A Conversation With...Richard Jay-Alexander and Lee Brian Schrager

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Venue:Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

A Conversation With... is a new series that brings together A-listers and influencers for thought provoking conversations. The inaugural program features renowned Director/Producer Richard Jay-Alexander and Lee Brian Schrager, Festival Director and Executive Director of Food Network/Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Guests can expect lively conversation and unexpected surprises.

Free for JMOF-FIU Members $125+ and FIU Students with valid ID, All other JMOF-FIU Members $18, Non Members $25. RSVP Here

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Richard Jay-Alexander

Richard Jay-Alexander celebrates 42 years in show business, having moved to New York City in the fall of 1975. He started as an actor/singer/ dancer and made his Broadway debut in the Luis Valdez play “Zoot Suit” which opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in 1979. He was also in the Original Broadway Cast of Amadeus alongside Ian McKellen and Tim Curry, and worked on Song and Dance with Bernadette Peters and the revival of OLIVER! with Ron Moody and Patti LuPone.

He is widely known for his 12 years working with Cameron Mackintosh, as Executive Director of his North American Company and staged eleven productions of Les Miserables, as well as serving as Executive Producer for The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, and Stephen Sondheim’s Putting it Together, which starred Julie Andrews, presented at The Manhattan Theater Club.

He entered the recording industry via cast albums and has worked with some of the greatest artists in the world today, both in the studio and on concert stages. Those artists include Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Ricky Martin, Lea Salonga, Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth, Betty Buckley, Johnny Mathis, Il Divo, Il Volo, Lea Michele, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes-Mitchell, Deborah Voigt, and the late Polly Bergen among them.

Richard has also done a number of television commercials, music videos, film work, awards shows, benefits and PBS specials, working in just about every venue in the world, including Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House and endless nightclubs, concert halls and stadiums. He proudly serves on the Executive Board of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and is passionate about animals, especially adoption and no-kill shelters.

He makes Miami Beach his home and has lived here for the past 25 years, while traveling hopping the globe, working. Richard is of Latin descent (his Mom was Cuban and his Dad Spanish American) He just finished directing the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, LA MUSA Awards, founded by Desmond Child and Rudy Perez, celebrating their 5th year, which was filmed and will be televised later this season.

Richard also co-directed (with Ms. Streisand), Barbra’s recent tour: THE MUSIC … THE MEM’RIES … THE MAGIC, which was filmed in Miami at the American Airlines Arena and will be available for streaming on NETFLIX later this year.

Mr. Jay-Alexander is a fan of the Jewish Museum-FIU and is thrilled to be sitting down with his good friend of over 30 years, Lee Brian Schrager. It will be a no-holds-barred conversation, with the opportunity for Q&A and Richard has stated, he’s flattered to have been asked to participate and inaugurate this exciting new series, at the museum.

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Lee Brian Schrager

Lee Brian Schrager, one of the nation’s preeminent event planners and media relations experts, serves as the Senior Vice President, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC. He joined the company in 2000 and oversees projects in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean where they do business. Schrager is widely recognized for his creation of both the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals.

Central to Schrager’s business philosophy is the notion of giving back to the community, and appropriately both Festivals are charity organizations. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival® has raised more than $25 million for the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center located on campus. Proceeds from the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival have raised more than $10 million to date for the hunger relief organizations No Kid Hungry® and Food Bank For New York City.

Schrager studied at the Culinary Institute of America and at the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University. He is a regular contributor for Ocean Drive magazine and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Board of Directors for Food Bank For New York City. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival® celebrated its 10th year in 2011, which Schrager commemorated with the release of his first book, Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $35/hardcover). Schrager’s second cookbook, Fried & True (Clarkson Potter), was released in May 2014 and third, America’s Best Breakfasts (Clarkson Potter), in April 2016.