Pasadena, CA – Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena POPS jazz up the Los Angeles County Arboretum with an evening devoted to the stylings of one of America’s most beloved musical icons for Rhapsody in Blue on Saturday, July 13. The concert will present a musical smorgasbord that pays tribute to the Gershwin era and the Jazz Age, with music by George Gershwin and his contemporaries, topped off by his masterpiece that changed the course of music as we now know it. Along with Rhapsody in Blue, hear your favorite Jazz and Swing standards from Gershwin to Ella with “I Got Rhythm,” An American in Paris, “Boy! What Love Has Done to Me,” “Lady be Good” and much more.
Having started his career as archivist to Ira Gershwin, Feinstein will inform this performance of Rhapsody in Blue with his vast Gershwin archive. “My inspiration stems from the many classic original performances preserved in my archive, from Paul Whiteman to my friend Johnny Green, a close friend of Gershwin’s who played Rhapsody in Blue so many times. Johnny gave me tips about how the composer wanted it interpreted and the way he intended it when he played it in 1924…It’s going to be unique, and I hope really good.” – Michael Feinstein
As Feinstein transports the audience back to the Jazz Age, he will be joined by “one of the great Gershwin interpreters,” pianist Frederick Hodges. An amazing technician, Hodges channels the way originally Gershwin played Rhapsody in Blue, with jazz era snap and swagger coupled with a large dose of sentimentality. Two sparkling soloists will also take the stage, with Tony®-nominee Tony Yazbeck (On the Town) and legendary Jazz and R&B singer Patti Austin. Best known for her classic duet with James Ingram, “Baby Come to Me,” as well as her Grammy®-winning Avant Gershwin, and Grammy®-nominated For Ella albums, Austin will personify the Queen of Jazz with her smooth and sultry stylings.
All concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. 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 Pasadena’s premier 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 venue also hosts mouth-watering food trucks and 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 the artists and orchestra up close, superior sound and the high-quality production value that is a signature of the Pasadena POPS. 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 purchase pre-paid onsite parking at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers can purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, located just across Baldwin Ave., 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 concerts.
- What: The Pasadena POPS presents Rhapsody in Blue
Michael Feinstein, Principal Pops Conductor, Tom & Erika Girardi Chair
Patti Austin, Tony Yazbeck, soloists
Frederick Hodges, pianists
- When: July 13, 2019 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 for picnicking. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink or visit one of the many onsite food vendors.
- Parking: Parking: Subscribers have the opportunity to purchase onsite Arboretum parking. Single ticket holders may purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, located just across Baldwin Ave., with complimentary non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.
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.
Principal Pops Conductor
Tom and Erika Girardi Chair
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.
Patti Austin’s keen interest in being a total entertainer likely started when she stepped onto the stage of the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem at the age of four at the urging of music legend Dinah Washington. The daughter of jazz trombonist Gordon Austin, Patti was a bonafide recording artist in her teens, achieving her first chart success in 1969 with “The Family Tree” (a Top 50 R&B single) after a string of 45s that would later become treasured collector’s items among Britain’s Northern soul community.
During the 70s Patti was the undisputed “Queen” of the New York session scene, her voice was heard behind everyone from Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, James Brown and Joe Cocker to Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross and Diana Ross and on countless memorable commercial jingles. After a series of much-acclaimed albums for CTI Records, she signed with her godfather Quincy Jones’ Qwest label and began achieving mainstream success on an international level thanks to the GRAMMY®-nominated hit “Baby Come To Me,” her now classic duet with James Ingram and the follow-up duet, the Oscar-nominated “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” as well as her appearance on albums with Jones on his best-selling Stuff Like That, his GRAMMY®-winning classic The Dude and later, his From Q With Love Vols. 1 & 2.
The GRAMMY®-nominated For Ella album opened up new doors for Patti as a performer and her embrace by the jazz world was further cemented with her Grammy winning classic CD “Avant Gershwin: Patti’s upcoming 2019 Album offering entitled “Let’s Do It” will surely garner serious Grammy consideration. Now after more than two decades of touring her unique take on the classic American Song Book has expanded Patti’s appeal and garnered standing ovations all over the USA and Europe. Her tour of Australia with the great James Morrison has now secured an ongoing love affair between Patti and Australian music lovers. They will do it all again in 2020, and this time covering all the major cities of Australia.
