéra d’Avignon, l’Opéra Junior, le festival des Folies d’O, le Festival de Radio France Montpellier. Dans le cadre de la saison 2019-2020 à l’Opéra et Orchestre National de Montpellier Occitanie, elle se produira au piano dans plusieurs concerts avec le choeur de l’opéra national et sera chef de chant pour la production Poil de Carotte de Reinhardt Wagner dans une mise en scène de Zabou Breitman, Les aventures du roi Pausole de Honegger, le Requiem de Mozart et sera chef de choeur à l’OONM sur la production Carmina Burana de Carl Orff avec « Un air de Famille ».

As her father would say, Carmen was “my only daughter who was born singing, not crying”. Born in the Philippines, microbiologist-turned-cabaret singer, she made her solo début at Davenport’s in Chicago in 2013 with Here’s To Life! Her musical experience ranges from choirs, classic guitar, and cabaret. Auditing the 2018 Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion inspired her back to stage after five years of absence. She continues to sing with SongShopLive and is a member of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals.

Hollis Bolton with Christian Pagés

Hollis sings jazz, indie and cabaret, performs about Chicago in various venues. She been performing with Eve’s Undoing since 2005, and joined O Som Da Cor in Spring 2018. She also sings in various sound art, experimental and musical projects in Chicago, the Bay Area and Paris and composes some of her own work (playing the ukulele as well). She has a background in performance and experimental art as well as static forms of art.

A seasoned stage vocalist in many types of shows from rock to cabaret in several languages, Jeanie reveled in the experience of participating in the St Louis Cabaret Conference twice. Jeanie worked for Club Mediterranée for several years traveling and singing in many “villages”. She studied French in Aix-en-Provence and lived and worked in Paris for several years, singing at Jazz Clubs in Montparnasse and at The Hollywood Savoy next to La Bourse. These days, Jeanie hails from Sedona, Arizona, a beautiful cultural Mecca for some of the best artists and musicians from all over the world. She has fun collaborating in shows and gigs including the Sentimental Journey Big Band, a combo called “The Classics”, and is the director of Red Rockappella, a Sweet Adelines barbershop small chorus.

Singer-songwriter and performer (the repertoire of Piaf, Aznavour, Brel, Dalida, etc.) Born in Burgundy, Cassita started learning music and accordion at the age of 6, then dance and theatre. She created her first band in the 70s, and participated in many singing competitions. In 1976, she moved to Paris to pursue a career in singing and performed in several shows throughout France. She joined the show at the Lapin Agile in Montmartre in 1991; at the same time, she began touring internationally to represent the French Song: Singapore (Malaysia), Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, San Diego, San Antonio (USA), Stavenger, Christiansen, Sandnès, Mendal (Norway), Brindisi (Italy), Moscow (Russia), Toronto (Canada), then Prague (Czech Republic) for several years (where she will perform in November). Cassita appears in several television shows, performs Edith Piaf’s song La Foule for the PERRIER commercial, and received the Edith Piaf Grand Prix de la Francophonie in 2013.

Auteur-compositeur et interprète (E. Piaf, C. Aznavour, J. Brel, Dalida, etc.)
Née en Bourgogne, je commence l’apprentissage de la musique et de l’accordéon à l’âge de 6 ans, puis la danse et le théâtre, Je crée mon premier orchestre dans les années 70, puis participe à de nombreux concours de chant. En 76, je m’installe à Paris pour faire carrière dans la chanson. Je me prodcuit dans plusieurs spectacles dans toute la France et j’auditionne au Lapih Agile, à Montmartre en 91; en parallèle, je fais des tournées au-delà de nos frontières pour représenter la Chanson Française : Singapour (Malaisie), Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, San Diégo, San Antonio (USA), Stavenger, Christiansen, Sandnès, Mendal (Norvège), Brindisi (Italie), Moscou (Russie), Toronto (Canada), puis Prague (République Tchèque) depuis plusieurs années (prochaine représentation en novembre). Interprère de la publicité PERRIER avec la chanson « la foule » d’Edith Piaf. Grand Prix Edith Piaf de la Francophonie en 2013. Plusieurs émissions de télévisions.

