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Pacific Symphony Welcomes Icons Herb Alpert and Lani Hall and Their Inimitable Fusion of Jazz, World and Pop Music for the Duo’s First-Ever Concert with a Full Orchestra
Orange County, Calif. — May 15, 2015
Legendary trumpet-and-voice duo Herb Alpert and Lani Hall bring their unique mix of jazz, world and American pop music to Pacific Symphony for the final concert of the 2014-15 Pops Series. Joining musical forces in 2006, each half of this musical power couple brings an impressive résumé to the table. As a solo artist and leader of the Tijuana Brass, Alpert has sold more than 72 million records and placed 28 albums on the Billboard charts, including five at No. 1. His 2014 album, “Steppin’ Out,” earned him his ninth Grammy Award, and in 2013, he was honored with the National Medal of Arts. His wife and music partner, Hall, rose to fame in 1966 as the lead singer of Sergio Mendes’ group, Brasil ’66. The two met and became friends when Brasil ’66 was signed to A&M records by its co-founder, Alpert. Hall has the distinction of recording more than 22 albums in three different languages, four alongside her husband, and she earned a Grammy for her album, “Es Facil Amar.”
Alpert says, “Making music is a natural thing for me to do…I love melodies from standards, and I try to present them in a different way that hasn’t been heard before.”
Touring across America and Japan this season, Alpert and Hall perform a diverse array of standards and originals from their many albums. Backed by the lush sounds of the full symphony orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, their visit to Orange County takes place Thursday through Saturday, June 4-6, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-160; Box Circle is $185. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.
“The concert weekend with Herb Alpert and Lani Hall will be unique and memorable for many reasons,” says Maestro Kaufman. “The greatest reason may be that this will be the first time they have ever appeared in concert with a symphony orchestra. The combination of these two superb artists joining forces with Pacific Symphony will make for an amazing musical event not to be missed.”
He adds, “Herb Alpert has played more than a significant part in the history of recorded music. The unique sound of the Tijuana Brass is legendary, and the recordings produced by Herb’s company, A&M Records, can truly be called ‘the music of America’ in the 1960s and early ’70s.”
To begin the concert, Kaufman and the orchestra set the mood for summer with a program of feel-good seasonal tunes. Leroy Anderson’s “Bugler’s Holiday” opens the concert with upbeat and contagious energy. The audience is swept away with “Sunset” from Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite.” Roger Fratena’s “Central Park Rag” brings the concert to a peak with its jazzy bass line, followed by David Rose’s “Taco Holiday,” with its southwestern sound. On Friday and Saturday night, one of two Symphony patrons leads the orchestra in Julius Fučík’s “Entrance of the Gladiators.” The first half concludes with an arrangement of pieces by Robert Wendel, titled “Old Fashioned Summer,” which includes classic melodies such as “School Days,” “In the Good Old Summertime,” “The Sidewalks of New York,” “Bicycle Built for Two,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “By the Beautiful Sea,” all in the spirit of summer.
“Summertime means fun time!” enthuses Kaufman. “And the first half of our Pops will put everyone in a summer-holiday mood. We’ll visit the Grand Canyon, spend an afternoon in Central Park, go south of the border, and have an audience sing-along to music that describes the sights and sounds of the America we all love.”
After intermission, Alpert and Hall join the orchestra with their band, which they have been touring with the past eight years. Band members include Bill Cantos on keyboard, Hussain Jiffry on bass and Michael Shapiro on drums. The program includes much-loved classic tunes such as “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Besame Mucho,” “La Vie en Rose,” “Moondance,” “Night and Day,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “Begin the Beguine”; and “Don’t Cry”—among others, including medleys of more favorites.
“I made the music that was coming out of me,” Alpert has said. “I had all these songs in my head that I’d played over the years, and I was mainly drawn by their melodies. Being an instrumentalist, I couldn’t do otherwise because I rarely had the advantage of a lyric. Most of the songs the Tijuana Brass did were ones I whistled when I was alone.”
Los Angeles-native Alpert got his start writing “Wonderful World” for Sam Cooke, and later had the opportunity of opening A&M Records with his partner Jerry Moss in 1962, a project that started in his garage in West Hollywood and has now become the largest independent record label in history. And, although he is most famous for his trumpet work with hits such as “The Lonely Bull” and “Whipped Cream and Other Delights,” Alpert also helped promote the talent of many musicians through his record label, including Sergio Mendes and his band Brasil ’66 (of which his wife was lead singer), Burt Bacharach, the Carpenters, Janet Jackson and The Police. Alpert is also an acclaimed painter and sculptor with work in the permanent collection at MOCA in Los Angeles, and he won a Tony Award for producing “Angels in America.”
Hall, before her solo career, was best known for singing the hit songs, “Mas Que Nada” and “The Look of Love” with Sergio Mendes and his band Brasil ’66, and has been granted credit for the lyrics of many of their songs throughout her time with them in the 1960s. Along with this success, Hall landed the recording of the title song for the James Bond Film “Never Say Never Again” and has since recorded over 20 albums collectively in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Branching out into different fields of expression, Hall debuted her narrative, “Emotional Memoirs & Short Stories,” full of self-testimony and written over a 30-year period. Aside from their impressive musical careers, Alpert and Hall are also philanthropists and have donated more than $130 million toward arts education through the Herb Alpert Foundation.
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