Decades after Kansas City launched her career, singer Marilyn Maye is still a 'life force'
At 95 years old, Kansas-born Marilyn Maye said she's singing "better than ever." The iconic performer was a regular fixture in Kansas City for decades, and this weekend she returns to the Folly Theater with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.
With a career spanning eight decades, Grammy Award-nominated singer Marilyn Maye has no intention of retiring. In fact, last March she hit a career milestone — a sold out Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New York Pops, just shy of her 95th birthday.
Although her career has taken her all over, she honed her craft here in Kansas City — calling the town home for decades, at times performing five nights a week at the Colony Steakhouse. On Friday and Saturday night, she'll join the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra for "She’s the Talk of the Town" at the Folly Theater.
Michael Feinstein, the founder of the Great American Songbook Foundation, has said Marilyn Maye is “more than an entertainer and a great musician — she is a life force that awakens something in other people.”
Her secret to such a storied career?
"It's attitude and keep moving. You got to keep moving," said Maye. "I have friends say I'll never retire and and it's true. You can't retire you don't do that. I'm singing better than I ever have. I'm doing things these days that surprised me."
- Marilyn Maye, Grammy Award-nominated singer