Press Release • April 9, 2018

Philadelphia, PA (April 9, 2018) — The Philly POPS will be joined by Tony and Grammy winner, R&B hitmaker, and international singing sensation Heather Headley for its annual free July 3 and 4 concerts on Independence Mall and the Parkway during the Wawa Welcome America festival! These Salute Series shows are presented by Comcast NBCUniversal.

July 3
With the backdrop of Independence Hall, the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra, led by Todd Ellison, will perform a patriotic, entertaining show. POPS on Independence has become a Philadelphia tradition enjoyed by 15,000 locals and visitors each year.

As the POPS celebrates its 40th Anniversary, POPS on Independence and the 2018-19 concert season is dedicated to Philadelphia musicians, moments from the last 40 years of the POPS, and the magic that is American pop music. July 3’s show will feature songs that have connections to POPS history and that showcase artists and music with Philly roots, such as Curtis Institute graduate Leonard Bernstein whose centenary is currently being celebrated worldwide and right on Independence Mall with the National Museum of American Jewish History’s The Power of Music exhibit.

July 4
The Philly POPS BIG Band with Heather Headley and support from frequent POPS collaborators Tiffany Jones, Alita Moses and Deshanna Wooden, will again kick off the July 4 Concert on the Parkway. The BIG Band — led by Philly POPS principal trumpet Matt Gallagher — plays swing, ragtime and jazz in the style of the Count Basie Orchestra and Harry James Band, but has expanded its repertoire into all kinds of popular music from Latin to blues and rock. The BIG Band made history last July 4 with its memorable combination of R&B and rock to “Get the Party Started” and “Uptown Funk”.

About Heather Headley
Heather is the original Nala from The Lion King on Broadway, the Tony-winning star of Aida and the Laurence Olivier Award nominee for her star turn in ​The Bodyguard musical. She’s a Grammy winner and Billboard chart topper for her R&B and Gospel albums. She has recently toured with Andrea Bocelli — POPS audiences saw her last December at the Wells Fargo Center.

Heather’s performances at July 3’s POPS on Independence with the full POPS orchestra and July 4’s POPS on the Parkway with the BIG Band will preview a one-night-only show with the POPS at the Kimmel Center on October 12: The Philly POPS presents Heather Headley’s Broadway My Way. Tickets to the October 12 show are available now as an add-on for current subscribers and will go on sale to the public on July 3.

Over the past few years, she has displayed her versatility as one of classical star Andrea Bocelli’s favorite singing partners in many of his American and international tours. She and the POPS performed in Bocelli’s 2015 and 2017 concerts at the Wells Fargo Center.

About The Philly POPS 
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert presentations and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.

Now in its 39th season, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania serves a consistently growing audience of over 150,000 annually. Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keeps listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs from American traditions of music up through today’s chart toppers. The Philly POPS BIG Band, an 18-20 piece ensemble performing a rock and rhythm and blues repertoire , premiered in 2017 to enthusiastic response at the July 4 Welcome America Concert on the Parkway.

Outside the concert hall, Salute Series performances – including POPS on Independence on July 3 and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders concert – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays; POPS in Schools enhances music education for Philadelphia School District students; and POPS Outside brings POPS music to local communities.

The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

About the Salute Series
The Salute Series, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal, an expanding portfolio of programs performed on American holidays, celebrates those who serve our country, its cities, and communities. The Salute Series is presented by Comcast NBCUniversal. Performances including Memorial Salute, POPS on Independence on July 3, POPS in Philadelphia on July 4, and Veterans Salute showcase the magic of the orchestra to diverse and enthusiastic crowds. The annual I’ll Be Home for Christmas concert rings in the holiday season with a free concert for active military, police, and fire department families.