BAR HARBOR — MDI-based harpist, recording artist and singer-songwriter Liza Rey Butler will give an interactive concert featuring music and a reading from her book and CD “Go to Sleep My Baby” at the Jesup Memorial Library on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 1 p.m. During the concert, kids are invited to participate by playing the harp, shaking rhythm instruments and singing familiar songs.
“Go to Sleep My Baby” is a children’s bedtime story based on the lyrics and music of a favorite family lullaby. It was illustrated by Jessica Millis. The book includes a CD with “Go to Sleep My Baby,” along with 12 more of Butler’s favorite lullabies that she arranged for harp with cello, flute and strings accompaniment, along with the lyrics to all of the lullabies.
Butler, who was born in Hollywood, began playing piano at age four and harp at 14, and by then, she was singing professionally. Her parents, Luise King and Alvino Rey, were successful professional musicians, and she was immersed in music. She sang backup vocals for recording stars like Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis and more. She also was a core member of the weekly ABC TV Show “The King Family,” where she sang, danced and played harp and toured nationally every summer.
Butler earned a master’s degree in performance harp and became a freelance studio harpist. She performed regularly on TV shows as a member of the CBS Orchestra. Married and living in the Lake Tahoe area, she formed her own jazz quintet. They played concerts, shows and festivals, performing her original music and arrangements. She often was requested as harpist, backing acts as diverse as Sammy Davis Jr., Sarah Vaughn and Tony Bennett, Glenn Campbell, Neil Sedaka and Broadway productions.
After moving to Houston, Texas, Butler and her quintet toured and played concerts for thousands of children in the Houston area. She often included her sons Win and Will and their friends in her shows. Those boys are now core members of the Grammy-winning indie rock band “Arcade Fire.” While in Texas, she recorded and released a jazz harp album, “Harp and Soul,” and a well-received Christmas album, “Noel Nouveau.” In 2003, Butler moved to Somes Sound to live in the childhood home of her husband, Ned. Visit www.lizarey.com.
Copies of the book and CD will be available after the concert. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.