June 14, 2022
Pasadena, CA – Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein kicks off the Pasadena POPS 2022 Rusnak Summer Concert series on Saturday, June 25 with Sway with Me: Latin Rhythm and Swing. The POPS season opener will explore the interchange between American and Latin sound throughout the years, and will have the audience swaying and swinging under the stars to songs like Brazil, Sway, I Love Lucy and Girl from Ipanema made famous by Carmen Miranda, Desi Arnaz, Pink Martini and more, all in symphonic sound by Pasadena’s premiere orchestra.
“Latin music is inextricably connected to the American Songbook,” says Feinstein adding “Cole Porter often wrote songs with Latin rhythms like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Begin the Beguine;” and the classic song “Brazil,” which will be included in the concert, became the first piece of music played over a million times on American radio.”
Two phenomenal Mexican soloists who will bring these tunes to life in both English and Spanish. A household name in Mexico and Latin America, Mauricio Martinez has starred in many Mexican Off-Broadway productions as well as Bailando Por Un Sueño (Mexico’s Dancing With The Stars) and several telenovelas. He also starred as Emilio Estefan in the Broadway Musical On Your Feet! The Story Of Emilio & Gloria Estefan and is also known for his role in the Emmy-winning NBC Universo’s original TV series El Vato on Netflix. Mauricio will be joined by 8x Billboard Top 20 chart-topping artist Margo Rey, who has recorded with the likes of John Oates, Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and Patti Austin, and starred on Broadway in Saturday Night Fever and Selena Forever, among others.
All concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. 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 or a variety of food truck options.
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, with non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.
Single tickets start at $25. Season subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale, and are available by calling the box office at (626) 793-7172, online at PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org or at the Arboretum on concert days.
IF YOU GO:
- What: The Pasadena POPS presents Sway With Me: Latin Rhythm & Swing!
Michael Feinstein, Principal Pops Conductor
Mauricio Martinez & Margo Rey, soloists
- When: Saturday, June 25 at 7:30pm. Gates open at 5:30pm
- 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 pre-order from onsite food vendors.
- 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.
Principal POPS Conductor
In addition to his recognition as one of the leading musical entertainers and piano virtuosi of recent decades, Michael Feinstein’s work as an educator, archivist, interpreter, and Ambassador of the Great American Songbook have established the popular and honored musician as a pre-eminent force in contemporary music. His dazzling career as a top-selling and critically acclaimed recording artist and a star performer on Broadway, and the world’s great concert stages has earned him five GRAMMY® Award nominations, two Emmy nominations of his PBS-TV specials and acclaim for is NPR series. His live concerts have spanned the globe including such iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House.
In 2022, Feinstein released to rave reviews, Gershwin Country, an album of standards in duet with some of the biggest names in Country Music from Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss to Brad Paisley and Amy Grant.
In 2007, as an extension of his work as a legendary performer and passionate guardian of his nation’s greatest musical traditions, Mr. Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Foundation. The Foundation works to preserve and elevate America’s rich musical legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators and performers; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars, historians, and performers; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual high school Songbook Academy®. For over a decade, Michael served as a Founding Member 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.
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 interviewed and performed 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 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. Most recently, Feinstein opened his first Los Angeles location, Feinstein’s at Vitello’s in June of 2019.
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.
Mauricio Martinez is a Mexican Actor and Recording Artist who starred as Emilio Estefan in the Broadway Musical On Your Feet! The Story Of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. Martinez is also known for his role in the Emmy-winning NBC Universo’s original TV series El Vato on Netflix.
A household name in Mexico and Latin America, Mauricio starred as the leading man in the Mexican productions of the Broadway musicals Beauty & The Beast, Saturday Night Fever, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweet Charity, the premiere Spanish versions of Off Broadway’s The Last 5 Years, Songs From An Unmade Bed and in plays such as Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge & Toyer, a thriller by Gardner McGay, before crossing over to the US.
On the American stage, Mauricio originated the starring role in the world premiere of Children Of Salt, a New Latin Musical at the New York Musical Festival in 2016 and went on to play the iconic role of ‘Che’ in Evita at the prestigious Kansas City Repertory Theatre that same year, before making his Broadway debut as music mogul Estefan in the summer of 2017.
