Jackie Evancho celebrates birthday, album release
For Jackie Evancho, the classical-crossover song stylist from Pine in Pittsburgh’s North Hills, this is a week for celebrations.
Not only is she in town from New York to observe her 19th birthday on April 9 with her family; she’s also anticipating the April 12 release of her new studio album, “The Debut.”
The album pays homage to a re-emerging genre in popular music, Broadway’s New American Songbook.
“I actually was intrigued by the contemporary Broadway world in general,” said Evancho, in a phone call from her parents’ home the day before her birthday, which she said will include dinner with her family – and of course, cake.
She said a lot of consideration went into choosing the songs to include in her new album.
“I researched the shows and listened to the soundtracks and decided the songs I really enjoyed most with the best melodies,” she said.
She settled on a tracklist that features popular songs from 10 of musical theater’s hottest and recent shows, including “Burn” from “Hamilton,” “A Million Dreams” (“The Greatest Showman”), “Falling Slowly” (“Once”), “Somewhere” (“West Side Story”), “Requiem” (“Dear Evan Hansen”), “Once Upon a December” (“Anastasia), “I’m Not that Girl” (“Wicked”), “She Used to be Mine” (“Waitress”), “Whispering” (“Spring Awakening”) and “Another Day (No Day But Today)” (“Rent”).
“Honestly I don’t have a favorite,” she said of the album’s selections. “I love each of the songs and I really devoted myself to every one of them.”
The multi-platinum artist recorded the album in New York City, where she now lives when she’s not in Pittsburgh or on the road. The recording process took a few months, she said, scheduled in between concert dates and TV appearances.
She last performed on NBC’s “Americas Got Talent: The Champions” in February, where she sang another Broadway favorite, “The Music of the Night” from “The Phantom of the Opera.”
“The Debut” is Evancho’s eighth full studio album, following her “Two Hearts” release in 2017.
Pittsburgh concert date
She will be back in Pittsburgh for a concert appearance May 31 at The Byham Theater – and she promises fans she’ll be singing selections from her new album.
“It was an incredible experience getting to know these characters and songs and I can’t wait to perform them live,” she said.
She last performed locally in concert Nov. 2 at State Theatre Center for the Arts in Uniontown.
In addition to continuing to further her singing career, Evancho said she hopes to find time to pursue other areas of interest, including recording music videos and exploring the possibility of having her own cosmetics and clothing lines.
“I’m experimenting to see what else I can do,” she said.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.