Françoise Ferrand commence le piano au Conservatoire de Perpignan. Elle se spécialise dans l’accompagnement vocal et rentre au Conservatoire Supérieur de musique de Paris avant d’intégrer l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Paris où elle se spécialise comme coach vocal. Elle participe à de nombreux concerts (Amphithéâtre de l’Opéra Bastille, Auditorium du Louvre, Opéra Garnier), côtoie des chanteurs tels Roberto Alagna, Rolando Villazon, Stéphanie d’Oustrac. Elle est chef de chant sur différentes productions allant de l’Opéra (Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte) à la comédie musicale (Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I) au Théâtre du Châtelet. Son ouverture la mène dans différents domaines, comme celui du théâtre où elle accompagne l’acteur Jacques Sereys, société honoraire de la Comédie française, dans la pièce Si Guitry m’était conté à la Comédie française et au Théâtre du petit Montparnasse. Elle joue également dans un court-métrage dirigé par Christophe Perton « Les territoires du silence ». Elle participe régulièrement à l’émission de Fip radio « Classic bazar » et accompagne le baryton Florian Sempey pour sa nomination aux «Victoires de la musique classique». Françoise Ferrand donne des master-class de chant en France et à l’étranger.

Françoise Ferrand began piano studies at the Perpignan Conservatory. She is an acclaimed accompanist, playing for the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Paris before joining the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Paris. She has performed in many concerts (Amphitheater Opera Bastille, Louvre Auditorium, Opera Garnier), alongside singers such Roberto Alagna, Rolando Villazon, Stephanie Oustrac. She is the director of various productions ranging from opera (Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte …) to musicals (Singin’ in the Rain, The King and I) at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Paris. Her theater credits include work with actor Jacques Sereys, member of the Comédie Française, in the play, Si Guitry m’était conté, at the Comédie Française and the Théâtre du Petit Montparnasse. She also performed in a short film directed by Christophe Perton, The territories of silence. She regularly participates in the FIP radio Classic Bazaar program and accompanied baritone Florian Sempey when he was nominated for “Victoires de la musique classique”. Françoise Ferrand gives masterclasses in singing in France and abroad.

Louise has chosen to enjoy her retirement as a saloon singer. At the University of Detroit, she sang with the chorus’ specialty group The Singing Titans and performed at Expo 67 in Montreal. This past year she participated in Chicago Cabaret Professionals productions of Merry Measures and Strut Your Stuff. Most recently she launched her own cabaret show Broadway Broads at Davenport’s with Elizabeth Doyle at the piano. In addition, her small theater ensemble—S.W.A.G.—has produced four major productions in the last two years. She’s proud to call herself a regular at Petterino’s Monday Night Live and she can often be found around town at various venues where they might let her share the mic for a while.

Thrilled to sing again with the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion for her third year, Deborah has loved everything French since living in Paris as a college student at the Sorbonne. A linguist by profession, Deborah loves traveling the world singing and using her French and Spanish skills, and recently performed in both Chile and Madrid. A member of Chicago Cabaret Professionals, Deborah has been a featured performer in the Strut Your Stuff at Davenport’s Cabaret and has also performed in the Merry Measures Holiday Show. Other vocal performances include two Summer Cabaret Connexion Concerts at the LakeHouse. In addition to her solo appearances, Deborah loves connecting with others in ensembles and choirs. In November 2018, she was honored to sing at Carnegie Hall as part of an international choir performing Handel’s Messiah.

Beth has always enjoyed singing and performing. After graduating from Indiana University, she traveled to New York City where she continued studying voice and acting. She performed in regional theaters where she played leading roles in dramas, comedies and musicals such as Endgame, There’s a Girl in my Soup, and The Fantasticks. Later, Beth moved to Chicago where she obtained a Masters Degree in Special Education and then a Law Degree from DePaul University. After practicing law for 20+ years, she retired and reinvented herself by becoming a certified ESL teacher. This newfound freedom has given her the flexibility to travel, meet people from all over the world and learn about other cultures. This new life has given Beth the chance to return to her first love. . . performing. She enjoys cabaret because it lets her explore songs without being bound by the restrictions of a specific role and the intimacy of cabaret lets her connect with her audience. In Chicago she has performed in showcases and open mics at Davenport’s, Petterino’s, and salons.

