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Award-winning vocalists ELLEN WINTERS and JOHNNY RODGERS pay tribute to jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Tormé in ELLA MEETS MEL – HOLIDAY EDITION, December 8 – 12, 2021 in the Marla Eichmann Studio Theater of the SideNotes Cabaret at Sunset Playhouse. Along with a trio of outstanding musicians, Winters and Rodgers interpret the distinctive styles and holiday favorites of two indisputable superstars of the jazz genre. 


ELLEN WINTERS is a past winner of the Jazz Artist category of the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Awards.  In addition to many local performances, she has been featured at Danny’s Skylight Cabaret and Rose’s Turn in New York City, and at The Dakota in Minneapolis. JOHNNY RODGERS toured with Liza Minnelli as a featured singer, dancer, pianist, and songwriter in the Tony Award-winning Liza’s at The Palace.   At their sold-out appearances in Chicago, reviewers have described Winters and Rodgers’ performances individually and collectively as heartfelt, freewheeling, and filled with high-flying vocal pyrotechnics.


The vocalists will be backed by an exceptional three-piece band, The SideMen. The trio features three-time WAMI winner SAM STEFFKE on keyboards. Bassist HAL MILLER has performed with many jazz notables and is Associate Music Professor at MATC. Drummer JIM RYAN has been playing regionally for decades, appears with several local groups, and maintains a private drum instruction studio.


Performances of ELLA MEETS MEL – HOLIDAY EDITION are Wednesday through Saturday, December 8 – 11 at 7:30PM and Sunday, December 12 at 2:00PM.

Sunset Playhouse is proud to be celebrating its 62nd season, and offers eight productions in the Furlan Auditorium, six Musical MainStage concerts, six SideNotes Cabarets, and three shows in the bug in a rug Children’s Theater series.  To reserve tickets, call 262-782-4430 or visit  For group sales, contact Stephanie at 262-782-4431, ex. 291.

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