Grammy-award nominated Tierney Sutton and jazz man Joe Gransden will headline the annual tribute to legendary Georgia songwriter Johnny Mercer, the genius behind “Moon River,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” “Hooray for Hollywood” and countless others. The event will be held at The Rialto Center for the Arts on Feb. 7 at 8 p.m.
Sutton has been nominated for a Grammy for every recording project she has done in the last decade. Her most recent nomination is for “Screenplay,” an album of songs taken from movies of the last century.
Lyrics are important to any singer, but Sutton is a connoisseur of lyrics and is especially delighted to be part of the Johnny Mercer tribute. She says Mercer is the greatest American lyricist. She and Joe Gransden will be singing some of the most popular of Mercer’s 1,400 songs like “Moon River”, “Skylark” and “Come Rain or Come Shine”. They will also be debuting four new songs written to Mercer lyrics by Georgia State University Research Assistant in Special Collections and Archives Marco Maritz, who is completing his master’s degree in jazz studies. .
Mercer (1909-1976) was a native of Savannah, and his papers are housed in the archives of Georgia State University. Gransden, a ’93 graduate of GSU, says that many of the lyrics were written on napkins and scraps of paper. He commends Maritz for choosing the lyrics and writing the music for the four new songs. Gransden, who also teaches trumpet at GSU, has been part of the tribute, which includes GSU Jazz Band, six times. The money raised from the tribute goes directly to scholarships for music students at the university.
For information on tickets visit rialto.gsu.edu.