While Brett is brand-new to the cabaret spotlight, he has spent a lifetime in the theater. Prior to his arrival in Belgium, he served as the Resident Director (Spielleiter) of the Kammeroper Koeln in Cologne, Germany and was Managing/Artistic Director of Army Community Theater (ACT) in the historic Richardson Theater on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii. While serving on Oahu, he was a six-time winner of the coveted Hawaii State Theater Council’s Po’Okela Award for Outstanding Achievement in Direction of a Musical. Additionally, his scenic design for Threepenny Opera (featured at the International Brecht Society Symposium in Honolulu) won a Po’Okela for Best Scenic Design of a Musical. Prior to Hawaii, Brett was the Artistic Director of the Stuttgart Theater Center in Stuttgart, Germany. While there, he produced/directed/choreographed dozens of musicals including award-wining European premiere productions of Triumph of Love and Urinetown. Additionally, Brett was a participant in the Harold Prince Musical Symposium at the Gesellschaft fuer Unterhaltende Buehnenkunst, Berlin.

Carrie joined Claudia Hommel’s SongShop in September 2010 the week after retiring from her position as a Staff Attorney with the U.S. District Court. Since then, she has appeared in shows at Cyrano’s Bistrot, the Jazz Showcase, the Daystar Center, DePaul School of Music, and Piano Forte. She also performs in Claudia’s Sunday Salon Series. Carrie made her debut at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret in the Chicago Cabaret Professional’s 2011 Holiday Cabaret and appeared in CCP’s Strut Your Stuff in 2014. She performed in the Rotary Near South’s benefits Broadway on the Cusp! in 2013 and in Broadway for the Hoi Polloi in 2014. In November 2013, Carrie performed her one-woman show Songs in the Key of Oz at the Daystar Center. She sings in the University of Chicago Chorus and serves on the Board of the Chicago Children’s Choir. She was President of the International Wizard of Oz Club from 2010-2017.

Singing in choirs and as a soloist since childhood, Mary was a member of the political parody singers the Capitol Steps in the 1980s. She has sung at numerous piano bars, in weddings and, most recently, in SongShop Live concerts. She was a participant in the Cabaret Connexion 2017 and 2018.

Singer-actress, emcee of the weekly bal Mouffetard with Christian Bassoul, Mylène played a key role in organizing both the 2017 and 2019 Paris Cabaret Connexion and coordinating the French delegation for Chicago 2018.

Artiste choréographique en danse contemporaine, Isabelle est curieuse et passionné:e par les rencontres et l’art. Elle aime les expériences qui ouvre et enrichissent son parcours artistique. « Le chant, l’exploration de la matière vocale sont pour moi des expériences physiques qui parlent du corps en mouvement. »
Modern dancer and choreographer, Isabelle is curious and passionate about new encounters in the arts. She loves experiences that open and enrich her artistic journey. “Song and the exploration of vocal arts are for me physical experiences that speak of the body in motion.”

Ava Logan is an award-winning singer-actress from Washington, D.C., now living in the Chicago area. Dr. Logan is a veterinarian by day and a jazz singer at night! The classically-trained jazz recording artist has performed jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues in the nationally and internationally, in jazz clubs, festivals, hotels and more with duos to 18-piece big bands! She has portrayed her idols Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson in professional theater performances in Chicago. Her first major CD, So Many Stars, produced by internationally acclaimed guitarist Henry Johnson, was met with critical acclaim. You can find Ava at

April has been performing most of her life and has been on stage since she was eight years old. She performs in a variety of music styles such as tango, mariachi and classic rock. Her specialty is musical theater. She was last seen as Bloody Mary in South Pacific for Music on Stage Theater. Some of her favorite roles are Elizabeth in Let it Be Christmas at Yellow Box Theater, Meg in Brigadoon, June/Junnie/Junita in Musical of Musicals, Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Emma Goldman in Ragtime.

