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Jerry Kravat

( b. circa 1936 Bronx, New York, USA - d. Mar 30, 2008 New York, New York, USA ) Male
A crowning achievement of Mr. Kravat’s nearly 50 years in show business was overseeing the career resurgence of Barbara Cook, with whom he began a professional association in 1979. In 2006, she gave a sold-out concert at the Metropolitan Opera House, and in 2007, she performed three sold-out 80th birthday concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Suave and street-smart, known for his refined taste and sharp eye for talent, Mr. Kravat was a consummate deal-maker. His company, Jerry Kravat Entertainment Services, was formed in 1977, booking bands of all kinds for weddings and other social occasions; its production arm, Park Avenue Talent, produces concerts and corporate events.

Besides Ms. Cook, performers he either managed or frequently booked at some time in their careers included Eartha Kitt, Joel Grey, Cab Calloway, Bobby Short, Lena Horne, Mort Sahl, Steve Allen and Sylvia McNair.

Jerome Kravat was born and brought up in the Bronx, attended the High School of Music and Art, graduated from New York University and served two years in the Army. He began his career playing piano in the Catskills but became a bandleader and businessman after forming an early partnership with the conductor Skitch Henderson.

From the 1960s to the mid-’80s, he managed society orchestras in the New York metropolitan area, and at one point or another booked the entertainment for almost every major New York hotel. He had long-term relationships with the Waldorf-Astoria, for which he became entertainment director in the late 1960s, and the Carlyle Hotel, where he booked the Café Carlyle.

In 1977, his orchestra succeeded Guy Lombardo’s as the band playing “Auld Lang Syne” on the CBS broadcast of the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, a practice that continued for 11 years. In the late 1970s, until the death of Princess Grace, he coordinated entertainment for the principality of Monaco. As a theater producer, his biggest success was the 1985 off-Broadway show “Mayor,” a musical-comedy portrait of Ed Koch.

source: NYT obituary 

ProductionsDate of Productions
Barbara Cook: A Concert for the Theatre
[Special, Concert, Original]
  • Produced by Jerry Kravat
Apr 15, 1987 - Apr 26, 1987
[Musical, Original]
  • Produced by Jerry Kravat
Oct 23, 1985 - Jan 05, 1986
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