March 8, 2023
Tickets on sale now for the six-concert series from June 24 – September 9, 2023
Pasadena, CA – Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS announce the 2023 Rusnak Summer Concert series at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. The six-concert series will run from June 24 to September 9, 2023 with a stellar line-up of multiple award-winning guest artists including Pink Martini’s larger-than-life Storm Large, Grammy Award-winning singer Catherine Russell, Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes and two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole, plus the multiple Grammy and Emmy-nominated Michael Feinstein in concert. The POPS summer season offers something for everyone with an exciting mix of sound from Hollywood, Broadway and Las Vegas to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and Queen.
Feinstein heats up the summer on June 24 with Divas through the Decades, joined by the sultry sounds of Jazz songstresses Nicole Henry and Catherine Russell, plus Motown singer Freda Payne to celebrate powerful black women who shaped the American Songbook. The sizzling season opener will feature music from Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone to Natalie Cole, Tina Turner and beyond. On July 15 the Kings of Soul take the stage to sing the hit songs of Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Al Green and Smokey Robinson with Soul Man, Shop Around, Get Ready, Move On Up, Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and more. Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein puts down the baton and picks up the mic for one night only as soloist on July 29 to salute the giants of Broadway with music from Stephen Sondheim, Marvin Hamlisch, Cole Porter, Jerry Herman, John Kander, Stephen Schwartz and much more for Michael Feinstein Sings Broadway.
On August 12, Storm Large, Clint Holmes and Matthew Johnson bring a slice of Sin City to the Arboretum for Viva Las Vegas. Hear the stories behind the singers who made Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world with songs from Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Ann-Margret and Elvis. The POPS Will Rock You on August 26 with the Music of Queen featuring chart-toppers Another One Bites the Dust, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Somebody to Love, Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are the Champions. Feinstein closes the season September 9 with Two-time Tony Award winner and Broadway legend Christine Ebersole for Hollywood Blockbusters: Mancini to Williams, paying tribute to the music that made Hollywood a hit parade from beloved film composers Henry Mancini, Johnny Mandel and Ennio Morricone to John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith and Michael Giacchino.
All concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, located at 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30pm and performances begin at 7:30pm. 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 Michael Feinstein and the San Gabriel Valley’s premier orchestra! Among many venue amenities, concert goers can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet box dinners for on-site pickup just steps from their table, two full-service beverage centers, or a variety of food truck options.
Subscribers may purchase pre-paid onsite parking at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers can purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, with complimentary non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance. Season subscriptions and single tickets, starting at $30, are now on sale and available by calling the box office at (626) 793-7172, online at pasadenasymphony-pops.org/
Divas Through the Decades
June 24, 2023
Michael Feinstein, conductor
Nicole Henry, soloist
Freda Payne, soloist
Catherine Russell, soloist
Kings of Soul
July 15, 2023
Larry Blank, conductor
Kings of Soul, special guests
Michael Feinstein Sings Broadway
July 29, 2023
Larry Blank, conductor
Michael Feinstein, soloist
Viva Las Vegas!
August 12, 2023
Michael Feinstein, conductor
Clint Holmes, soloist
Matthew Johnson, soloist
Storm Large, soloist
Music of Queen
August 26, 2023
Larry Blank, conductor
Music of Queen, special guests
Hollywood Blockbusters: Mancini to Williams
September 9, 2023
Michael Feinstein, conductor
Christine Ebersole, soloist
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. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, leads the POPS as Principal Pops Conductor, succeeding Marvin Hamlisch.
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 seven performing ensembles, with over 400 gifted 4th-12th grade students from all over Southern California. The PYSO Symphony has performed at venues across the globe as well as on the television show GLEE.
The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.
Principal Pops 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.
Resident Pops Conductor
Resident Pops Conductor, Larry Blank is one of the most prolific and sought after composers, conductors, and orchestrators in the entertainment business today. His work has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and top television and film projects.
He was the Music Director/Conductor and/or vocal arranger for many shows on Broadway and in Los Angeles including They’re Playing Our Song, Evita, Sugar Babies, La Cage Aux Folles, Phantom Of The Opera, Onward Victoria, Copperfield, Colette, A Chorus Line and A Little Night Music. He has been nominated three times for both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his orchestrations in The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and with Marc Shaiman for Catch Me If You Can. Larry received a Drama Desk Nomination for orchestrations for A Christmas Story
Larry contributed to the orchestrations for both the stage and film production of The Producers, the film Chicago and is a regular conductor and arranger for BBC RADIO 2 Friday Night Is Music Night in the UK. Larry is also the Music Supervisor and Orchestrator (along with Mark Cumberland) for the Olivier Awards in London.