Née d’une maman martiniquaise et d’un papa breton, c’est à Nice que Françoise Miran choisit de faire vivre sa passion de la musique et des chansons. En 1980, Françoise Miran crée Les Alizés, une association qui allie actions culturelles et sociales, produisant de nombreux artistes dans les quartiers de la ville. En 1984, elle organise le Festival Brésilien de Nice, qui réunit plus de 25 000 spectateurs conquis aux Arènes de Cimiez, et l’année suivante à Juan Les Pins. Ce sera ensuite au tour d’un Festival Créole aux Seychelles en 1991, puis d’un Festival de Percussions à Châteauvallon, en 1992, 1993 et 1994. Elle crée le Festival Jazz Off du Nice Jazz Festival, en 1994, 1195 et 1996. En 2001, elle fait venir de Cuba Compay Segundo, membre fondateur du mythique Buena Vista Social Club. Elle a été aussi la gardienne azuréenne d’une tradition d’une certaine chanson française en organisant la venue de ses amis : Moustaki, Ferré et autre Nougaro…en créant de nombreux spectacles dans lesquels elle chante Ferré, Kosma, Brassens, Barbara, Bruant, Prévert, Aragon. Elle a aussi rendu hommage aux femmes avec Femmes de Paroles et a récemment monté Chansons à la carte : un copieux menu dans lequel nous sommes invités à choisir les chansons que nous souhaitons savourer. D’autres spectacle : Escales où elle présente ses chansons, la Grande guerre a sa musique, Une histoire du cabaret, et à l’hommage à Kosma, un festival de chansons françaises et le Prix Joseph Kosma.

Born to a Martinican mother and a Breton dad, Françoise Miran currenty lives in Nice. In 1980, Françoise created Les Alizés, an association that combines cultural and social action, to educate and encourage artists in the city’s neighborhoods. In 1984, she organized the Brazilian Festival of Nice, which gathered more than 25,000 spectators at the Arena of Cimiez, and again the next year in Juan Les Pins. other orgainzational efforts include the 1991 Creole Festival in Seychelles, a Percussion Festival in Châteauvallon, in 1992, 1993 and 1994. She created the Jazz Off Festival as part of the Nice Jazz Festival, in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In 2001, she brought Cuba Compay Segundo, founding member of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club to the event. She also organized French song performances with her friends: Moustaki, Ferré and Nougaro, creating many shows in which she sings Ferré, Kosma, Brassens, Barbara, Bruant, Prévert, Aragon. She pays tribute to women songwriters with Femmes de Paroles and has recently created Songs à la carte: a rich menu in which we are invited to choose the songs we want to enjoy. Other recent shows: Stopovers—a personal journey with her own compositions, Music of the Great War (14-18), A History of Cabaret, and a festival in tribute to Joseph Kosma along with creation of the Joseph Kosma Award.

Pianist Jean-Claude will serve the CPCx conference as a principal pianist in master classes and concerts. He has participated in many international events and piano concerts around the world. Pianist, composer, conductor, Jean-Claude comes from a family of musicians. For many years he has played regularly in Paris at venues such as Le George V, le Plaza-Athénée et le Bristol. He appears frequently at the oldest Parisian artistic cabaret, Lapin Agile. He accompanied Claudia Hommel’s master class for twenty musical theater students at the École Professionnel de Comédie Musicale in 2016 and joined Elizabeth Doyle as principal pianist for the first and second Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion in Paris (2017) and Chicago (2018). He recently returned to Chicago to perform with Christine Steyer, taking their concert Sweet Spot between Our Worlds to Montréal. He performs as a solo pianist, as part of small jazz groups and also leads Parisian Big Band “BB15”. He has composed and performed for film.

Pianiste et arrangeur, Patrick alterne le studio et la scène, sa première scène à l’âge de 13 ans démontre déjà ses compétences musicales. Depuis il accompagne un nombre impressionnant d’artistes, chanteurs, comédiens et humoriste. Son répertoire musical s’est enrichi de multiples parcours (orchestres de bal, groupes de jazz-rock, de rock, musique country, chanson française, animation d’ateliers-chanson). Il a à son actif réalisé, enregistré et arrangé plus d’une centaine d’albums, ses musiques pour théâtre sont exportées dans le monde entier. Dernièrement une pièce de Mateo Visniec s’est jouée en Corée du Sud à Séoul. Il participe à l’album de la chanteuse new-yorkaise Dawn Harden, de Manu Dibango et autres artistes étrangers. Remarqué pour ses talents d’improvisation et de musicien comique, il accompagne le clarinettiste excentrique Clovis, le groupe humouristique Le Bruit Qui Court et Michèle Barbier pour son spectacle sur le cirque.
Patrick Pernet pianist arranger alternates between studio and stage, having begun his musical career at age 13. He has accompanied an impressive array of artists, singers, comedians and humorists. His musical repertoire has been enriched by multiple genres (dance bands, jazz-rock bands, rock bands, country music, French songs), and leading song workshops. He has directed, recorded and arranged more than a hundred albums. His music for theatre is exported the world over. Recently a piece of Mateo Visniec was played in South Korea in Seoul. He can be heard on the album of New York singer Dawn Harden, Manu Dibango and other foreign artists. Noted for his improvisational skills and comic musician, he accompanies the eccentric clarinettist Clovis, the humorous group Le Bruit Qui Court and Michèle Barbier’s show on the circus.