Continuing to cover all her music bases, her latest critically acclaimed Pop/ R&B release entitled “Sound Advice” will soon yield a sequel “Sound Advice 2” and will further demonstrate her amazing artistic versatility. This versatility has created frequent invitations to conduct master classes for young musicians and demand from elementary schools for performances of her children’s CD entitled “Mighty Musical Fairy Tales”
In 2019, Patti continues her philanthropic work with “The Over My Shoulder Foundation” and keeps up a constant touring schedule that keeps her faithful fans wanting more from this eclectic and always exciting entertainer
Born in Riverside, CA, Tony Yazbeck moved to Bethlehem, PA at age 4, when he first saw Fred Astaire dance on a black and white TV screen. Tony danced around the living room, pretending he was Mr. Astaire, so his mom and dad put him in dance class right away.
At age 11, he auditioned to be a replacement “Newsboy” in the Tyne Daly Gypsy, directed by Arthur Laurents. For the next two years, his mother drove him two hours in each direction, six days a week, from Bethlehem, PA to the stage door of The St. James Theater.
A year after closing Gypsy, at age 14, his family moved to The Poconos, where Tony worked on a farm to make extra money.He moved to Orlando at age 16, where he studied at Dr. Phillips Performing Arts High School. He attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh for two years, working at Disney his first summer and in the ensemble at the PCLO his second. He then transferred to Cincinnati Conservatory of Music for his third year of college. In April of 2000, he was cast in the nationaltour of Annie Get Your Gun.
In 2001, Tony made the dream of being a true New Yorker a reality, when the tour closed and he officially moved to the city. Various Broadway/Off-Broadway/Encores!/Regional Theatre/Television/National Tours/London Concerts have subsequently ensued (Please see RESUME PAGE of this website for specifics), culminating most recently in a Tony Award Nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his turn as “Gabey” in the Broadway revival of On The Town.
Tony is exceedingly passionate about directing, choreographing and writing in new and creative ways for stage and TV. The first incarnationof these efforts is his solo show The Floor Above Me. Tony is also a devoted teacher, most frequently at the National Young Arts Foundation, where he is a master teacher, panelist and assistant director to the legendary Bill T. Jones.
The most important achievement of his life-to-date, however, happened in October 2014, when, right after opening in the aforementioned revival of On The Town, Tony married the love of his life, actress, dancer, singer, choreographer and budding director Katie Huff.
Hailed by the press as one of the best concert pianists in the world, Frederick Hodges is sought after by today’s foremost orchestras, festivals, conductors, and collaborative musicians. His absolute artistry, virtuosity and charisma have brought him to the world’s most renowned stages numerous times, leaving audiences around the globe repeatedly captivated.
Mr. Hodges has made regular appearances at major music festivals throughout the US as well as world tours with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra under the baton of conductor Don Neely.
Renowned as a pianist and singer, Frederick Hodges is recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of diverse repertoire from Rachmaninoff to Gershwin. He has established a reputation as a truly versatile artist equally sought after as soloist, singer, guest soloist with the California Pops Orchestra, and dance band pianist. He has appeared on national television, radio, and in several Hollywood films. He is also a sought-after silent film accompanist for both live performances and on DVD. He performs regularly at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.
His extensive repertoire includes the great European classical masters as well as the best American composers such as George Gershwin and Cole Porter. His distinguished discography, primarily on Rivermont Records, Stomp Off, and Aristophone Records, includes piano works by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, and Scott Joplin.
Frederick Hodges is a native of California, where he began his piano studies at age eight. At thirteen, he began intense classical piano study with two famed San Francisco Bay Area piano teachers who were both graduates of the Juilliard School of Music: Virginia Moore and Trula Whelan. At age seventeen, he won the prestigious Music Teachers of California Young Artist Award. At twenty, while still an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, he joined Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra as pianist. Since then, he has toured extensively. Frederick has enjoyed a career playing solo piano for society parties and holding down steady engagements at legendary San Francisco establishments such as L’Etoile in the Huntington Hotel, Masons in the Fairmont Hotel, and the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
In 2001, Frederick earned a doctorate in history from Oxford University in England, where he lived for five years as a member of Magdalen College. From 2001 to 2002, he served as a postdoctoral research associate at Yale University. Frederick has participated in many prestigious festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Sacramento Music Festival, the WestCoast Ragtime Festival, The Blind Boone Festival in Columbia Missouri, the Templeton Ragtime Festival at Mississippi State University, the El Segundo Ragtime Festival, and the Sedalia Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, Cinecon Film Festival in Hollywood, among others.