Blank has worked with top talent from varied fields of the entertainment world, notably as personal conductor to Michael Crawford. He has also worked with Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Bernadette Peters, Kelsey Grammar, Christine Baranski, Roberta Flack, Pete Fountain, Peabo Bryson, Sally Kellerman, Nancy Dussault, Marc Shaiman, Jerry Herman, Ann- Margaret, Davis Gaines, Bette Midler, George Benson, Placido Domingo, Randy Newman, Trisha Yearwood, Tom Scott, Quincy Jones, Michael Bolton, John Raitt and Diana Rigg.
Blank’s background includes orchestrating and arranging songs for South Park and was Music Supervisor and Orchestrator for Jerry Herman’s movie, Mrs. Santa Claus starring Angela Lansbury and Charles Durning. Some of the films he lent his talent to include The Kid, Kiss The Girls, The American President, Forget Paris, City Slickers II, The Net, That¹s Entertainment III, North, I¹d Do Anything, and Stuart Saves His Family. Blank’s music can be heard on the animated feature films, Cats Don’t Dance and All Dogs Go To Heaven as well as the 101 Dalmations Christmas Special.
Mr. Blank’s television work includes orchestrating and composing music for several of the Grammy Awards and Academy Award shows as well as numerous television movies and shows.
Mr. Blank has guest conducted most of the orchestras throughout the world, including The San Francisco Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Palm Beach Pops, Auckland Symphony, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Symphony, New Orleans Symphony and Toronto Symphony.
Since her debut, Nicole Henry has established herself among the jazz world’s most acclaimed performers, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance.
Her passionate, soulful voice and heartfelt charisma have earned her a Soul Train Award for “Best Traditional Jazz Performance,” and three Top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums. Heralded by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, El Pais, Jazz Times, Essence and more, Ms. Henry tells real stories through peerless interpretations of repertoire from the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, popular standards, blues and originals.
She has captivated audiences in over 20 countries, headlining at venues in cities including New York, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Miami. Ms. Henry has also performed in more than 30 music festivals worldwide and in some of the world’s most famous venues including Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Blues Alley, Arsht Center, Feinstein’s, Green Mill, Jazz St. Louis, Madrid Jazz Festival, Regattabar and Catalina Jazz.
She has recorded with some of today’s musical greats including Kirk Whalum, Julian Lage, Gerald Clayton and Gil Goldstein and has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra and Michael Feinstein. In late 2019, Ms. Henry returned to the theatrical stage and garnered critical praise in the musical version of The Bodyguard, and in 2021 starred in the world premiere of the new musical A Wonderful World, about the life of Louis Armstrong.
Growing up in a musical family in Bucks County, PA, Ms. Henry immersed herself in the arts early on, singing in school and church, and studying cello and ballet. After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in Communications and Theatre, she launched a successful acting career, appearing in national commercial roles as well as a series of voiceover assignments. However, she directed her strongest passion toward the development of her full-time singing career which was quickly rewarded when the Miami New Times named Nicole “Best Solo Musician.”
Through Nicole Henry’s career accomplishments and active commitment to supporting community non-profits such as Miami Children’s Initiative, YoungArts and Miami Music Project, she has been recognized by the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County with proclamations of “Nicole Henry Days” in 2011, 2016 and 2017. She also served two terms on the Board of Governors of the Florida Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Talented singer and actress Freda Payne was born in Detroit, where she Freda modeled and took ballet and Afro-Cuban dance. While at Hutchins Middle School, she appeared on the nationally televised Ted Mack’s The Original Amateur Hour. Singing jingles, Payne was featured on WJR radio’s Make Way for Youth and many other local television and radio shows. Payne’s mother spurned a contract from, then unknown, Barry Gordy.
When she graduated from Central High School Freda Payne toured with Pearl Bailey’s musical review and sang with the Duke Ellington Band. Her first album, After the Lights Go Down debuted in 1962vfor ABC’s Impulse Records.
