Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Vocalist Steve Tyrell to perform tracks off his new album at the Coach House

Grammy Award-winning producer and vocalist Steve Tyrell will perform March 16 at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.
(Photo by Julie Soefer)

Dolly Parton. Ray Charles. Diana Ross. Rod Stewart.

These are just a few of the many artists with whom Steve Tyrell has collaborated in the studio as a Grammy-winning producer and vocalist.

Now, the native Texan, who is known for reinventing classic pop standards, has flipped through the Great American Songbook, selecting a number of standards for his latest album, “A Song For You.”

On March 16, Tyrell is heading to the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, where he’ll not only perform tunes off his 12-track release, which features his versions of love songs by Van Morrison, Jackie Wilson and Johnny Mercer, but also present a selection of his Top 5 hits from Billboard’s jazz charts.


“If you got anyone that you want to be your main squeeze, bring them to the concert,” Tyrell, 73, said by phone from his home in Sherman Oaks. “I’m here to help you, and you can’t go wrong.”

He should know.

With a career spanning five decades, Tyrell has performed at the nuptials of Chelsea Clinton, presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and British royalty.

But long before he’d work on film music with Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Nancy Meyers, Tyrell developed a respect for jazz, R&B and standards while growing up in Palo Pinto County, about 65 miles from Fort Worth. His Italian father would play Frank Sinatra on the radio, and Tyrell would listen to Count Basie, Louis Jordan and Billie Holiday.


At 18, he moved to New York City, landing a gig at Scepter Records, where he began producing music with Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

His recording career catapulted when he sang “The Way You Look Tonight” in the 1991 film “Father of the Bride,” starring two actors who grew up in Orange County, Steve Martin and Diane Keaton.

“A Song For You,” which features a blend of standards with rock-era ballads like “Try A Little Tenderness,” “You Are So Beautiful” and “When I Fall In Love,” are hits Tyrell considers the next chapters in the Great American Songbook.

“I never believe in copying them the way they were,” Tyrell said about new takes on classics. “They’re all a challenge because you want to bring something fresh — that’s what makes them so great. They can be interpreted in so many ways.”

Also featured on the record is the final work of Tyrell’s late friend and collaborator, Paul Buckmaster, an arranger and concertmaster of the rock era. “A Song For You” was the last song Buckmaster worked on in his Grammy Award-winning career, which included recordings with Stevie Nicks, Guns N’ Roses and Taylor Swift.

Each song is about love, whether one is hoping for reveling in or giving it his or her best shot, Tyrell said.

It’s a common thread he said he likes to explore as it makes songs timeless and touching

Though he has called Los Angeles home for over 30 years, Tyrell delights in a yearly residency at Monteverdi in Tuscany, Italy, where he performs for a select group of guests in a 14th-century Romanesque church.


He also has taken over the late cabaret singer and pianist Bobby Short’s residency in New York’s Upper East Side lounge, Cafe Carlyle, to ring in the holidays each December, and hosts “The Steve Tyrell Show” on L.A.’s KJAZZ 88.1 from 5 to 8 p.m. weeknights.

“I try to share great songs,” Tyrell said, “and love ties everything together.”

If You Go

What: Steve Tyrell

When: 8 p.m. March 16

Where: The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano

Cost: $38

Information: (949) 496-8930 or


Twitter: @KathleenLuppi