POPS Rocks Paul Simon, James Taylor & Billy Joel | The Philly Pops
 

POPS Rocks Paul Simon, James Taylor & Billy Joel

David Charles Abell, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Mar 24-26, 2023
See All Dates & Times
Fri, Mar 24, 2023
8 PM
8 PM
Sat, Mar 25, 2023
3 PM
3 PM
Sun, Mar 26, 2023
3 PM
3 PM
Featuring

Michael Cavanaugh, vocalist

Michael Cavanaugh and his electrifying band join the POPS, the world’s biggest rock orchestra, in showcasing the hits of Paul Simon, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, and more!  

Returning from 2015’s Music of Billy Joel and 2017’s Music of Elton John, Cavanaugh brings the whole package, performing favorites like, “How Sweet It Is,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “Piano Man”! 

Guest Artists

Michael Cavanaugh, vocalist

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Michael Cavanaugh is the new voice of the American Rock & Roll Songbook. A charismatic performer, musician and actor, made famous for his piano/lead vocals in the Broadway musical Movin’ Out.

Michael Cavanaugh was handpicked by Billy Joel to star in title role and evokes a style rivaling the Piano Man himself. Michael appeared in the show for over 1,200 performances over 3 years, receiving accolade after accolade, which culminated in 2003 with both Grammy and Tony award nominations.

Michael began playing at age 7, when his parents bought their first piano. Encouraged by family and friends, and inspired by his hero Billy Joel, Michael formed his first band at age 10 and began playing local functions, fine tuning the craft that would become his chosen career. His first full time gig as a musician was an extended engagement in Orlando, Florida at a piano bar called Blazing Pianos.

In January of 1999, Michael received an offer that would unknowingly change his life, with an opportunity to play Las Vegas at the famed New York, New York Hotel and Casino. It was there that Billy Joel spotted Michael and joined him on stage one fateful night in February 2001. It only took two songs before Billy was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man: Michael Cavanaugh. Michael closed up shop at New York, New York and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp, to shape the Broadway Musical that would be called Movin’ Out.

With the close of Movin’ Out at the end of 2005, Michael began touring with a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook. Michael continues to perform worldwide for company and charity events as well as sporting events, including PGA Tour events, the U.S. Open and the Indy 500.

It wasn’t long before symphony orchestras discovered Michael’s talents and audience appeal. He accepted his first orchestral booking, Michael Cavanaugh – The Songs of Billy Joel and More debuted in April 2008 and continues to tour. In October 2008, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD titled In Color. In June 2010, Michael debuted his second symphony show in the Generations of Rock series entitled Michael Cavanaugh: The Songs of Elton John and More, and then debuted his third symphony show, Singers and Songwriters: the Music of Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Taylor in 2012. He continues to tour all three symphony productions.

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor

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Throughout his distinguished career, conductor David Charles Abell has excelled in a wide range of musical genres, from contemporary opera to worldwide TV broadcasts of Les Misérables. He has appeared four times at the BBC Proms and has worked with such distinguished artists as Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Lea Salonga, Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Petula Clark, Bryn Terfel, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Michael Ball, Michael Feinstein and Stephen Hough.

David was appointed Music Director of the Philly POPS a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He helped the organization pivot by planning and conducting one of the first US orchestral streaming events in July, 2020. The subsequent Christmas celebration he conducted was broadcast to half a million US servicemen and women by the American Forces Network.

Born in North Carolina, David earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School after intensive viola, piano and composition studies. Turning his attention to conducting at the age of fourteen, he went on to study with Leonard Bernstein and Nadia Boulanger.

Recent projects have included a new production of La bohème at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Francesca Zambello’s Porgy and Bess at Atlanta Opera, Barrie Kosky’s Die Zauberflöte at Opera Philadelphia, and Tomer Zvulun’s Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theatre. He is a regular guest conductor at Cincinnati Opera, where he has led Die Fledermaus and Kevin Puts’ Silent Night among others. In the UK, David made his debut with English National Opera in Sweeney Todd (starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson). subsequently returning for an equally-acclaimed Carousel. He recently conducted his own new critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North and the Théâtre du Châtelet.