MASTER JAZZ TRUMPETER BYRON STRIPLING AND R&B SINGING SENSATION MARVA HICKS WILL JOIN THE POPS
Philadelphia, PA (March 1, 2017) — In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month and to mark the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth, the Philly POPS will celebrate the First Lady of Song’s musical legacy with her frequent collaborator Louis Armstrong in a swinging lineup of their biggest solo hits and duets. Master jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling and R&B sensation Marva Hicks join the POPS for Ella, Louis & All That Jazz March 31-April 2, 2017 at the Kimmel Center.
“Ella and Louis’ songs were magical – they performed them so skillfully and with such expression that the music is still relevant today,” said Michael Krajewski, Philly POPS Music Director. “Ever since I’ve known Byron, I’ve wanted to bring him to Philadelphia. He’s a great musician with a wonderful personality, and a great sense of humor. That’s what the POPS is all about.”
Surrounding the month dedicated to jazz, POPS in Schools has a full slate of engagement activities planned for the School District of Philadelphia’s jazz program and All-City Jazz Orchestra (the audition-only ensemble composed of the most talented jazz students in the district):
- Byron Stripling will lead a workshop with the All-City Jazz Orchestra. The All-City Orchestra is the School District of Philadelphia honor band culled from the best jazz programs at the 10 participating high schools in the District.
- The All-City Jazz Orchestra Combo, all members of the All City Jazz Orchestra, will perform on the Kimmel Center’s Plaza Stage prior to each Ella, Louis & All That Jazz concert.
The Combo will perform on International Jazz Day weekend (April 28 at 2pm) at New York City’s Lincoln Center as part of the Young Music Makers series.
- POPS musicians will lead masterclasses throughout the spring for each of the 10 Philadelphia public high schools in the jazz program.
- These activities culminate in a free All-City Jazz Festival (presented by the POPS for the third year with the School District of Philadelphia and, new for this year, with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, on June 9. The festival has been reconfigured to include a variety of student jazz programs, both those based at the Kimmel and with POPS in Schools, as well as other unaffiliated programs, playing throughout the day. All free space at the Kimmel will be utilized, including Commonwealth Plaza and the Perelman Theater. All 10 jazz bands in the POPS program will perform throughout the day, with the most successful bands and the All-City Jazz Orchestra playing in an evening showcase. POPS musicians will join in the music-making.
The Philly POPS show, Ella, Louis & All That Jazz, will feature the songs that made Ella and Louis famous, along with their duets, highlights from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and more from each of their distinguished careers, including:
“A Tisket, A Tasket”
“Just One Of Those Things”
“They Can’t Take That Away From Me”
“Love Is Here To Stay”
“It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”
“What A Wonderful World”
Guest artists Byron Stripling and Marva Hicks frequently perform the music of Ella and Louis together.
Stripling earned his stripes as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones and Frank Foster. He has played and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, and Buck Clayton.
Hicks signed her first record deal while still a student at Howard University – she reached number 7 on the Billboard R&B charts with her single “Never Been in Love Before.” She has toured with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and James Ingram. She performed on Broadway in The Lion King and Motown the Musical. Among many big and small screen credits, Hicks has appeared in “Labor Day”, “Assunder,” “Virtuosity,” starring Denzel Washington, “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and “Daredevil.”
Schedule of Events:
Friday, March 31
6:30pm: Pre-concert entertainment by All-City Jazz Combo (the best of the best young jazz musicians of the School District of Philadelphia led by Ryan Roemer and introduced by Byron Stripling) and conversation with Michael Krajewski, Byron Stripling, and CBS Radio Philadelphia’s RJ McKay, Plaza Stage, Kimmel Center
8pm: Ella, Louis & All That Jazz, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center
Saturday, April 1
1:30pm: Pre-concert entertainment by All-City Jazz Combo (the best of the best young jazz musicians of the School District of Philadelphia led by Ryan Roemer and introduced by Byron Stripling) and conversation with WRTI-FM on-air personality and CBS Radio Philadelphia’s RJ McKay, Plaza Stage, Kimmel Center
3pm: Ella, Louis & All That Jazz, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center
Sunday, April 2
1:30pm: Pre-concert entertainment by All-City Jazz Combo (the best of the best young jazz musicians of the School District of Philadelphia led by Ryan Roemer and introduced by Byron Stripling) and conversation with Patty Jackson of WDAS-FM and CBS Radio Philadelphia’s RJ McKay, Plaza Stage, Kimmel Center
3pm: Ella, Louis & All That Jazz, Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center
The Philly POPS Subscription Series is made possible thanks to Presenting Sponsor Parx Casino®. POPS in Schools is made possible thanks to Philadelphia Energy Solutions.
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 38th season, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania serves a consistently growing audience of over 100,000 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.
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 – 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.