Jacques Protat is the author of the only academic study ever made of contemporary American cabaret singing—. He has recently rewritten his 2004 Ph.D. thesis as the book, Le Cabaret new-yorkais, théâtre intime du Great American Songbook, published in 2018 by L’Harmattan in Paris. In it, he describes what a small, artistic community in the U.S. simply calls ‘cabaret’. He analyzes both the cabaret scene, its history, socio-economics and aesthetics. Based on hundreds of sources, he provides a comprehensive definition of New York Cabaret: a specific performing art form born in the 1980s in Manhattan cabaret that combines “self-expression with the curation of a cultural heritage. The actor as curator of the Great American Songbook. Conservation through creation.”
Dr. Protat teaches at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. As James Porter, he is also a singer-songwriter of jazz songs.

Jacques Protat est l’auteur de la seule étude universitaire jamais publiée, en français ou en anglais, sur le cabaret américain de chanson d’aujourd’hui. Il a récemment remanié sa thèse de 2004 pour publier chez L’Harmattan Le Cabaret new-yorkais, théâtre intime du Great American Songbook (426 pages, 201, L’Harmattan). Il y décrit ce qu’une petite communauté artistique américaine appelle tout simplement le ‘cabaret’, en tant que scène artistique et en tant que forme de spectacle vivant. Il analyse son histoire, son organisation socioéconomique et ses principes esthétiques. A partir de centaines de sources — entretiens, livres, médias sociaux, articles de presse — il apporte une définition complète de ce qu’il a choisi de nommer “Cabaret new-yorkais”. Genre spécifique de spectacle vivant né dans les années 1980 à Manhattan, le cabaret new-yorkais associe expression personnelle et transmission d’un patrimoine culturel. L’acteur en tant que passeur. La conservation par la création. Jacques Protat enseigne à l’université de Bourgogne. Il est également auteur-compositeur interprète de chanson jazz, sous le nom de James Porter.

Maryline Rollet

Joyeuse et mélancolique, mêlant la douceur de la balade, l’énergie du jazz et la sensualité de la bossa-nova, Maryline nous embarque avec enthousiasme — en français, en anglais et en brésilien — dans son univers touchant et sensible. Elle se produit régulièrement en duo, trio, quartet, solo, sur les scènes des cafés, restaurants, clubs jazz, théâtres et aussi dans le métro parisien. Le répertoire chanson, jazz, bossa nova — principalement de reprises — est teinté d’humour et de poésie. Elle a participé à la première Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion à Paris en 2017.
Joyful and melancholy, mixing the sweetness of the ballad, the energy of jazz and the sensuality of bossa nova, Maryline brings us along enthusiastically—in French, English and Brazilian Portuguese—in her touching and sensitive universe. She regularly performs in duet, trio, quartet, solo, at cafes, restaurants, jazz clubs, theaters and also in the Paris metro. Her repertoire of standards is tinged with humor and poetry. She participated in the first Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion in Paris in 2017 and in Chicago in 2018.

Après des études de Communication Globale et Internationale, la soprano Caroline Sancho, se consacre pleinement au chant et obtient son Diplôme d’Études Musicales en 2016, à l’unanimité, au Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Chambéry en Savoie puis se perfectionne auprès de Cécile de Boever et Jean Philippe Elleouet tout en commençant sa carrière semi-professionnelle de chanteuse lyrique. Depuis son diplôme, Caroline chante et a chanté au sein d’ensemble vocaux comme le Choeur Emelthée (choeur professionnel Lyonnais) ou le Jeune choeur Symphonique de Lyon (choeur semi-professionnel de l’auditorium de Lyon). Elle a également chanté pour des productions de théâtre musical en Savoie (Compagnie Annie Tasset, Le Mariage de Figaro, mis en scène par Olivier Baert…).
Mais ce qui caractérise Caroline, c’est sans doute sa capacité à jongler avec différentes esthétiques musicales. Parallèlement au conservatoire, Caroline est devenu « intermittente du spectacle » en 2013 avec plusieurs projets de « Musiques actuelles » et de « Musiques du monde » : Evening in Paris (duo jazz piano-voix avec Richard Poher), Camara Lantana (quartet de musique Méditerranéenne), Padashti Lista (quatuor vocal de chants des Balkans), Ça vous Chante ! (quartet de chanson jazzy-manouche), troupe Omaha Spectacle (spectacles cabaret, variété, pour enfants), Two for folks, duo de reprises folk. Toutes ces expériences différentes les unes des autres ont permis à Caroline de développer ses capacités d’adaptation théâ ;trales, vocales, et musicales.

