It is with great pleasure that Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Lou Ann Thompson, announces that Landau Eugene Murphy, the 2011 winner of NBC Television’s “America’s Got Talent” contest, will be joining the 2014 Festival in multiple capacities: most significantly, a major star turn at the Festival’s own “Apple Blossom’s Got Talent!” event. Best described as a classic American jazz singer, Landau will travel to the Land of Pink and Green to add his expertise to the judging of the Festival’s sensational new talent contest; to add his knowledgeable congratulations on stage to the winners; and, best of all, to add his brilliant singing voice to the Vegas-style festivities as he delights party-goers with a one-hour concert during the course of the evening.
In November 2010, Landau and his wife, Jennifer, took a gutsy stab at changing their luck and turning their lives around, and left their hometown of Logan, West Virginia, for New York City, where they stood for over twelve hours outside the Jacob Javits Convention Center to audition for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” As he worked his way through the various stages of the contest, Landau’s jazz-inflected choice of music was exceptionally revealing. His featured numbers included: “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.” He reached the Finals by covering Dean Martin’s classic, “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head;” and, won the entire contest on September 14th, 2011, after a performance of “My Way,” a song popularized by Frank Sinatra. He won the $1 million grand prize, and furthered his grip on instant stardom by becoming a headlining act in Las Vegas on October 28th, 2011.
Landau signed with Sony Records and Columbia Records, and released his first album, “That’s Life,” on November 21st, 2011. The album debuted at #34 on the Billboard Top 200, a pop chart; but, as could perhaps have been predicted, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz charts, and also reached #1 in the Jazz category on Amazon.com. Many have compared Landau’s vocals and phrasing to that of Frank Sinatra [a singer he has always admired]; and, there can certainly be no higher praise, Sinatra still being considered the “gold standard” for all jazz vocalists. Not at all afraid of the road, Landau has shown off his voice at Caesar’s Palace, the Apollo Theatre, Madison Square Garden, the Super Bowl, a televised performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and many other major media appearances, including The Today Show, Anderson Cooper, The View, The Talk, The Wendy Williams Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, The Tom Joyner Show, Scott and Todd on WPLJ, and Good Day LA. Landau’s autobiography reached the top spot on the Amazon.com Jazz Book charts in conjunction with his holiday CD: “Christmas Made for Two.” Between his 2014 tour stops, Landau is hard at work on his third album at Hollywood’s Capitol Records studios; and, earlier this week, he was thrilled to find out that he is being honored by the United States Jaycees as one of their 2014 Ten Outstanding Americans.
Festival Organizers are planning for Landau to take a high-profile ride through the Grand Feature Parade at 1:30pm on Saturday, May 3rd. He will then rush to the Sprint Tent for sounds checks; maybe get a little rest; and, then become a Celebrity Judge for the “Round of 12” at that evening’s “Apple Blossom’s Got Talent!” event. While the public themselves pick the winners from the final, judge-selected “Round of 6,” Landau will take the stage and give Festival Fans a one-hour concert of the very best of the big sound of Sinatra-styled, Vegas-tinged, American jazz. Tickets for this talent-packed evening are on sale now at the Official Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet at “The Railroad District, 302 North Cameron Street” in Old Town Winchester, and online at our Official Online Store.