Manhattan Rhythm Kings biography
Known for their polished performances of American popular music from the ‘20's, ‘30's
and ‘40's, the Manhattan Rhythm Kings have gained a large and enthusiastic following across the country. While frequently compared with such musical greats as the Mills Brothers and Paul Whiteman’s Rhythm Boys, the trio has established a unique character of its own with a combination of close harmony singing, virtuosic instrumental work, and spectacular tap dancing. The Rhythm Kings started performing together on the sidewalks of New York in 1980. From there these song and dance men graduated to playing cabarets, colleges and concert halls across the country. In fact, the King’s recent concert in Stowe, Vermont marked the 50th state the group has performed in!
It was their sparkling combination of song and dance that first attracted the attention of Broadway’s Tommy Tune. In 1984 Mr. Tune asked the trio to assemble an act based on the songs written by Fred Astaire. Their collaboration continues today and the act has performed together in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall and Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza, and a tour of the former Soviet Union, where they commanded standing ovations in Moscow, Tblisi, and St. Petersburg.
The King’s are favorites at symphony pops concerts and have performed with over 70 orchestras, including the Boston Pops, The Pittsburgh Symphony, and the orchestras of Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Atlanta, among others. The Rhythm Kings have made numerous appearances on TV, most notably “Evening at pops”, with John Williams, Tommy Tune and the Boston Pops, as well as the Emmy Award-winning “Celebrating Gershwin” with conductor Michael Tilson-Thomas. In addition, they’ve starred in their own special for Nebraska Public Television, and were featured with Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony on their PBS special. Other TV credits include “The 1992 Tony Awards”, the “Today” show, “CBS, This Morning”, the 1992 “Kennedy Center Honors”, “Entertainment Tonight”, “As the World Turns”, as well as several appearances on “The Charles Grodin Show”.
In 1992, they were back on Broadway, this time indoors at the Shubert Theatre. They were featured as Mingo, Moose, and Sam, a trio of crooning bumpkins in the “new” Gershwin musical “Crazy for You”, winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Choreography.
The MRKs have shared the stage with Bob Hope, George Burns, Sandy Duncan, Liza Minelli, Leonard Bernstein, Judy Collins, Bette Midler and Gregory Hines, to name a few. They also appeared with the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall’s Easter Spectacular.
After two decades of performing together, the Manhattan Rhythm Kings look forward to more symphony pops dates, another tour of Italy and Europe, concert performances with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks and their pal, Tommy Tune.