Winter Rhythms 2017 marks the ninth year that Urban Stages has brought noted musical artists to its stage during the holidays. The mission of the Winter Rhythms series is to make sure up-and-coming as well as better-known singers, musicians, lyricists, and composers are on the New York theater community's radar. Winner of the 2016 Bistro Award for Outstanding Series and the 2015 Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award, Winter Rhythms funnels its profits into Urban Stages's acclaimed Outreach Program, which brings over 200 free arts-in-education presentations to libraries and schools throughout New York City's five boroughs.
The 22 shows of Winter Rhythms 2017 are dedicated to the memory of the late Barry Levitt (1947-2017), a celebrated Broadway, off-Broadway, jazz, and cabaret musician, musical director, and composer. Levitt was a longtime member of the Urban Stages family, having music-directed its acclaimed 2010 production of Langston in Harlem. In collaboration with Peter Napolitano, Levitt wrote music for the 2016 production of Mabel Madness and also produced jazz concerts for the Winter Rhythms series.