Moving to New York City, Freda made appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Merv Griffin Show and The Dick Cavett Show. In 1964, she joined the Four Tops, Billy Eckstine, and Nipsey Russell on the Quincy Jones Tour. Payne was understudy for Leslie Uggams in Broadway’s Hallelujah Baby and performed in the show 5 times.
Stardom for Payne began when she signed with Invictus Records, ran by her old Detroit friends, Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Jr. and Lamont Dozier (formerly of Motown) in 1969. Payne’s smash single “Band of Gold” in 1970 was ranked #1 in the U.K. and #3 in the U.S.A., her first gold record. Other hits included “Deeper and Deeper,” “You Brought Me Joy” and the anti-war “Bring the Boys Home”. As her star kept rising, Payne appeared in television specials and toured Europe and Japan.
Although she left Invictus in1973, to date she has recorded 21 albums including several remakes of “Band of Gold.” In 1974, she made the cover of Jet magazine after she was dubbed a Dame of Malta, by the Knights of Malta and the Sovereign Military and Hospital Order of St. John of Jerusalem by the Prince of Rumania. Payne hosted the talk show Today’s Black Woman in 1980–81 before joining the cast of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies in 1982. She also starred in productions of Ain’t Misbehavin’ with Della Reese, The Blues in the Night and Jelly’s Last Jam with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover into the 1990’s. Payne film appearances include Private Obsession, Sprung, Ragdoll, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and Fire and Ice.
On April 22, 2009 Freda appeared on American Idol and sang “Band Of Gold”. In February 2010, Freda joined Kanye West, Jordan Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, Barbra Streisand and many more on We Are The World for Haiti Relief. In 2011 Freda sang a duet with Cliff Richard called “Saving A Life” from his Soulicious album and also toured England with Cliff in the fall of 2011. Freda recorded a new Jazz based album for the Mack Ave label titled Come Back To Me Love produced by Bill Cunliffe and in April 2018 she returned to the stage with glowing reviews in Ella: First Lady of Song at the Delaware Theatre Company in Wilmington, Delaware.
More recently, Freda released an EP of duets titled Let There Be Love featuring Freda singing with Johnny Mathis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kenny Lattimore and Kurt Elling. She has also been busy writing her memoir Band of Gold A Memoir Yorkshire Publishing (November 2, 2021) with Mark Bego. In May 2022 Freda released a new single titled “Just To Be With You.” Freda Payne’s prolific career will continue to flourish and prosper for as long as her creative juices keep flowing. Her indelible mark on the music industry is far from over.
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 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.
Kings of Soul
Kings of Soul showcases the music of legendary artists Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Al Green, Barry White, Smokey Robinson and Curtis Mayfield in an evening of soulful rhythms and melodies. Honoring the true “Kings” of classic soul, featured hits include Soul Man, Shop Around, Get Ready, Try a Little Tenderness, Stand By Me, Move On Up and Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher. Comprised of musicians; Chester Gregory, Darren Lorenzo and Michael Lynche.
The multi-talented Matthew Johnson is an actor, singer, dancer, and musician who has performed with the likes of Pharrell, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Childish Gambino, and Stevie Wonder. His musical theater roots were cultivated at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and through his mentor, Debbie Allen, who helped mold him into the triple threat performer he is today. Matthew has done vocal arrangements for the Grammy Awards as well as performed at the Emmys and the Billboard Awards.
Matthew honed his skills as a vocal chameleon on some of the world’s most watched television shows such as American Idol, The Voice, X Factor and Late Night with James Corden. He’s shared the stage and studio with some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Kelly Clarkson, Sam Smith, Demi Lavato, and Jennifer Hudson. On the big screen, Matthew stars as Mack in Warner Brother’s Christmas on the Square starring Dolly Parton and Christine Baranski, which received an Emmy nomination.
Like a painter with a blank canvas, Clint Holmes makes every performance an original. His powerful voice and magnetic stage presence embrace the upbeat side of life. When Clint is on stage, anything can happen, and usually does. He is a consummate entertainer, writer, performer, recording artist, and one of the country’s finest vocalists. Whether he is singing selections from contemporary classics or stirring, original pieces, every performance is a one-of-a-kind, mesmerizing, and unforgettable experience.
The son of an African-American jazz musician and a classically-trained British opera singer, Clint was raised with the best of two musical worlds. His 40-plus year career has taken him from the top of the charts, to concert halls, on TV screens, and cemented his legacy as a veritable Las Vegas institution.
