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Lionel Cole

2019 Biamp PDX Jazz Festival presents Lionel Cole: Celebrating Nat King Cole at 100

February 24 | 4:00 pm

- $45.50 – $55.50
Winningstad Theatre

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Lionel Cole is the only son of four time Grammy Nominee, jazz icon Freddy Cole, the nephew of the late, great Nat King Cole, and first cousin of the late, great multi-genre, Grammy winning vocalist, Natalie Cole. Lionel is an internationally heralded pianist, songwriter, composer, music editor, music supervisor, public speaker and, most notably, was the Musical Director and regularly touring member for Mariah Carey‘s live performances and recordings for over ten years. Together with Mariah Carey, Lionel co-wrote Carey’s Billboard chart single “Through the Rain,” which appeared on Carey’s ninth studio album Charmbracelet (2002). The song peaked at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the U.S. sales and dance charts. One of his proudest moments was arranging “The Star-Spangled Banner” for Carey and the Boston Pops at the 2002 Super Bowl following 9/11. He also was the featured keyboardist and background singer for Carey’s worldwide tour, which played to sold-out audiences. For the past few years Cole’s creativity has focused on work with long-time writing partner Randy Jackson (of the television series American Idol).

Lionel Cole’s other notable partnerships include Malcolm-Jamal Warner, co-creating the jazz-funk band, Miles Long’s –  The Many Facets of Superman, featuring En Vogue‘s Cindy Heron and soul icon Teena Marie where he was also lead singer and producer.  Additionally, Cole remixed the million-selling cover single “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” by boy band AZ Yet, and in 2010 toured with jazz-blues star Rickie Lee Jones.

Cole’s music work extends into film and television having composed the film score for the Tim Reid film Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored and the Showtime series Linc’s.  He can also be heard as a featured vocalist in John Powell’s score for The Bourne Identity (2002) followed by a two-year stint as band leader on the television series Malcolm and Eddie where he played piano with Ivan Neville and his ensemble.  Cole was featured as part of Robert Downey Jr.’s band on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Tonight ShowEllen, and Good Morning America.

Lionel was born in New York City and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He moved to Chicago to study singing at Northwestern University, then moved to Los Angeles. In 1986 & 1987, he traveled with Up With People (Cast 86C). He currently resides in Sydney, Australia, with his family and performs regularly as lead singer with his band Cole Soul & Emotion. In May 2014, he participated in The Voice Australia, working with coaches Ricky Martin and Kylie Minogue.