Bill Murray Teams With Cellist for Musical Stage Show 'New Worlds'

Actor links with acclaimed cellist Jan Vogler for project blending song, literary readings

Bill Murray will team with acclaimed cellist Jan Vogler for a new stage show, 'New Worlds,' that blends music and literary readings. Credit: Damon Winter/The New York Times/Redux

Bill Murray will premiere a new musical stage show, New Worlds, this summer and release an album to accompany the performances in August, The New York Times reports. The project will boast a mix of songs, literary readings and chamber music and finds Murray teaming with acclaimed cellist Jan Vogler.

New Worlds will premiere July 20th at Festival Napa Valley in California. A North American tour will follow, though a full schedule has yet to be announced.

Murray will sing an array of tunes including Stephen Foster's standard "Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair" and selections from West Side Story. He'll also read snippets of Walt Whitman and Ernest Hemingway while a Volger-led trio performs Schubert, Bach and Piazzolla. The other musicians include violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez.

With all four members hailing from different parts of the world – the United States, China, East Germany and Venezuela – New Worlds will explore issues such as identity and American history. For instance, one section finds Murray reading a part of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn while the trio plays "Moon River."

"We are from four different continents," Murray said. "And when the continents come together, the music moves right across the peninsulas from one to the other. It's just a short journey from one continent to the other."

New Worlds marks another unique moment in Murray's remarkable, multi-faceted career, of which music has always played a major part. One of Murray's best known Saturday Night Live sketches was "Nick the Lounge Singer," while his acclaimed turn in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation featured a memorable karaoke scene

In 2015, he reunited with Coppola for a music- and cameo-filled holiday special, A Very Murray Christmas, and recently appeared on Paul Shaffer's new album. Their collaboration, "Happy Street," will be released as a seven-inch single on Record Store Day, April 22nd.