His big break came in 1972 when he released “Playground In My Mind,” a song that stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 23 weeks. In addition to hosting his own Emmy Award-winning talk/variety show, Clint was a musical feature and event correspondent for Entertainment Tonight, and served as Joan Rivers’ sidekick and announcer on FOX’s The Late Show.
Throughout his 40+ year career, Clint has received many accolades—most recognizably, he received the highest honor of a GRAMMY® nomination for his album, Rendezvous. Produced by eight-time Grammy Award-winner Gregg Field, the sophisticated album offers a diverse playlist that reinterprets modern day and classic pop hits, Jazz, soulful R&B, theatrical tunes, and numbers culled from the Great American Songbook.
As a favorite Las Vegas performer, Clint headlined at his “Clint Holmes Theater” at Harrah’s from 2000-2006, with performances that aired on PBS and were released on DVD in 2001. From 2012- 2017, Holmes served as the Artist-In-Residence for Cabaret Jazz at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, performing to sell-out crowds each month. His show Between the Lines, was featured at the Palazzo Theater in 2016 and 2017. SOUNDTRACK: Your Songs. Our Stories. The Show. combined Clint’s talents with Las Vegas Male Vocalist of the Year Earl Turner at the Westgate in 2018. Clint’s Las Vegas awards include “Casino Entertainer of the Year,” six time “Best Male Singer” from the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Best Singer” (two years in a row) from Broadway.com in both NYC and Las Vegas, “Best All-Around Las Vegas Performer,” and “Favorite Male Las Vegan.”
In addition to Las Vegas, Clint regularly performs around the United States. New York City has become almost a second home, where he won two Broadway World Awards with Billy Stritch and Christian Tamburr for a show he co-wrote and co-starred in, Straighten Up and Fly Right… A Nat King Cole Tribute. He won the 2013 Bistro Award (NYC) for “Best Male Singer” for his performance in Stop this Train (a show which he also co-wrote) and was directed by Larry Moss. He continues to tour with the Georgia On My Mind Tour, along with Take 6, Nnenna Freelon, Kirk Whalum, and Tom Scott featuring the music of Ray Charles.
As an accomplished musician, lyricist, and author, Clint wrote the book and lyrics to Comfortable Shoes, which was produced at the Paper Mill Playhouse (New Jersey) in 1996 and The Royal George Theater (Chicago) in 2002. He also wrote the book and lyrics for Just Another Man (JAM) produced at The Judy Bailey Theater (UNLV) and My Own Song produced at Flat Rock Theater (North Carolina). Clint also wrote the title song to the movie Who Will Stand?
Currently, Clint is working on a one-man theater piece called, If Not Now When, and as a lyricist on Frank Wildhorn’s new musical, La Ronde.
Perhaps what has endeared Holmes to the people of Las Vegas as much as his music is his never-ending spirit of graciousness. He has become involved with several worthwhile causes in the community such as JDRF, Candlelighters, ROB Reachout, Shadetree, St. Jude’s, and various cultural events. Following a brief battle with cancer, he has also served as a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. Clint serves on the Board of Director of Jazz Outreach Initiative, which provides mentorship to aspiring, young musicians in the Las Vegas Area.
In December 2005, the Clint Holmes Foundation for the Performing Arts launched to benefit children in art and music programs throughout Las Vegas.
Storm Large has been singing since the age of five. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Large moved to San Francisco and later to Portland, where she founded her band Storm and The Balls. The Balls developed a cult-like following in clubs for their “mash up” renditions of artists such as ABBA, Billy Idol, Led Zeppelin and Olivia Newton-John as well as their own compositions. Storm Large shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where, despite having been eliminated in the week before the finale, she built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day.
In 2007, she starred in Portland Center Stage’s production of Cabaret with Wade McCollum. The show was a smash hit, and earned Large glowing reviews. Her autobiographical musical memoir Crazy Enough played to packed houses in 2009 during its unprecedented 21-week sold-out run at Portland Center Stage. She went on to perform a cabaret version of the show to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Adelaide Festival in Australia, and Joe’s Pub in New York. Her memoir Crazy Enough was released by Simon and Schuster in 2012, was named Oprah’s Book of the Week, and awarded the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.