After studying Global and International Communication, soprano Caroline Sancho dedicated herself fully to singing and obtained her Diploma of Music Studies in 2016 at the Regional Conservatory of Chambéry in Savoy. She continues to study with Cécile de Boever and Jean Philippe Elleouet. Caroline sang in vocal ensembles such as the Emelthée Choir (professional choir in Lyon) and Lyon’s Young Symphonic choir. She also sang for musical theater productions in Savoie, including Compagnie Annie Tasset’s Le Mariage de Figaro, directed by Olivier Baert.
What characterizes Caroline is undoubtedly her ability to juggle different musical aesthetics. While at the Conservatory, Caroline became “intermittente du spectacle” (certified performer) in 2013 with several projects of contemporary and world music: Evening in Paris (piano-voice jazz duet with Richard Poher), Camara Lantana (Mediterranean music quartet), Padashti Lista (vocal quartet of Balkan songs), Ça vous chante ! (quartet of gypsy-jazz song), Omaha Spectacle troupe (cabaret shows, variety, for children), Two for folks, folk duo. All these experiences, which are so different from each other, have allowed Caroline to develop her theatrical, vocal and musical talents.

Jeni’s musical interests began is school when she played clarinet. after her senior year of high school, she was selected for the All-State band at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Through the years, she has traveled to the Far East, parts of Canada and many of the 50 states as a member of several choirs and was a soloist and member of a women’s choir from the College of Lake County in a cultural exchange to China in 2013. She has her B.A. in Music Education from Northeastern Illinois University, a Masters of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and has taught music in the public schools for ten years. A classically trained singer, she has performed in the ensembles of Madama Butterfly, H.M.S. Pinafore, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci and Die Fledermaus. This summer she played the part of Alice in The Secret Garden at P M & L theater in Antioch. Jeni is a voice and piano teacher. Recently introduced to Claudia Hommel’s SongShop and the cabaret style, Jeni is looking forward to the journey ahead.

Barb was the winner of the 2018 Skokie Idol Contest. She has sung in shows at Davenport’s, Underground Wonder Bar, Rosa’s Lounge, Chief O’Neill’s and the Cliff Dwellers Club. Her powerful alto voice is well-suited to jazz, blues, and folk music as well as cabaret. She is a board member of Working in Concert and an active volunteer organizer of the Cabaret Connexion. Barb started her career as a folk singer, playing guitar and singing at coffee houses and in hootenannies.

Lydia’s background is primarily in musical theater, although she also enjoys singing folk music, Tin Pan Alley songs and American standards in additional to show tunes. Her favorite roles include Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, Grandma Tzeitl in Fiddler on the Roof, Mr. Twimble/Wally Womper in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying and Dot, a Goose, in Honk! This is her third Cabaret Connexion, so she is not a newcomer to cabaret anymore, but still a novice. Lydia also plays a major volunteer role managing design and communication tasks for Working in Concert.

Emmanuel, chanteur amateur, baryton clair et enthousiaste. Expérience de chant choral lyrique avec l’opéra orchestre national de Montpellier dans le cadre des projets “Un air de Famille” 2018 (choeurs de l’opéra de Carmen de Bizet) et 2019 (Verdi, Gounod, Gluck, Saint-Saëns) sous la direction de Valérie Blanvillain pour les choeurs et de Victor Jacob pour les représentations à l’Opéra Corum de Montpellier. Sa participation à la Chicago-Paris-Cabaret-Connexion 2019 est une première pour cet amoureux de la chanson française.

