Raissa’s January 2014 Appearances

January 11th and 12th, I’ll be appearing, through the Center Productions, Inc. concert booking agency,  with my musical director/pianist, Kenneth Gartman, and  bass player extraordinaire, Matt Scharfglass,  at the APAP Convention  - Association of Performing  Arts Presenters - at  NYC Hilton Hotel, 6th Avenue at West 53rd Street,  in the Gibson Suite, 2nd floor .  These showcases are free to the public, so please come , bring your friends,and enjoy and cheer! Here are the details:

January 11th  from 9:20 to 9:40 pm,  I’ll be presenting a sampling of my show, “Can’t Help Singing – The Music of Jerome Kern”, which I originally performed at Feinsteins, NYC.

January 12th from 11:00 to 11:20 pm, Kenneth does triple duty as MD, Pianist and Singing Partner as we premiere a sampling of our new duo show, “What a Wonderful World”.    In it, we celebrate the songs that have inspired and uplifted us for decades -

What A Wonderful World

What A Wonderful World

popular standards and show tunes from America’s greatest composers: Rogers and Hammerstein, Berlin, Sondheim and more,  plus the best of a new generation of popular songwriters.  ”Forget your troubles and just get happy …” with we two good friends!

January 16th -I’ll be performing a nice role in  a reading of  my dear and talented friends, Rosemary Loar and Robert Atwood’s newest show, “Water From the Moon”, 6:30  pm through the Musical Mondays Theatre Lab, at the Snapple Theatre, Broadway at 50th Street (enter on 50th Street).

There will be more appearances to come – so visit here often, and don’t forget to bookmark, “Raissa Recommends” Calendar of Events, where I let you know where our CFCG Alumni are appearing in the Tri-State Area

Raissa’s December Appearances

I have a couple of very cool, performances this December, that I’ve just recently booked, so this is a quick note to let you know about them.
First up - I’m tremendously proud to appear THIS COMING WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4th at 7 pm in “NOTEWORTHY 1″ as part of the Winter Rhythms series at Urban Stages.   Andy Monroe, co-author of THE KID and THE TRAGIC AND HORRIBLE LIFE OF THE SINGING NUN, and the author of DRIVE, presents songs from his shows in an evening that is by turns both hilarious and touching.   This evening features the talents of Jimmy Cochran and Courtney Show who appeared with me last season in a reading of Andy’s “DRIVE”, andKevin Dozier- an award winning singer, recording artist, good friend and colleague.  I LOVE Andy’s work, and along with several charming and funny group numbers with the 4 of us, I get to do 3 completely diverse solos – they are fabulous.  An added treat – Andy will also perform one of his songs – in addition to being a fabulous writer and pianist, he has a wonderful voice. Please come if you can.
Here’s the link for info and tickets and if you use the code PAL20, you get a discount as well -
or call:  212-868-4444.  For more information, please visit www.urbanstages.org or call 212-421-1380.
WINTER RHYTHMS 2013 marks the fifth year that Urban Stages has brought noted musical artists to its stage during the holiday period. This critically acclaimed series, produced by Peter Napolitano, raises money to fund Urban Stages’ On Tour Outreach Program, bringing over 300 FREE “arts in education” presentations yearly to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs. Urban Stages is also celebrating its 30th Anniversary season.
Second - Dec. 17th I’ll be at 54 Below singing a special holiday song (just 1, but it’s great!) with my good friends, Terese Genecco and Shaynee Rainbolt in “HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE BIG BAND” starring Terese Genecco and her Little Big Band.
I was planning on going to this show and bringing a bunch of friends, because Terese always puts on a great show, so this is even more fun now! Plus, 1/2 of her band are members of MY band as well – in fact, Sean HarknessRay Marchica andMayra Casales are all featured on my CD,“Another Kind of Light”,and Tom Hubbard plays bass on my upcoming CD, “Can’t Help Singing – The Music of Jerome Kern – Live from Feinsteins”.  I hope you’ll come – I know you’ll leave a fan of Terese and her band!  Here’s the link for info and to order:  http://54below.com/artist/terese-genecco/

Third - On December 20th at 7 pm, Kenneth Gartman and I will preview our brand new duo show - ”WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD” at  Spirit Expressing Coffee House and Cafe, located at:

The Center for Spirit Expressing, Suite 1108, 642 Hilliard Street, Manchester CT 06042
(860) 432-2144.  Spirit Expressing is founded by my dear friend, Rev. Ed Townley – minister, author, radio personality and theatre director.  I performed a preview show before my Feinstein’s run last year for Ed’s coffee house performance center, and it was a great experience.  Wonderful performance space and so many of my friends from college days are in the Hartford area, so it was great to see them there.  I hope to see them all again.  Kenneth is one of my closest friends, an amazing pianist, musical director and “uber” singer and working with him has been nothing but fun!