Storm made her debut with Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally, and appears on the band’s most recent albums, Get Happy and Je dis oui!
She debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 2010 and made her Carnegie Hall debut in May 2013, singing Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony as part of the Spring for Music Festival. The New York Times called her “sensational.”
In fall 2014, Storm and her new band released the album Le Bonheur, a collection of tortured and titillating love songs from the American Songbook that are beautiful, familiar, yet twisted, much like the lady herself.
Music of Queen
Bridging the gulf between rock n’ roll and classical music, conductor/arranger Brent Havens takes the podium to present Windborne’s newest show, The Music of Queen, a program he scored to extend the listening experience of Queen’s exceptional tunes. Performed by an orchestra and amplified with a full rock band and vocals, Havens and his ensemble capture Queen’s distinct sound while presenting some familiar and lots of new musical colors.
Delivering a fabulous rendition of Freddie Mercury’s vocals is Las Vegas star Brody Dolyniuk. “When he came out to audition for the show we knew immediately that he had something special. He not only knew the music but he had clearly listened to every aspect of Freddie’s performances,” states Havens. “His inflections were spot-on and even the wailing rock sound had that Freddie resonance. Clearly, there will never be another Freddie Mercury but close your eyes and listen to Brody and you’re going to get something very close.”
Heightened by rock concert lighting, the symphonic rock hybrid has met with riotous approval at both ends of the hall. Many classical musicians also enjoy the change of pace. “So many of the musicians grew up with this music much like we did,” says Havens. “They may not have studied it to the extent that my musicians have studied it but they are certainly familiar with the music. Who can avoid hearing ‘We Will Rock You’ at sporting events, on TV shows, and even in the super market?” Indeed, Queen’s music seems omni-present.
“We’ve successfully merged four different groups with the orchestra and it seemed to me the next logical step in selecting a group was Queen. As always we wanted to keep the foundation of the music as close to the originals as we could and then add additional colors to enhance what Queen had done,” says Havens. “The wonderful thing with an orchestra is that you have an entire palette of sounds to call upon.
The band is reproducing what Queen did live, as closely as possible within the constraints of personnel, and then having an orchestra behind the band gives the music richness, a whole new feel, a whole different sense of color but still preserving the wonderful music that they originally produced.”
As with the other shows, Havens understood that Queen fans would want to hear the original, familiar elements of the music. He therefore followed exact line arrangements and used the orchestra for enhancement. With a 50-piece orchestra hanging on his every cue, Havens had a large landscape to work with. Just among the double-reed instruments—the oboe, English Horn, bassoon—there are so many colors. Add in the violins, violas, cellos, basses, and woodwinds or more pure sounds from instruments like a flute or a clarinet and the selection grows. Then consider the entire brass section- trumpets, trombones, French horns, and the lower brass like the bass trombone and tuba and you realize the variety of choices available to accompany a distorted electric guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. Queen’s rich chord structures and amazing vocal harmonies made the music an ideal choice for scoring.
“When I sat down to begin scoring the show, it was amazing how comfortably the orchestra fit within the structure of the music. Innovative chord progressions, wonderful melodies and the astounding vocals of Freddie Mercury make the music a perfect choice to orchestrate. And having world class musicians in every city we present the show makes the music even that much more compelling.”
The show has proven a great way to introduce rock fans to the symphony experience.
“As with our other shows, I’m sure there are people who are going to come out who have never seen their city’s symphony orchestra and this allows them to experience something new along with the music that they already love,” says Havens.
Berklee-trained arranger/conductor Brent Havens has written music for orchestras, feature films and virtually every kind of television. His TV work includes movies for networks such as ABC, CBS and The Family Channel, commercials, sports music for networks such as ESPN and even cartoons. He worked with the Doobie Brothers and the Milwaukee Symphony, arranging and conducting the combined group for Harley Davidson’s 100th Anniversary Birthday Party Finale attended by over 150,000 fans.
Havens most recent film work includes the score for the film “Quo Vadis,” a Premier Pictures remake of the 1956 gladiator film. Havens is Arranger/Guest Conductor for four symphonic rock programs – the Music of Led Zeppelin, the Music of the Doors, the Music of Pink Floyd and the Music of the Eagles and now the Music of Queen.