Martinez’s TV credits include Bailando Por Un Sueño (Mexico’s Dancing With The Stars) and the telenovelas (Latin soap operas) CLAP, La Mujer Del Vendaval & Atrévete A Soñar, all of which aired in the US on Univision. He was recently seen in Señora Acero 2 on Telemundo in the US and has appeared on CBS performing a tribute to Gloria Estefan at the 40th Annual Kennedy Honors in Washington, DC, as well as on The Talk and The 2019 Gershwin Prize on PBS, performing next to artists like Cindy Lauper, Rita Moreno, Andy García and Gloria Estefan.
Mauricio has also recorded two Latin Pop albums: Desde 1978 (2012) and his follow up Desde 1978…Lado B (2014) with e35 Music Group. Both albums are available on iTunes worldwide and his music videos can be seen on YouTube.
Margo Rey is an 8x Billboard Top 20 chart topping artist, singer, songwriter, composer and producer based in Los Angeles. Additionally, she is the co-founder of the L.A. based independent record label, Organica Music Group™ (OMG), which bears the same name as her self-defined, musical genre, Organica. Margo defines Organica as a ferociously nuanced hybrid of Adult Alternative Pop music with deeply rooted Jazz grooves that deliver texturally, ambient guitars and layered with Margo’s lush vocal arrangements and it is all made by humans not machines.
She is known for the #1 most played indie original Christmas song of the last six years, “This Holiday Night”, which was written and recorded by Rey and has since been elevated to the holiday Gold Charts where it is in good company with the most iconic Christmas classics of the 20th century.
One of Margo’s most notable songwriting partners is John Oates of Hall & Oates. Rey and Oates penned and charted Margo’s first Billboard hit, “Let The Rain” which remained in the Top 20 for 23 weeks. Oates and Rey continue to write and record together and produced another Top 20 hit, “Never 2 Late”.
Margo’s acting credits include Beverly Hills Chihuahua, the voice over sound-alike for Eva Longoria and Selma Hayak, the voice of TLC Network and Broadway’s hit show, The Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever. Margo has toured and performed her original songs throughout North America, the UK and South Korea. Prominent Jazz Festival performances of Rey include, Play Boy Jazz and Sea Breeze. She has sung in 8 languages and has performed with and opened for artists such as, Marc Anthony, Prince, Dave Koz, comedian, Ron White, Kenny Loggins, John Oates, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
Margo’s return to her roots as a Jazz musician on her latest album, The Roots Of Rey, with multi- Grammy winning arranger, Oscar Hernandez, is a timely testament that her formidable talent is perpetually evolving. The album is a Modern American and Latin American Songbook that is seamlessly curated for the times in English and Spanish for a re-shaped and re-imagined America.
Born in Acapulco, Mexico, Rey grew up in Dallas, Texas, where she received 13 years of classical music and voice training. Due to her classical education and diverse musical interests, Margo has performed in multiple languages and many countries. By her teens, Rey was the lead singer in the all-female rock band, Debutante, and developed a strong following by touring the United States and overseas. Rey also fronted several successful bands, including The Ritual and the Down-tempo Latin-Jazz quintet, Miss Margo & The Lost Souls.
Actor Edward James Olmos discovered Rey’s talent and recommended her for the role of Marcella, in the Broadway production of Selena Forever, which was based on the life of the late Tejano pop star. This led Rey to a career in Broadway’s 1st National, Saturday Night Fever, and a string of lead roles in productions like Latin Heat, Like Jazz, Zorro: The Musical, Canta Luna, Senor Discretion Himself where she worked alongside such musical icons as Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Cy Coleman, Jo Loesser, Patti Austin, Jack Sheldon and Oscar Hernandez.
Put simply, Margo Rey’s voice is aural luxury at its finest. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to turn out the lights and drift. As in: forever – past time zones and continents. Margo has charted a new course; in high heels no-less so, the best advice is to settle in and enjoy this splendid voyage.
Margo is a 2x Cancer Warrior and holds this cause near and dear to her heart. She currently lives happily in Los Angeles where she writes, records and tours.
The Pasadena Symphony Association
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.