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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Swing into summer with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy for Pacific Symphony’s annual Fourth of July celebration, sizzling with fireworks and high-energy vintage sounds!

Orange County, Calif. — June 03, 2014

Get ready to shake, rattle and roll and celebrate “July 4 with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy,” as Pacific Symphony kicks off its Summer Festival 2014, presented by Mercedes-Benz. Traditionally the best-attended concert of the year, the Symphony’s annual July 4 extravaganza honors American heroes and includes a moving fireworks finale orchestrated to patriotic classics. At the center of this year’s holiday concert are the cool cats of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD), seven original and two new members of the ensemble that initiated the swing revival of the 1990s with their recreations of Cab Calloway and the Big Band style. The group rocketed to its first phase of stardom when the hits “You Me & the Bottle Make Three (Tonight)” and “Go Daddy-O” were featured in the 1996 film, “Swingers,” starring Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau. Taking the stage with the full symphony orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, BBVD promises to have the audience swinging in the aisles and grooving to the beats with high-energy songs like “Mr. Pinstripe Suite,” “I Wanna Be Like You” and music from their newest album, “Rattle Them Bones.”

“The eight-piece outfit conjured up the ghosts of old-time gin joints, down the stairs Speakeasies and hot Harlem night clubs where the air was filled with music and the dance floor never got cold.” – The Charleston Gazette

Dust off those zoot suits or Fourth-of-July gear and head to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine on Friday, July 4, at 8 p.m. for a night of swingin’ holiday fun. Tickets range from $25 (lawn seating) to $105 (orchestra seating); children under 14 are half price in most sections with the purchase of an adult ticket. Guests are welcome to picnic on the grounds of the amphitheater starting at 6 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“There’s nothing like the fun, excitement and great music of a Fourth-of-July celebration with Pacific Symphony in our outdoor home at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater,” says Maestro Kaufman. “It’s a family atmosphere where everyone shares in the spirit of America. This coming Fourth, the audience will be on their feet, dancing and singing along to the swingin’ sounds of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And with the amazing fireworks finale, there’ll be no doubt that it’s the birthday of the U.S.A.!”

The Symphony’s Independence Day celebration opens with orchestral music commemorating the American hero before diving into the swing era with BBVD. “Americans love their heroes, whether they are real or fictional,” says Kaufman. “On the first half of this year’s July 4th concert, we are shining the spotlight on several of these iconic American heroes, including General George Patton, the men who fought the battle of Midway during WWII, the dignified lawyer Atticus Finch from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and the courageous astronauts whose story was told in ‘The Right Stuff.’ We’ll also present John Williams’ moving score from ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ as well as the annual tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces.”

This year marks the 21st anniversary of BBVD’s remarkable arrival onto the music scene. In its first years, having secured their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world—in the middle of the grunge era, no less—that it was still cool to swing, Big Band style. Their newest album, “Rattle Them Bones,” the follow-up to the much lauded 2009 release of “How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway,” still urges their millions of fans worldwide to shake and move to their inimitable grooves while also expanding their horizons with new musical inspiration and influence. In these two decades, the band has sold over three million albums, performed at Super Bowl XXXIII with Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan, and had their music used in countless films, television shows and trailers including “Despicable Me,” “Family Guy,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” as well as multiple Olympic gymnastics and figure skating routines.

BBVD, co-founded by Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren, made their debut in their hometown of Ventura, Calif. in April 1993, helping to usher in the swing revival founded on a colorful fusion of classic American sounds including jazz, swing and Dixieland mixed with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture. The group, whose core lineup has been in place since 1995, includes Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Sodergren (drums and percussion), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano and arranger). Joining them on the road are Anthony Bonsera Jr. (lead trumpet) and Alex Henderson (trombone).

Coming up, on Sunday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m., “Gershwin Greats” transports concertgoers to a jazz-filled and timeless evening featuring the legendary composer’s greatest works. Featuring guest pianist Jeffrey Biegel, soprano Angela Brown and bassist Kevin Deas, the program includes Gershwin’s “An American in Paris,” “Rhapsody in Blue” and selections from “Porgy and Bess.” This memorable night is the perfect way to relax and enjoy classic Americana.