Ricky Riccardi will discuss “What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years.”

Start spreading the news… James Kaplan will discuss his two bestselling biographies on Frank Sinatra to open the Three Evening Readings series at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m.

Other chats are scheduled for November and December as part of this program, during which award-winning writers will share their work processes.

On Oct. 23, the main topics will be Kaplan’s “Frank: The Voice (2010)” and “Sinatra: The Chairman (2015).” But the Guggenheim Fellowship winner might also mention his biography of John McEnroe (“You Cannot Be Serious”) and “Irving Berlin: New York Genius,” which has a 2019 publishing date.

Kaplan has been producing fiction, journalism, and biography for more than four decades, while carving out a niche as an expert on profiles of famous entertainers, including Madonna, Miles Davis, and Meryl Streep. His resume includes clips from “Vanity Fair,” “New York Magazine,” and “The New Yorker.”

The Three Evening Readings series will continue with Ricky Riccardi’s presentation on his book, “What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years,” on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. This biography reports on the jazz legend’s most popular years on a commercial level, but they were emotionally turbulent times with some critics accusing Armstrong of selling out. (The book refutes these claims.)

The Director of Research Collections at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Riccardi is lovingly called “Rick-apedia” because of his uncanny ability to recite unending details of Armstrong’s life. He also runs a blog on Satchmo and lectures about the jazz legend at venues around the world, everywhere from the National Jazz Museum in Harlem to the Monterey Jazz Festival. Plus, he periodically hosts listening parties at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jennifer Egan, whose novel “Manhattan Beach” won the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, will be the final speaker of the series on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.

Like Kaplan, Egan won a Guggenheim Fellowship. She also received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction and a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library.

On the fiction side, her accomplishments include winning the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for “A Visit from the Goon Squad” and having her novel “The Invisible Circus” converted into a Hollywood film starring Cameron Diaz.

On the journalism side, Egan most recently wrote about pregnancy and childbirth among opioid-dependent women for “The New York Times Magazine.”

Tickets are $20 per event, but attendees can buy a $45 Season Pass and attend all three.

The sessions are scheduled for the 165-seat Choral Room in LeFrak Concert Hall at Queens College. The address is 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.

Images: Kupferberg Center for the Arts and Jennifer Egan


Join The Discussion

Popular Stories
Cop formerly assigned to Queens precinct busted by feds for murder-for-hire plot against her husband
VIPizza in Bayside to celebrate its 60th anniversary this weekend with giveaways, live music and more
Probe continues after a decomposed body washes up on the shores of Whitestone

Skip to toolbar