THE PASADENA POPS HEAT UP THE ARBORETUM STAGE WITH AN EVENING SOLEY DEVOTED TO COLE PORTER

Pasadena, CA – Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS heat up the Los Angeles County Arboretum on August 20th with an evening solely devoted to one of America’s most beloved musical icons for Cole Porter Night. Smart and sophisticated with a naughty boy’s streak for mischief, Porter was in that rare echelon of songwriters who wrote both words and music. He roared through the 20’s dazzling the Paris social scene, dominated the Broadway stage through the 50’s, and remains wildly popular today with audiences of all ages humming along to his timeless songs. Feinstein gives you a backstage pass into Cole Porter’s world for an evening of classics with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “I Love Paris,” “Ridin’ High, “Night and Day” and many more of your favorites.

Michael Feinstein is no stranger to Cole Porter’s songbook, having performed his music on many occasions, including with Marvin Hamlisch and the Pasadena POPS years ago. But with the orchestra now under his baton, this evening’s program presents a new experience for both Feinstein and the audience. “This will be the first time that I have put together a Porter program that I conduct with an orchestra and so it gave me the opportunity to pull out some instrumental arrangements that I have been saving for this occasion, states Feinstein.” Among these, he will premiere a selection of works that have never been heard publicly, “or at least not in 70 years.”  Also to be performed is a new Cole Porter overture by Resident Pops Conductor Larry Blank and the original overture from Broadway’s “Anything Goes,” dating back to 1934.

As Feinstein transports the audience back to Cole Porter’s time, he will be joined on stage by two sparkling vocalists. The always-stunning Catherine Russell, who has earned a Grammy Award for her work on the the soundtrack for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire will light up the stage along with Nick Ziobro, winner of Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Competition. You won’t want to miss the silky-smooth vocals of this up-and-comer, whom The New York Times has praised for “an easy swinging confidence and charm that suggested he could evolve into another Michael Bublé.”

All Pasadena POPS concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30 p.m. and performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss the best outdoor dinner party in town with spacious circular table seating with fine linens, or lawn seating for those who want to bring a blanket – each option carries on the tradition of picnic-dining with your family and friends with Pasadena’s premier POPS orchestra! Among many venue amenities, concert goers can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet dining packages for on-site pickup just steps from their table from Julienne, Marston’s and Claud & Co. The food court hosts mouth-watering food trucks plus specialty ice creams by Choctál, and the venue now offers the convenience of two full beverage centers serving fine wines, beer, coffee and soft drinks.

Audiences get the ultimate outdoor concert experience with large LED video screens to see Michael Feinstein and the orchestra up close, superior sound and the high-quality production value that is a signature of the Pasadena POPS. Patrons may also visit the Pasadena Humane Society’s Mobile Adoption Unit, which will be on-site prior to each concert with deserving animals in need of a forever home as part of the Pups for POPS program. For those who want to make a night of it, exclusive hotel packages are available for POPS patrons at Pasadena’s landmark Hotel Constance.

The Arboretum is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA. Subscribers may pre-purchase parking on-site at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers enjoy free parking at the adjacent Westfield Santa Anita shopping center with complimentary non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.

Single tickets start at $25 and are available by calling the box office at (626)-793-7172, online at PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org, or at the Arboretum on the day of the concert.

IF YOU GO:

  • What: The Pasadena POPS presents Cole Porter Night
    Michael Feinstein, conductor, Tom and Erika Girardi Chair
    Catherine Russell, soloist
    Nick Ziobro, soloist
  • When: Saturday, August 20 at 7:30pm
  • Where: The LA County Arboretum | 301 N Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
  • Cost: Tickets start at $25.00
  • Dining: Gates open at 5:30pm. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink or visit one of the many onsite gourmet food vendors.
  • Parking: Subscribers have the opportunity to purchase onsite Arboretum parking. Single ticket holders may park for free at the Westfield Santa Anita shopping center with free non-stop shuttles to the main gate.

###

ABOUT MICHAEL FEINSTEIN
Conductor

Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe – in addition to his appearances at iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House – his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.

In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy. This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.

The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records. The CD features Grammy Award -winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent (Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole). Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek to Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein’s CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.

His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook,” the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV Special, “New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room” written and directed by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry aired in 2014.  For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interviews and performs alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.

Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements.  He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014.

Michael’s book The Gershwins and Me – the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.

Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein” in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Michael’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, his new club in New York, late in 2015. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012.

