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Humanities New York presents: Person Place Thing: Paul Shaffer
May 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm| $25 - $100
About Person Place Thing:
Person Place Thing is an interview show by Randy Cohen based on this idea: people are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result? Surprising stories from great talkers. GET TICKETS HERE.
About Paul Schaffer:
World-renowned bandleader Paul Shaffer has been David Letterman’s musical director and sidekick on CBS-TV’s “Late Show” for over 30 years. A Grammy Award-winning master of musical and verbal improv, he has conducted a televised jam that included Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Jeff Beck; been musical director at the White House; delivered the riffs that got the nod when he played with Ray Charles, and traded on-air quips with celebrities from Julia Roberts, Tina Fey, and Nathan Lane to Bill Murray, Donald Trump, and Jack Black.
Shaffer’s professional career was launched in 1972 when he became the musical director for the celebrated Toronto production of “Godspell.” Two years later, he opened on Broadway, playing piano in the musical, “The Magic Show.” The next stop on his trajectory was a five-year stint with a new television show, “NBC’s Saturday Night Live.”
In addition to his albums “Coast to Coast” (1989) and “The World’s Most Dangerous Party” (1993), Shaffer has recorded with such diverse artists as Diana Ross, Yoko Ono and Robert Plant’s Honeydrippers. He composed the “Late Show” theme song and, with Paul Jabara, wrote the #1’80s dance hit “It’s Raining Men,” performed by the Weather Girls and re-recorded by Geri Halliwell for the “Bridget Jones’s Diary” soundtrack, topping the British pop charts in 2001. In 2002, he received his first Grammy Award, Best Country Instrumental, for the “Earl Scruggs and Friends” album.
His feature film roles include infamous local promotion man Artie Fufkin in Rob Reiner’s “This Is Spinal Tap.” He also appeared in the Mike Nichols-directed “Gilda Live,” the Bill Murray movie “Scrooged,” and with John Travolta in “Look Who’s Talking Too,” and voiced Hermes in Disney’s animated feature “Hercules” and the television series based on the film. He produced the gold-selling soundtrack for and appeared in “Blues Brothers 2000” and composed original songs for the movie “Strangers with Candy.”
Shaffer has served as musical producer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony since its inception in 1986. He led the band for the “We Are the World” finale of “Live Aid,” hosted CBS’s 1994 New Year’s Eve special from New York’s Times Square, and was musical director of the closing concert at the 1996 Olympic Games. He appeared with the Blues Brothers at the 1996 Super Bowl halftime show and was musical director of the 1999 “Concert of the Century” at the White House, featuring Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Gloria Estefan, ‘N Sync and others, to aid music programs in public schools. He was the musical director of Paul McCartney’s “Concert for New York” and appeared with Faith Hill on the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon, both of which honored and raised money for victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Shaffer holds two honorary doctorate degrees, was inducted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame, and was awarded a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. Paul recently received the Order of Canada, the highest Canadian civilian honor. He lives in the New York area with his wife and two children.
Shaffer currently resides in New York.
About Humanities New York:
Humanities New York provides leadership and support across the state’s intellectual and cultural sectors through grants, programs, networking and advocacy in order to encourage critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena. Founded in 1975 as the National Endowment for the Humanities’ partner in New York State, Humanities New York is the sole statewide proponent of public access to the humanities. Humanities New York is a private 501(c)3 that receives Federal, State, City and private funding.
* Please note the venue is located on a third floor only accessible via stairs.