Guest vocalist Brody Dolyniuk remembers mimicking voices even as a child, listening to old records and tapes. He is a gifted, self-taught musician, capable of playing several instruments, with a particular knack for capturing the voices and mannerisms of classic characters from music, TV, and movies. His first professional gigs were at piano bars in several U.S. cities, where he learned to charm audiences and expand his musical repertoire. With a longing to perform the music of the many rock bands that inspired him, Brody assembled Yellow Brick Road, unquestionably Las Vegas’ most successful classic rock band. Since 1997, YBR has been reshaping the casino entertainment scene by bringing a rock concert atmosphere to showrooms previously reserved for Top-40-style lounge acts. Along the way, Brody has made numerous radio and TV appearances, and earned a spot in the finals of two national singing competitions, and even self-produced several large rock production-style shows utilizing multimedia, lasers, comedy and special effects. In 2007, Brody lent his vocal talents by singing several tracks on the mega-hit video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and has already done several more for the new Konami game Rock Revolution. As a devout classic rock/Queen fan, Brody’s enthusiasm, vocal ability and on-stage energy were the perfect fit for The Music of Queen show.
Bass/Vocals – Daniel Clemens
Drums/Vocals – Powell Randolph
Guitar/Vocals – George Cintron
Keyboards/Vocals – Bart Kuebler
“Christine Ebersole contains multitudes…” wrote the New York Times critic Stephen Holden.
For over 30 years, two-time Tony Award winning actress, Christine Ebersole has captivated audiences on the Broadway stage, television series and specials, films, concert appearances, and recordings. Add to this her personal roles of wife, mother, daughter, and Spiritual Warrior, and you can fully understand what Mr. Holden means.
Christine was raised in Winnetka, Illinois, an upper-crust suburb on Chicago’s North Shore, the youngest of four children. But Christine says she and her family were never quite in sync with the town’s ideological exclusivity because they belonged not to the local country club but to the A.C.L.U.
At New Trier High School, Christine played violin in the school orchestra and discovered her own voice in a summer drama class. After New Trier, she briefly attended MacMurray College in Jacksonville, IL, before graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1975.
One of her first jobs was as an understudy in the Broadway musical On the Twentieth Century, followed by her turn as Ado Annie in Oklahoma. From there it was on to Ryan’s Hope, One Life to Live, and Saturday Night Live before landing the high-profile role of Guinevere opposite Richard Burton in Camelot.
Christine then shifted her focus from stage to screen and soon headed to Hollywood, appearing in many hit movies, including Amadeus, Tootsie, and Richie Rich. She added an extensive list of television credits as well, including The Cavanaughs, Valerie, and the title role in Rachel Gunn, R.N.
But somewhere south of 40, she realized she was auditioning for roles she used to be offered. When her agent told her she was “over the hill,” Christine packed up her family and four-legged friends and fled back to Broadway, finding her home in Maplewood, New Jersey. Reflecting on that time, Christine says, “I moved from Hollywood to Maplewood. What a difference a leaf makes!”
Everything changed. Her ensuing New York stage performances include her Tony Award-winning performance as Dorothy Brock in the smash hit revival, 42nd Street, Steel Magnolias, The Best Man, and Dinner at Eight for which she received both Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations.
And then came her role of a lifetime. Christine received virtually every Off-Broadway award and her second Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her dual role as both Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little Edie” Beale in Grey Gardens. Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, the show was nominated for ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and its CD was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Accepting her Tony Award, Christine said, “I left Hollywood when they told me I was over the hill and now I’m standing here with this most distinguished award for what I consider to be the role of a lifetime. I’m over the hill in the role of a lifetime! I consider this to be very encouraging.”
And encouraging it was, as Christine’s career continued to arc with her starring role in Blithe Spirit on Broadway with Angela Lansbury, her many guest appearances on innumerable popular television series, including her recurring role as Ms. “New Parts” Newberg in the hit cable show Royal Pains and the TBS Sitcom Sullivan and Son. Christine continues to appear in numerous concert halls and Cabaret venues throughout the country, including performances in City Center Encores!, at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, the Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Feinstein’s and Café Carlyle.
A recording artist as well, Christine has released several CDs, including the recently released Christine Ebersole: Strings Attached.
Christine lives in Maplewood, N.J. with her husband, musician and abstract artist William J. Moloney, their three children, Elijah, Mae Mae, and Aron, two cats, two dogs, and a bird. It’s a home that – like Christine – contains multitudes.