Emmanuel Thevenin, avocational singer, light baritone and enthusiast of song. As a member of “Un Air de Famille” he has sung with the lyric chorus of the Montpellier National Orchestra Opera in their 2018 production of Bizet’s Carmen and 2019 productions of Verdi, Gounod, Gluck, Saint-Saëns, under the direction of Valérie Blanvillain for the choirs and Victor Jacob for the performances at the Opera Corum of Montpellier. His participation in the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion 2019 is a first for this lover of French song.

Parallèlement à ses études d’ingénieur, Christiane étudie le chant lyrique au Conservatoire National de Région de Montpellier et se perfectionne auprès d’Hervé Martin. En concert, elle est demandée comme alto solo par différents ensembles vocaux avec lesquels elle interprète des oeuvres variées, notamment les Vêpres solennelles et le Requiem de Mozart, le Gloria de Vivaldi, la Missa Tango de Palmeri, le Requiem de Duruflé ou la cantate Ami Maamin de Darius Milhaud (Festival de Musique Sacrée d’Avignon). Elle est soliste au Festival de l’Automne Musical de Nîmes en 2016 (Missa Solemnis de Beethoven), en 2017 (Requiem de Verdi, aux côtés notamment de Luca Lombardo) et chantera en décembre 2019 l’Oratorio de Noël de J.S. Bach. Sa voix ample et ronde est également très appréciée en récital et dans des productions lyriques (opéras, opérettes) : La Sonnambula, rôle de Teresa (Domaine de la Tour, Nébian), Didon dans Didon et Enée (Purcell). Elle a interpréte de nombreuses fois La Belle Hélène, ainsi que La Grande Duchesse de Gérosltein (Offenbach) dans la région. Elle participe à la création de productions originales en spectacles de poche où se mêlent des airs célèbres ou inconnus de l’opérette et de l’opéra : « Le cabaret de Margarita », « La charmante promenade », etc.

In parallel with her studies as an engineer, Christiane studied lyric singing at the Montpellier National Conservatory of Music and has continued with Hervé Martin. She is sought after as an alto soloist by several vocal ensembles with whom she performs such works as Mozart’s Vesperae solennes and Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Palmeri’s Missa Tango, Duruflé’s Requiem and Darius Milhaud’s cantata Ami Maamin (for the Festival of Sacred Music of Avignon). She was soloist at the Nîmes Autumn Music Festival in 2016 (Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis), in 2017 (Verdi’s Requiem, alongside Luca Lombardo) and will sing the Christmas Oratorio of J.S. Bach in December 2019. Her rich voice is also very popular in recital and operatic productions: La Sonnambula, role of Teresa, Dido in Dido and Aeneas (Purcell). She has often performed Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène and La Grand Duchess of Gérosltein in the region. She participates in the creation of original productions where famous or unknown tunes from operetta and opera are mixed: “The cabaret of Margarita”, “The charming walk”, etc.

Carol started singing and playing piano and violin at a very young age. For many years, she has been a troubadour with guitar in hand, playing in schools and libraries, senior centers, private parties, as well as at Navy Pier and Taste of Chicago’s family stages. She has also been heard at Davenport’s, the Jazz Showcase, and Cyrano’s, as well as singing and playing the piano at the Carlton Club at the Ritz, Cité restaurant atop Lake Pointe Tower, and the Forge Club in Vernon Hills. A founding member of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals, she has been able to live her dream of becoming a cabaret singer. She performs Life Is…Snapshots in Song and Thank You for the Music with Arlene Armstrong and Ruth Fuerst and most recently appeared with Don Hoffman at Davenport’s in I’ll Take Romance.

Coordinators and Outreach

The Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion was founded by Claudia Hommel, Elizabeth Doyle and Lynne Jordan, with the indispensable aid of Mylène Launay in Paris.
Chicago coordinators are Claudia Hommel, Barb Smith, Cappy Kidd and Lydia Stux, with the assistance of Elizabeth Doyle, Kyle Kustedt, Greta Pope and others.

Our principal French correspondents are Yves Bertrand, Jean-Claude Orfali and Mylène Launay with assistance by Maryline Rollet and Michèle Barbier.

Performers who joined our fundraising concerts for the first time in 2019 include: Bobby Kokott, Carol Solberg Moss, David Edelfelt, Drew Fase, Holly McGuire, Justin Harner, Kyle Hustedt, Myron Silberstein, Patricia Spaeth, and Russ Goeltenbodt.