|Birth name||Jeffrey Dean Harnar|
July 27, 1959|
Manhattan Beach, California, USA
Jeff Harnar was born in Manhattan Beach, California, on July 27, 1959. His family moved during his childhood to Dearborn, Michigan; Riverside, Connecticut; and to Kenilworth, Illinois. He attended New Trier East High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He graduated from New York University with a BFA in Acting.
Jeff's performing career began in Chicago at age 10 as a television commercial talent. He performed in various community theater productions (Winthrop in The Music Man, Artful Dodger in Oliver!), and majored in theater studies throughout his schooling. Jeff's early career included performing at Opryland USA in I Hear America Singing. He was Little Chap in Stop the World - I Want to Get Off at Fairlane Mansion Dinner Theater in Dearborn, Michigan.
Jeff currently lives in Manhattan.
In 1983, Jeff's cabaret career blossomed in showcase rooms such as Mr. Sam's, Broadway Baby, Don’t Tell Mama, and Eighty Eights, working with musical director Alex Rybeck. Together with director Sara Louise Lazarus, Harnar and Rybeck created a series of theme shows whose critical success took them to major Manhattan venues such as The Ballroom, the Oak Room at the historic Algonquin Hotel, the Russian Tea Room, The Firebird Café and The Café Carlyle.
Jeff's signature cabaret shows include “Carried Away: Jeff Harnar sings Comden & Green,” “The 1959 Broadway Songbook,” “Easy to Love: Cole Porter,” “Dancing in the Dark: Vincente Minnelli's Hollywood,” “Because of You: Fifties Gold,” “Gershwin's Hollywood,” “The Warner Brother's Songbook,” “Sammy Cahn All The Way" and "A Collective Cy: A Cy Coleman Songbook."
Jeff has toured the USA extensively, notably in Chicago IL(Davenport's), San Francisco CA (The Plush Room), Palm Beach FL(The Colony Hotel), Dallas TX (The Fairmont Hotel), St. Louis MO (The Grandel Theater), Omaha & Brownville NE (The Brownville Concert Series) and Sarasota FL (Artiste Series of Sarasota). Jeff has also performed in Paris (The Piaf Awards), Norway (The Oslo Concert House) and London (Pizza on the Park & The Jermyn Street Theatre).
Jeff can also be seen with Broadway star Shauna Hicks in “I Got Rhythm: Mickey & Judy's Hollywood,” appearing most recently with The San Diego, Spokane, North Carolina, Des Moines,Middletown Ohio and Albany Symphony Orchestras and at New York's Town Hall. www.mickeyandjudy.com
Television appearances include “The 1959 Broadway Songbook” (PBS), “Remember: Songs of the Holidays” with KT Sullivan (PBS) and as the singing narrator of “Gershwin on Ice” starring Dorothy Hamill (A&E).
Jeff has appeared at Carnegie Hall in both the Cole Porter and Noël Coward Centennial Galas, his own solo concert at Weill Recital Hall, “A Talent to Amuse” with Andrea Marcovicci and Steve Ross, and most recently as Michael Feinstein's special guest in a tribute to Jule Styne at Zankel Hall.
Under the banner "Jeff Harnar presents The American Songbook in London" Jeff presented three seasons of cabaret at The Jermyn Street Theatre in 2006 & 2007 and at Pizza on The Park in 2008. Artists presented included Julie Wilson, Andrea Marcovicci, Lilliane Montevecchi, Steve Ross, Tony DeSare, Karen Akers, Maude Maggart, KT Sullivan, Alison Jiear, Sian Phillips, John Standing among many others.
In 2008 Jeff appeared off-Broadway in a 3-person revue adaptation of "The 1959 Broadway Songbook" at 59e59 Theatres co-starring Klea Blackhurst and Anna Bergman. Jeff also was host and artistic director at "Lyrics & Lyricists" for an 5-person adaptation of "The 1959 Broadway Songbook" co-starring Sally Mayes, Sarah Uriarte Berry, David Burnham and Special Guest Donna Mckechnie at The 92nd Street Y
On June 9, 2011 Jeff joined Andrea Marcovicci at New York's Town Hall to celebrate Cole Porter's 120th birthday with "Easy to Love: The Words & Music of Cole Porter." 2012 New York appearances include debuts at Birdland, Iridium and joining Andrea Marcovicci to co-host the Cole Porter night of The Mabel Mercer Foundations 23rd Annual Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall.
Jeff can be seen as the nightclub singer in the upcoming film release "Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait of James Dean" (Iconoclast Films) www.joshuatree1951.com
A personal career highlight was appearing with The McGuire Sisters during their reunion tour.
Harnar is the 2012 Winner of The Noël Coward Foundation Cabaret Award. Harnar is a two-time winner of the Manhattan Association of Cabaret Award (MAC) as Best Male Vocalist and three times been honored with the BackStage Bistro Award (Newcomer, Male Vocalist, Best Show).
- 1959 Broadway Songbook (1991)
- Because of You: Fifties Gold (1995)
- Sammy Cahn: All the Way (2001)
- Dancing In The Dark (2005)
- Finishing the Act (1999)
"The Mickey & Judy Show" (1999)
- Jule Styne in Hollywood (2006)
- Personal recollection of a schoolmate