Nellie McKay Concert to Benefit Music Industry Studies Program

Nellie McKay Concert to Benefit Music Industry Studies Program
Nellie McKay

Performer, songwriter and activist Nellie McKay will give a benefit concert on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m. for the Music Industry Studies Program. Earlier in the day, she will also hold a free songwriting master class with Music Professor Arthur Winer.

Noted for her critically acclaimed debut album “Get Away from Me” and for her Broadway debut in “The Threepenny Opera” in 2006, McKay describes her music as “schizophrenic voodoo.” Her eclectic style and sharp lyrics distinguish her as an original voice.

McKay's music jumps through different genres, from Tin Pan Alley pop to cabaret to reggae, rap and jazz. The voodoo quality comes from her ability to combine the music with her evocative, playful and bold lyrics.

Her music has been heard on the television shows “Weeds” and “Grey's Anatomy.” She created original songs for the Rob Reiner-directed film “Rumor Has It.” Recently, Nellie made her feature film debut in “P.S. I Love You.” On the stage, Ms. McKay won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of “The Threepenny Opera.” She has performed on numerous television and radio shows including “A Prairie Home Companion.”

A recipient of the Humane Society's 2005 Doris Day Music Award for her dedication to animal rights, McKay has participated in benefits for groups, such as Planned Parenthood, Fair Fund, ACLU and the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. In addition, Ms. McKay has been active in supporting get-out-the-vote efforts, the campaign to close primate laboratories and working to ban carriage horses.

With about 120 students, Cal Poly Pomona's Music Industry Studies Program emphasizes music business, production and recording while providing a foundation in music theory, history, recording technology and performance. In preparation for careers in music, students complete internships throughout the music industry.

The benefit concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for students and are available at the door, on, or through the Music Publicity Office, Building 24, Room 142 or (909) 869-3554. The master class is from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall and is free and open to the public.

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