The combination of Yaala Ballin, voice, and Michael Kanan, piano, is very special: a swirling-together of melody, joy, and wit in the most delightfully intuitive ways. And because they both know the way to our hearts through music, they can be brave. Each song is a delicately strong exercise in the taking of risks — risks that pay off.

Over the past few years, they have developed a concert “program” where the audience gets to choose the songs from a long list of classics (Porter, Berlin, Gershwin, Ellington, Rodgers and Hart and more) — each audience member picks two titles, and the slips of paper are placed in a basket, from which Yaala draws. It works wonderfully: a combination of surprise and pleasure.

I’m writing this just in time: Yaala and Michael will be performing one set together, tomorrow, November 17, 2 PM (New York time) on Facebook Live.

Here are four love songs from their Valentine’s Day 2020 concert, an occasion I recall well with great gratitude.


Berlin’s very touching THEY SAY IT’S WONDERFUL —

OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY (with the verse):

and a fitting close to this segment, AT LAST:

HEART AND SOUL for sure.

Don’t forget: Yaala and Michael will be performing tomorrow, November 17, at 2 PM (New York time). I know it’s only virtual — Facebook Live — but I look forward to the time when they can be experienced in person.

May your happiness increase!

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