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Watch Bill Murray Talk About Singing Badly (While Singing Well)


Bill Murray, left, with Vanessa Perez, Mira Wang and Jan Vogler.

Griffin Lipson/BFA.com

It takes real skill to sing badly, according to Bill Murray. “You’ve got to be pretty good to be a bad singer,” said Mr. Murray, who for years crooned off-key as the quintessential lounge singer on “Saturday Night Live.” “I was proud of that work,” he said. “My bad singing is right up there. It wasn’t easy.”

Now Mr. Murray, the actor and unpredictable bon vivant, is aiming to sound good: In an unusual pairing, he is releasing an album with the cellist Jan Vogler. “New Worlds,” out in September, features Mr. Murray singing and doing readings over music by Mr. Vogler’s chamber ensemble; “blessing the boats” by the American poet Lucille Clifton, is twinned with Saint-Saens’s “The Swan,” and an excerpt from “The Deerslayer” by James Fenimore Cooper, with a piece by Schubert. The group, including Mr. Murray, will be performing at Carnegie Hall in October.

In an interview in Manhattan on Thursday, Mr. Murray gave a taste of the program, leading the audience in a singalong of Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from “Porgy and Bess,” and revealing that he still sometimes gets nervous before going out on stage. Watch below.

TimesTalks: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends Video by TimesTalks

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