Raissa’s September/October/November Appearances

Tuesday, September 24th at 9:50 pm  and 10:50 pm.
COME SEE RAISSA IN NASHVILLE!  Performing 2 mini sets of her critically acclaimed show  -  ”CAN’T HELP SINGING – THE MUSIC OF JEROME KERN” AT THE PAE (Performing Arts Exchange through South Arts), Room 201 Convention Center, 601 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN  37203
Represented by CPi - www.centerproductionsinc.com
October 10th, 6 pm -  RAISSA IS EXCITED TO BE MAKING HER CABARET CONVENTION DEBUT, OCT 10TH, AT ROSE HALL, LINCOLN CENTER.  Please visit: http://www.mabelmercer.org/ to purchase tickets and get more info!


The Jazz At Lincoln Center Box Office is open!
Broadway at 60th Street, ground floor
(mon-sat 10am-6pm, sun 12pm-6pm)
CenterCharge (212) 721-6500


Buy Tickets


November 3rd, 8:30 pm – RAISSA directs, performs and MC’s HIDDEN TREASURES II – Songs of Larry Kerchner at Stage 72, (formerly the Triad Theatre) 158 W. 72nd at Amsterdam – for tickets please visit: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/443837 - phone information #1-800-838-3006

October 6th & 13th, November 10th & 24th - I  regularly perform “Platform” and Chaplain duties at our UNITY CENTER FOR PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY -  10:30 a.m., 3 West Main Street, Norwalk, CT.  For those of you wondering what “Platform” is, another term for it is “Pulpit Assistants” – our roles compliment the role of the Minister.  It’s sort of like “hosting” the service: doing inspirational readings, meditation leaders and prayer partners. I hope you’ll join me some Sunday morning - Unity Center, where all are welcome,  is a spiritually community founded and based on a concept of always pointing the way toward a more positive way of living – a philosophy that helps people discover and live their highest potential and purpose.

This season, I was honored with 2 MAC Award Nominations -  1 for Major Artist and 1 as the Producer of THE CONCERTS FOR CITY GREENS!  I was so grateful to be nominated with my good friends, colleagues and CFCG Alumni, one and all: BABY JANE DEXTER,  TERESE GENECCOERIC MICHAEL GILLETT,and  LENNIE WATTS - Lennie took home the prize and we were all so happy for him – he’s a good friend to us all.  Congrats Lennie!

I was also honored to be nominated in  4 Categories for the Broadway World Cabaret Awards.  You can click on this link to see the list of nominees and now, winners – most of them CFCG Alumni, I’m proud to say!

My newest CD, ANOTHER KIND OF LIGHT is  available on iTunes, Amazon, and LML Music.  If you have it, or are planning to,  please go to iTunes and Amazon and write a review!


Listen to the Commercial

List of Tracks

(Click on the Song to Listen at LMLMusic.com)

1: It’s Possible
2: ▶ I Concentrate On You
3: ▶ Make Me A Kite
4: Good Thing He Can’t Read My Mind
5: I Furnished My One-Room Apartment
6: How Could I Not?
7: If I Love Again / Will You?
8: Putting Things Away
9: Torch Song For Raissa
10: I Will
11: ▶ Waiting For A Westbound Train
12: A Tomb With A View
13: Bye, Bye, Ingénue
14: Ordinary Miracles
15: ▶ i carry your heart

Texting Translation for “Torch Song for Raissa”

RUUP4XNO-ING? – “Are you up for kiss-and-hugging?”
UBIN2MUVIGO-ING? – “You into going to a movie?”
URHNSA – “You’re hot and sexy-assed.”
IMSNF2PSOWYSAM – “I am safe and free to play so would you send me a message.”


NIFOC – “Naked in front of Computer”



Raissa Katona with Frank Spitznagel on Piano

Listen to a selection from this CD – click on one of the links below:
04 Niagra
06 A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Make
Please send $15.00 (which includes s&h) check or money order to:
Raissa Katona Bennett
2 Tudor City Place, Suite 15ES,
NY, NY 10017

Raissa sings backup for Lucie

Raissa and her singing surgeon husband, Garrett, sing “back up” for Lucie Arnaz on her LATIN ROOTS cd – you must get this wonderful cd – here’s a clip and the link: 05 Johnny Angel Latin Roots

“The Third Testament”

Raissa’s Scenes from “The Third Testament”

This film is first-time feature producer/writer/director Matt Dallman’s ambitious alternate-present indie thriller, a preposterous, irresistibly compelling car-wreck of a yarn in which, essentially, the Jesus Seminar and Dan Brown fanatic conspiracy theorists win, theologically—and succeed in having the “Third Testament” of the Gnostic gospels canonized.