As a follow up to our “10 [vocal range] That Are Gifts To the World” series, we’re highlighting 11 Broadway Performers That Have Amazing Music Projects!
We’ll be focusing on mostly those who write their own original music (with a couple of exceptions). We might not hit all of your personal faves (who probably already get a lot of attention and make every other “best of” list), but I think we’ve compiled a list of some really great folks, including ones you may or may not have heard of we know you should know (and come to love).
Some of them may not have made their Broadway debuts yet, but they’re all superstars who deserved to make this list.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
Jason Forbach (LES MIZ, PHANTOM, MISS SAIGON, MY FAIR LADY)
Jason Forbach has a full-length LP, A New Leading Man, a genre-defying collection of modern musical theatre pieces, and two EPs, which include a Christmas/ Holiday EP and Revolutionary. Co-written with Wesley King, titular track ‘Revolutionary’ encapsulates Forbach’s time on the national tour of Les Miz.
Ian Patrick Gibb (HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, JOSEPH...DREAMCOAT, LES MIZ)
Ian Patrick Gibb, who, like Forbach, produced music while on the last tour of Les Miz. Gibb put out not one, but two, records--LP Fill in the Words and Christmas EP The Time of Year for Miracles. Gibb has the same unique gift of interpretation Linda Ronstadt has, the courage to put their own unique “stamp” on songs.
Frances Ruffelle (LES MIZ, THE WILD PARTY, CHILDREN OF EDEN, CHICAGO)
Literally, everything Lena Hall does is cool. She’s a Broadway star and has two music projects. She’s also releasing an EP every month in 2018.
Julie Benko (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, LES MIZ, ONCE, RAGS)
Julie Benko recently released her gorgeous debut record Introducing Julie Benko in the fall of 2017, with stunning interpretations of jazz and broadway standards, as well as absolutely lovely original tracks.
Brennyn Lark (LES MIZ, PRINCE OF EGYPT, DREAM GIRLS)
Before she broke all of our hearts during the last LES MIZ revival, Brennyn Lark was wowing us on her Soundcloud account.
Erin McIntyre (née Hasan)( WICKED, GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE, LOVE NEVER DIES)
Erin McIntyre possesses one of the most singular and beautiful soprano voices in the world. She was once one of Australia's best kept secrets, and now we in the States are lucky enough to have her as Phoebe on the 2nd national tour of GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE. Her debut album was released under her birth name “Hasan,” and what a stunning offering it is.
Started as a fun challenge between writer and musician Kyle Jarrow (SPONGEBOB, THE WILDNESS, WHISPER HOUSE) and actor and singer Lauren Worsham (GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE, BIG RIVER, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE) (they’re married, and perfect, BTW), Sky-Pony is an indie- glam-rock multimedia experience. There’s going to a show, and then there’s Sky-Pony, which fits neatly (and cheekily) somewhere between Lana Del Rey, Blondie, Siouxsie & the Banshees, 60’s girl groups, and Mates of State.
My one final comment about all these folks and their amazing projects is that you should go out and buy the music. Artists make very little money off of streaming, especially indie artists. Even if streaming has adjusted the grossly disproportionate balance of power the recording companies have, and made the ability for people to put their own music out there easier than ever, and let consumers find what they want to listen to on their own, it’s still a hard way to make a living. If you have the capability to do so (because buying all the music we want is a luxury, and don’t think that point is being missed here in the slightest), do so. If you want these fine folks to keep doing what they’re doing (and it is amazing), you have to support them. Music can be incredibly expensive to make, and artists pour their whole lives into it, just so someone out there can whine about streaming ads or having to pay 99¢. Buy music. Buy the music of all these great folks on this list.