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Simon joins McFerrin for improvised jam

Sun., Sept. 16, 2012

Paul Simon probably never had a vocal partner quite like Bobby McFerrin, who coaxed him onstage for an impromptu performance of a Simon and Garfunkel hit – the highlight of opening night of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 25th anniversary season.

In his unique style, McFerrin had just started singing “Scarborough Fair” at Thursday night’s concert when he suddenly stopped to say that someone had spotted Simon in the audience.

“I don’t know really how you feel about improv, but there’s an extra microphone over there,” he said to Simon.

“How could you do that to me,” Simon said good-naturedly as he joined McFerrin onstage at the Rose Theater for an unexpected guest turn.

Simon quickly adjusted to McFerrin’s loose, irreverent style as they echoed each other’s lines, broke up the lyrics and adapted their singing to saxophonist Ted Nash’s arrangement of the Simon song for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

As the audience gave a standing ovation, orchestra music director Wynton Marsalis joked: “Ok, Paul, I saw that. I’m shocked you did that.”

Colbert: ‘I love my church’

In a rare public moment out of character, actor Stephen Colbert told students at the Jesuit Fordham University on Friday that he loves the Roman Catholic Church no matter its human flaws.

The host of “The Colbert Report” talked about his faith in a discussion on humor and spirituality with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the Rev. James Martin, author of “Between Heaven and Mirth” and the official chaplain of Colbert’s show.

Colbert, who has taught Sunday school classes to school-age children, said people in comedy often don’t understand how he could remain Catholic. But he said he views the church as teaching joy, which he called the “infallible sign of the presence of God.”

“I love my church – warts and all,” he said, before an audience of about 3,000 students.

The birthday bunch

Actress Lauren Bacall is 88. Blues singer B.B. King is 87. Drummer Kenney Jones (Small Faces, Faces, The Who) is 64. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 63. Jazz guitarist Earl Klugh is 59. Illusionist David Copperfield is 56. Actor Mickey Rourke is 56. Country singer Terry McBride is 54. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 54. Comedian Molly Shannon (“Saturday Night Live”) is 48. Singer Marc Anthony is 44. Comedian Amy Poehler is 41. Singer Musiq is 35. Actress Alexis Bledel is 31. Musician Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 20.


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