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Romance is in the air when Pacific Symphony celebrates "Valentine's Day with Kenny G" and the sultry sweet sounds of the saxophone, Feb. 14-16
January 11, 2013
Plus, the audience votes to determine the winner of “OC Can You Sing?” when finalists compete by singing Broadway standards
Top off the old cliché of roses, chocolates and heart-shaped candies with the sexy, smooth sounds of saxophone sensation Kenny G, as he makes his debut with Pacific Symphony for a romantic holiday program this Valentine’s Day. With a recording career that spans almost three decades and 23 albums, the Grammy Award-winning saxophonist has sold more than 75 million records worldwide (45 million in the U.S. alone) and enjoyed more than a dozen climbs to the top of Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart. Grafting R&B, pop and Latin to a jazz foundation, he has solidified his reputation as the premier artist in contemporary jazz. Kenny G performs hits from his newest records, “Namaste” and “Heart and Soul,” and plays notable favorites such as “Songbird,” “Silhouette,” “Forever in Love,” “My Heart Will Go On” and “Sabor a Mi,” all backed by the lush sounds of the full symphony orchestra, led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman.
This special Valentine’s Day weekend celebration takes place Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 14-16, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-$185; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.
To open the concert, finalists from the Symphony’s competition “OC Can You Sing?” perform select Broadway favorites from “Carousel,” “Funny Girl,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Les Misérables.” Voting for the finalists is happening online now and ends Jan. 23 at www.PacificSymphony.org/OCCanYouSing. During the concert, audience members have the opportunity to vote and determine the first-place winner, who returns to perform again at a future Pops concert. The program also includes an orchestral performance of “Seventy-six Trombones” from “The Music Man,” and a special video accompanying “Century of Flight.” On Friday night, guest conductor Jane Taylor cashes in on her auction purchase from the Symphony’s 2012 Gala and leads the orchestra in “Colonel Bogey March.”
“It is with great excitement that we welcome Kenny G for his first engagement on our Pops series,” says Maestro Kaufman. “He is the consummate musician with an unmistakable sound that audiences the world over have come to love and admire. Plus, the magnificent musicians of Pacific Symphony will bring their superb artistry to the experience. The combination of the sound of one of the world’s great symphony orchestras and one of America’s finest instrumentalists will make the performances this Valentine’s Day weekend truly special.”
You can’t think of the saxophone without Kenny G coming to mind. The two are nearly synonymous. Not to mention—he holds the world record for playing the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone—an E-flat held for 45 minutes and 12 seconds. He began playing saxophone professionally at age 17 with Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra and rose to fame in the 1980s with the release of “Duotones,” which earned him an international audience, and led to his work with superstars Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Michael Bolton and Natalie Cole. Recently Kenny G has kept a profile in the pops industry, performing with Foster the People on Saturday Night Live and appearing in Katy Perry’s music video “Last Friday Night.”
“OC Can You Sing?” returns for the second time since its debut in 2011 to offer another round of aspiring singers the unique opportunity to perform onstage with the orchestra in front of approximately 6,000 people. Back in November 2012, contest hopefuls submitted a video of themselves singing a song of their choice—a number of whom were called back to perform a live audition in front of Maestro Kaufman and Broadway veteran singer Lisa Vroman. As a result, four semi-finalists have been named, and now it’s up to the public to decide who gets to sing on stage! The live-audition videos of Brooke deRosa, Monty Linton, Amanda Strader and Grant Yosenick may be found on the Symphony’s website for public voting until Jan. 23; finalists (announced on Jan. 24) receive coaching from Vroman in preparation for their public performances with the Symphony. Audience members then determine the winner via onsite voting.
“As I listen to the many talented contestants, the answer to the question: ‘OC, Can You Sing?’ remains a resounding ‘YES!’” says Kaufman. “This year, in our second Pacific Symphony singing competition, it is clear that there is no end to the wonderful talent that exists right here in Southern California. The finalists will have the opportunity to sing some of Broadway’s greatest songs with Pacific Symphony, and in my opinion each one is already a winner. Our audiences are in for a real thrill as they cast their votes for the winner. I’m just glad that I don’t have to choose between such an exciting and talented group of singers. Without a doubt, OC can definitely sing!”
Pacific Symphony’s Pops series receives additional support from The Westin South Coast Plaza, American Airlines, K-Earth 101 and KOCE-TV.
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