Leslie Odom, Jr.
Matt Catingub, conductor
Best known for his Tony and Grammy Award-winning performance as Aaron Burr in the original cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton” and his part in the musical TV series, “Smash,” Leslie Odom, Jr. joins the Symphony with a specially curated selection of Broadway and jazz hits including Jerome Kern’s “Look for the Silver Lining” and Nat King Cole’s “I Know That You Know.”
Leslie Odom, Jr.
Triple-threat Leslie Odom, Jr. is a Tony Award-winning performer best known for his roles in the TV series Smash and the original cast of Broadway's Hamilton. He's also a charting solo recording artist.
Odom he made his Broadway debut as a replacement in Rent at the age of 17. He went on to study drama at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and relocated to Los Angeles after graduating in 2003. It wasn't long before he began accumulating guest spots on television shows, including Gilmore Girls and the short-lived Kevin Hart series The Big House (2004), and recurring roles on dramas such as CSI: Miami and Vanished.
In 2012, Odom earned a part in the Broadway musical Leap of Faith and appeared on the cast recording. Later that year, he landed the role of Sam Strickland on the NBC drama Smash, a show about Broadway performers competing for parts. Fellow cast member Megan Hilty had been a year behind him at Carnegie Mellon. Smash ran for two seasons and resulted in the album Bombshell, a recording of the Marilyn Monroe musical from within the show's story. In 2014, Odom also self-released his debut solo album, Leslie Odom, Jr., a set of vocal jazz covers of show tunes and popular song.
Odom originated the role of Hamilton's Aaron Burr on Broadway in 2015 and went on the win a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. The hit cast album Hamilton: An American Musical topped the Billboard Cast Albums and Rap Albums charts. Odom performed on over half of the tracks.
In June 2016, S-Curve released an updated version of his debut LP that cut three songs and added four more, including Kosma-Mercer's "Autumn Leaves" and Jule Styne's "The Party's Over." The re-release hit number one on Billboard's jazz chart and made the Billboard 200. He followed it up later that year with Simply Christmas.
Matt Catingub wears many hats: saxophonist, woodwind artist, conductor, pianist, vocalist, performer, composer, and arranger. He is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Macon Pops in Macon, Georgia. Previous posts include Artistic Director and Conductor of the Glendale Pops in Glendale, CA; the Hawaii Pops in Honolulu, Hawaii, as well as the Festival Pops Conductor of the New Hampshire Music Festival. Additionally, he has held the Principal Pops Conductor positions of the Honolulu Symphony, the Hawaii Symphony, and the New Mexico Symphony.
Catingub has guest conducted for some of the most significant Symphony Orchestras in the country, including the Nashville Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, and the Symphonies of Detroit, Columbus, Hartford, Omaha and throughout Canada and Japan. Catingub has conducted for artists such as Diana Krall, Yes, Al Jarreau, Gladys Knight, Kenny Rogers and numerous others. And significantly Matt has arranged the music in the orchestra libraries for diverse artists such as Kenny Loggins, James Ingram, Boz Scaggs, the Righteous Brothers, Rosemary Clooney, Vertical Horizon, Natalie Cole, Toni Tennille, Michael McDonald, Dave Koz, Toto, Pat Benatar, and many others.
The son of the great jazz vocalist and “Polynesia’s First Lady of Song,” Mavis Rivers, Catingub regularly performed with his mom. As a young man, he played a variety of instruments, conducted his first orchestra at age 15, focused on Alto sax at 16, and at age 17 played his sax at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and from there toured Japan playing with jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, and Ruth Brown. From there Catingub joined the Louie Bellson Big Band and a couple of years later joined the Toshiko Akiyoshi / Lew Tabackin Big Band as lead alto saxophonist. In 1983, Catingub formed the Matt Catingub Big Band, with Rivers as vocalist, and recorded several critically acclaimed jazz albums with his mom.
Matt Catingub made his solo singing debut at the Frank Sinatra Celebration at New York City's legendary Carnegie Hall and as a result of his performance there, the Concord Jazz CD Gershwin 100 was conceived. Catingub also wrote and performed the music for the George Clooney film, “Goodnight and Good Luck,” made an onscreen appearance as the leader of the band, created all of the arrangements and played tenor sax in the movie and on the CD. The Soundtrack for “Goodnight and Good Luck”, featuring Matt and vocalist Diane Reeves won a Grammy. Catingub has also enjoyed success as the leader of his Big Band, Big Kahuna and the Copa Cat Pack touring the world with Rosemary Clooney, and backing notable artists such as Michael Feinstein, Linda Eder, Lionel Hampton, and many others.
Today Matt Catingub is considered to be at the forefront of a new and innovative movement to reinvent Pops into a more fun and accessible format, encouraging dancing (when the venue allows) and loose fun, within a more informal and contemporary setting.