Soloists include Grey’s Anatomy’s Kevin McKidd and Broadway’s Melissa Errico
Published : Thursday, June 6, 2019 | 11:17 AM
Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein opens the 2019 Pasadena POPS Sierra Summer Concert Series on Saturday, June 22 with The Great American Songbook: Icons from Broadway, Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood. The POPS season opener will encapsulate 200 years of American popular music, from Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer” to the songbook of the ‘20s and ‘30s, the Big Band era, Broadway, Hollywood, and vintage charts that can’t be heard anywhere else. Hear Broadway favorites with “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man” and “Maria,” to timeless hits like Sinatra’s “Where Or When” and “The Way We Were,” plus in typical Feinstein fashion, a few vintage archival surprises.
To start off the season with a bang, Feinstein will welcome two heavy-hitters to the stage, with Kevin McKidd and Melissa Errico taking the mic. Although many may know him for his leading roles on Grey’s Anatomy or HBO’s Rome, McKidd started out as a musician, with the Scottish band Plan 9. In 2012, he released The Speyside Sessions, a collection of traditional Scottish folk tunes, which reached #1 on iTunes world music downloads. It is a rare treat to hear him perform live, and seeing him alongside one of the great voices of Broadway, Melissa Errico, will be a truly one-of-a-kind experience. A Tony Award-nominee, who has starred in My Fair Lady and High Society among others, Errico sparkles on stage. “Any chance to hear Melissa Errico sing is a chance worth taking.” (The New York Times)
All concerts are held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. Grounds open for picnicking and dining at 5:30pm and performances begin at 7:30pm. Don’t miss the best outdoor dinner party in town with spacious circular table seating with fine linens, or lawn seating for those who want to bring a blanket – each option carries on the tradition of picnic-dining with your family and friends with Michael Feinstein and the San Gabriel Valley’s premier orchestra! Among many venue amenities, concert goers can enjoy pre-ordered gourmet dining packages for on-site pickup just steps from their table from Julienne, Marston’s and Claud & Co. The venue also hosts mouth-watering food trucks and the convenience of two full beverage centers serving fine wines, beer, coffee and soft drinks.
Audiences get the ultimate outdoor concert experience with large LED video screens to see the artists and orchestra up close, superior sound and the high-quality production value that is a signature of the Pasadena POPS. For those who want to make a night of it, exclusive hotel packages are available for POPS patrons at Pasadena’s landmark Hotel Constance.
The Arboretum is located at 301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA. Subscribers may purchase pre-paid onsite parking at the Arboretum, and all concertgoers can purchase guaranteed and convenient parking at Santa Anita Park, located just across Baldwin Ave., with complimentary non-stop shuttle service to the Arboretum’s main entrance.
Single tickets start at $25. Season subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale, and are available by calling the box office at (626)-793-7172, online at PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org or at the Arboretum on the day of the concerts.
About the Artists
Principal Pops Conductor
Tom and Erika Girardi Chair
Michael Feinstein has built a dazzling career over the last three decades bringing the music of the Great American songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy nominated PBS-TV specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe – in addition to his appearances at iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House – his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.
In 2007, he founded the Great American Songbook Foundation, dedicated to celebrating the art form and preserving it through educational programs, Master Classes, and the annual High School Songbook Academy. This summer intensive open to students from across the country has produced graduates who have gone on to record acclaimed albums and appear on television programs such as NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Michael serves on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s sound recording heritage.
The most recent album from his multi-platinum recording career is A Michael Feinstein Christmas from Concord Records. The CD features Grammy Award -winning jazz pianist Alan Broadbent (Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole). Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol’ Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein’s CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.
His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook,” the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS-TV Special, “New Year’s Eve at The Rainbow Room” – written and directed by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry – aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interviews and performs alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.
Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014. Michael’s book The Gershwins and Me – the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.
Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three-theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall’s “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein” in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Michael’s nightclub at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. He debuted at Feinstein’s/54 Below, his new club in New York, late in 2015. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012.
He has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.
In 2013 Michael released Change Of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn’s pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael’s late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.
Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously-unreleased tracks.
Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded. Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.
For more information, please visit www.MichaelFeinstein.com.
Melissa Errico is an actress, a singer and a writer. She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress for the musical Amour, and starred in My Fair Lady, High Society, Dracula, Les Miserables and others. She’s also starred in several productions with Irish Repertory Theatre and has 6 Drama Desk nominations.
As a singer, Melissa has made five solo studio CDs and has performed with most of the major symphonies in America and the UK. Her latest album Sondheim Sublime was recently released to critical acclaim, with The Wall Street Journal calling it “The best all-Sondheim album ever recorded.” In the past 2 years she has performed numerous sold-out Sondheim concerts in New York City, Chicago at The Ravinia Festival, DC and London. Her connection to Sondheim’s work began when she played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at The Kennedy Center. She then went on to star in Passion at Classic Stage Company and Do I hear a Waltz? at New York City Center.
Her other solo cds include Blue Like That (EMI/Capitol Records), Lullabies and Wildflowers (VMG/Universal), Legrand Affair (Ghostlight/Sony) and What About Today? Melissa Errico Live at 54 Below (Broadway Records; CD & DVD).? She also recently appeared in television guest-starring arcs on Cinemax’s “The Knick” directed by Steven Soderbergh, and “Billions” on Showtime. Melissa has served on The National Endowment for the Arts, has published multiple essays in The New York Times, and is a contributing essayist in The Purist and other magazines.
Kevin McKidd is a well-known Scottish actor. He was born and spent his childhood in Elgin, Moray, Scotland. He is best known for his portrayal of Tommy in the film Trainspotting and his work on the critically acclaimed television show Rome.
As a teenager, he was part of a rock band called Plan 9. The group achieved a moderate amount of success and toured all over Scotland. He got into acting at a young age, joining the local Moray Youth Theatre group as a teenager. He shifted gears, however, and enrolled at the University of Edinburgh with a focus on engineering. He soon dropped out though and switched to the Queen Margaret College to study drama. Kevin fully immersed himself in his studies, even joining the University’s student theatre company, Bedlam Theatre.
Kevin landed his first television role in 1996, playing Father Deegan in the British sitcom Father Ted. This led to his seminal role in the international hit Trainspotting and several small parts on British serials and miniseries. In 2002, he caught the eye of acclaimed director Ridley Scott. Ridley cast him against Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson in his war epic Kingdom of Heaven. This led to further work in films such as Nicholas Nickleby and the Silence of the Lambs prequel Hannibal Rising. 2005 found him cast as Lucius Vorenus in the HBO series Rome. The show received tremendous acclaim and was on the air for two full seasons. In late 2007, McKidd began his role as the lead character in the American fantasy television series Journeyman on NBC.
His role in Rome led to McKidd’s casting in the medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Owen Hunt. He made his directorial debut in the series’ seventh season, directing the episode “Don’t Deceive Me (Please Don’t Go)”. He won the award for “Best Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline” at the 14th Prism Awards for his work in Grey’s Anatomy. He played the role of Poseidon, god of the seas, and the father of Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
McKidd has done voice work and voiced the character of Jezz Torrent, flame haired lead singer of the fictional Scottish hard rock band Love Fist in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. He is credited with playing a voice-over for the character John “Soap” MacTavish in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. McKidd was in talks in 2008 to portray Connor MacLeod in a remake of the 1986 fantasy film Highlander, though the role has subsequently been associated with Ryan Reynolds. In 2012, he voiced the characters of Lord MacGuffin and his son Young MacGuffin in the Disney/Pixar film Brave.