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Jerry Kravat, Manager And Musician, Passes At 72

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) –Jerry Kravat, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 72. He was a leading New York City nightclub and concert booker, bandleader and producer who was the longtime personal manager of the singer Barbara Cook.

He had difficulty after cancer surgery which led to his dearth, according to his son, Dr. Darwin Buschman.

Kravat’s spent close to 50 years in show business was overseeing the career rebirth of Ms. Cook. Two years ago she gave a sold-out concert at the Metropolitan Opera House, and more recently she performed three sold-out 80th birthday concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

According to the New York Times, “As a performer one always wants to find someone who really takes care of business,” she said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “You’re even luckier if you find someone who wants to build a career. But one never expects to find someone who can do all that and also be a close and trusted friend.”

Street smart but still smooth, known for his sophisticated taste and 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 any occasion was it’s focus. Park Avenue Talent, produces concerts and corporate events was it’s child company.

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, according to the new York Times.

He is survived by his wife, Marty Kravat; his twin sister, Muriel Barall; five children, Dr. Buschman, Lynne Bushman-Fielding, Leah Kravat, Amanda Kravat and Jenny Kravat Solomon; two stepdaughters, Betsy Grass and Julie Wurts; and 13 grandchildren.

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, that practice was carried on 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. – CelebrityAccess Staff