He has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.

In 2013 Michael released Change of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn’s pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael’s late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.

Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously-unreleased tracks.

Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.

Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.

Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.

For more information, please visit www.MichaelFeinstein.com.

ABOUT CATHERINE RUSSELL
Soloist

Vocalist Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a pioneering pianist/composer/bandleader and Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray has performed with Mary Lou Williams and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Catherine’s professional life began early. After graduating with honors from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she embarked upon musical adventures with Carrie Smith, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, and Rosanne Cash.

Her 2006 debut album “Cat”, (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), garnered rave reviews, paving the way for her 2008 sophomore release, “Sentimental Streak”.  Catherine has been a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, PBS-TV’s Tavis Smiley Show, and NPR’s Fresh Air, Piano Jazz, Mountain Stage, World Café, and JazzSet. She has won a prestigious German Record Critics’ Award and a Living Blues magazine’s critics’ poll. L’Acadamie du Jazz in France chose “Sentimental Streak” as finaliste for Prix du Jazz Vocal. Catherine Russell’s third album, “Inside This Heart of Mine”, reached #1 on JazzWeek and Roots Music Report’s radio charts, while also charting on Billboard and reaching #1 on I-Tunes jazz charts. A fourth album, “Strictly Romancin’” was released in February 2012. Catherine Russell won a Grammy Award as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO-TV series, Boardwalk Empire.

With universal acclaim, Catherine Russell has performed on three continents. She’s been a hit at major Jazz Festivals including Monterey, Newport, North Sea, JazzAscona, Montreal, Bern, Rochester International, Tanglewood, and at sold out venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Scullers in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, Dizzy’s Club in NYC, and Yoshi’s in San Francisco. All Music Guide says, “Russell emerged as a retro old school vocalist for the ages.”

Her repertoire features a selection of gems from the 1920s through the present; vital interpretations, bursting with soul and humor. With an off-the-beaten-path song selection, sparkling acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach, Catherine Russell has joined the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song.

ABOUT NICK ZIOBRO
Soloist

A dynamic new voice in the world of classic American standards, Nick Ziobro was the winner of the 2012 Great American Songbook High School Vocal Academy and Competition. The 19-year-old native of upstate New York spent a year serving as the Youth Ambassador of the Great American Songbook and was featured in Season 10 of America’s Got Talent as part of the singing duo “Nick & Eddie”. He is currently pursuing a BFA at Rider University.

When he made his New York debut at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency onstage with Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye, The New York Times praised him for “an easy swinging confidence and charm that suggested he could evolve into another Michael Bublé.”  Nick earned a host of rave reviews around the country. He was hailed as “a budding young talent” by LA Weekly, and called “a radiant presence” from Edge Los Angeles, “absolutely breathtaking” by the Carmel Current and “stunning” by the Napa Valley Register.

In addition to opening for Feinstein, Barbara Cook and Marilyn Maye, other performances include the Pasadena Pops with Marvin Hamlisch, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, The Nugget in Reno, the Cincinnati Pops at Riverbend Music Center, and the Napa Valley Opera House. Nick also performed at the inaugural induction gala for the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame in June 2012 alongside Barry Manilow, Andrea McArdle, Clay Aiken and Lari White.  He was invited to perform the National Anthem at the Indianapolis Colts game in September 2012.

Nick’s association with world renowned Great American Songbook interpreter Michael Feinstein has afforded him the opportunity to perform all over the country. Recent performances include opening for B.B. King at Syracuse Jazz Fest and joining Michael Feinstein at the Wynn Las Vegas, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

Ziobro debut album – A Lot of Livin’ To Do – produced by Michael Feinstein and featuring jazz greats Bucky Pizzarelli, Tedd Firth, Jay Leonhart and more – was released in 2014.

ABOUT THE PASADENA SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION

Recent Acclaim for the Pasadena Symphony and POPS

“The Pasadena Symphony signals a new direction…teeming with vitality…dripping with opulent, sexy emotion.” Los Angeles Times.

“…full of pulsating energy from first note to last… the strings were lushly resonant, the wind principals were at the top of their games, and the brass rang out with gleaming vigor.” –Pasadena Star News.

Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians.  With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.

The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor.  The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, is the Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded Marvin Hamlisch in the newly created Marvin Hamlisch Chair.

A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO) comprised of five performing ensembles, with over 250 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region.  The PYSO Symphony often performs on the popular television show GLEE.

The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.

-end-