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Classical 24/02/2011

America's Orchestra Celebrates America's Pastimes... Baseball, Movies, And Rock 'n' Roll

America's Orchestra Celebrates America's Pastimes... Baseball, Movies, And Rock 'n' Roll

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Glen Ridge, NJ (Top40 Charts/ Isaac Bearg) Conductor Keith Lockhart and America's Orchestra, the famed Boston Pops, will present their first-ever Minor League Ballparks tour, visiting 10 cities stretching from Birmingham, Alabama, to Buffalo, New York, August 16-30. Iconic singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins will join Mr. Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra for a tour program that features music inspired by three of this country's favorite pastimes-baseball, movies, and rock 'n' roll. The common thread throughout the program, entitled the Hollywood Hits Tour, will be legendary film music themes, featuring music from one of the most memorable baseball films of our time, The Natural, a tribute to renowned film composer John Williams, and Kenny Loggins singing "Footloose", from the ever-popular film of the same name.

"I can't think of a better marriage between the worlds of music and sports than that between America's Orchestra and America's favorite pastime," said Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart. "With the legendary Kenny Loggins joining us for this 10-city tour of some of America's finest minor league stadiums, these concerts of great music from the worlds of baseball, movies, and rock 'n' roll are sure to bring audiences a once-in-a-lifetime experience that creates cherished memories and brings a wonderful new dimension to a summer at their favorite ball park."

"I'm extremely excited and proud to be performing with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops for their first-ever tour of minor league baseball stadiums," said Kenny Loggins. "It is a true pleasure to work with such a prestigious and talented orchestra, and it's an absolute honor to perform for the wonderful people of these great American towns and cities we will be visiting."

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
The Boston Pops Hollywood Hits Tour opens with the orchestra's popular arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner," followed by several fan-favorite musical selections inspired by the world of baseball, including John Philip Sousa's rousing "National Game" March, "Casey at the Bat," with actor Jeremiah Kissel narrating, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and musical highlights from the classic baseball movie, The Natural. Keith Lockhart will bring the first portion of the program to a close with "A Cinematic Sing-Along," inviting the audience to join the orchestra by singing such Hollywood hits as "Moon River," "The Way We Were," "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," and "Over the Rainbow." When Keith Lockhart and the orchestra return to the stage they will present a tribute to film score composer and Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams, with performance of music from his most famous scores including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and E.T. Recording artist Kenny Loggins brings the program to a close, joining Keith Lockhart and the orchestra for several of his greatest hits including "I'm Alright," from Caddyshack, and "Footloose," made famous as the theme song from the movie of the same name.

Inspired by a Boston Pops concert featuring Kenny Loggins at the Pawtucket Red Sox' McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, this past fall, the upcoming summer tour will be the first-ever Boston Pops tour of minor league baseball parks, though members of the Boston Pops have been featured in performances at many of the country's leading sporting events, including those of their hometown Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics.

TOUR CITIES AND DATES
The tour kicks off with a performance at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC on Tuesday, August 16, before moving on to the Knights Stadium on Wednesday, August 17, in Fort Mill, SC. Then the Pops head deeper south stopping at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA, on Friday, August 19; Greer Stadium in Nashville, TN, on Saturday, August 20; AutoZone Park in Memphis, TN, on Sunday, August 21; and Regions Park in Birmingham, AL, on Tuesday, August 23. On the New York leg of the tour, the orchestra performs at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo on Friday, August 26, and Frontier Field in Rochester on Saturday, August 27, and Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse on Sunday, August 28. Finally the Pops tour will hit Connecticut's New Britain Stadium in New Britain on Tuesday, August 30. Each of the ten performances will begin at 7:30 PM. Ticket information, including phone and web site addresses for purchasing tickets, appears below.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for the Boston Pops Hollywood Hits tour go on sale February 28, 2011 and will be available through each venue's box office, website, and phones. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets beginning 2/23 through Citi's Private Pass Program. For complete presale details visit https://www.citiprivatepass.com.

CONCERT VENUES, DATES, AND TIMES, PLUS PHONE AND WEB ADDRESSES FOR TICKET PURCHASING

Tuesday, August 16, 7:30 p.m.
Durham Bulls
Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Durham, NC
919-956-BULL
https://www.durhambulls.com

Wednesday, August 17, 7:30 p.m.
Charlotte Knights
Knights Stadium
Fort Mill, SC.
704-357-8071
https://www.charlotteknights.com

Friday, August 19, 7:30 p.m.
Gwinnett Braves
Lawrenceville, GA,
Coolray Field
678-277-0340
https://www.gwinnettbraves.com

Saturday, August 20, 7:30 p.m.
Nashville Sounds
Greer Stadium
Nashville, TN
(615) 690-HITS x2
https://www.nashvillesounds.com
Sunday, August 21, 7:30 p.m.
Memphis Red Birds
AutoZone Park
Memphis, TN
901-721-6000
https://www.memphisredbirds.com

Tuesday, August 23, 7:30 p.m.
Birmingham Barons
Regions Park
Birmingham, AL
(205) 988-3200 x25
https://www.barons.com

Friday, August 26, 7:30 p.m.
Buffalo Bisons
Coca-Cola Field
Buffalo, NY
(888) 223-6000
https://www.bisons.com

Sunday, August 28, 7:30 p.m.
Syracuse Chiefs
Alliance Bank Stadium
Syracuse, NY
315-474-7833
https://www.syracusechiefs.com

Saturday, August 27, 7:30 p.m.
Rochester Red Wings
Frontier Field
Rochester, NY
(585) 423-WING
https://www.redwingsbaseball.com

Tuesday, August 30, 7:30 p.m.
New Britain Rock Cats
New Britain Stadium
New Britain, CT
(860)224-8383
https://www.rockcats.com
KENNY LOGGINS
During nearly four decades as a professional singer-songwriter, Kenny Loggins has established himself as many things to countless music lovers. For the first half of the Seventies, Loggins was, along with Jim Messina, part of the popular, influential, and somewhat accidental duo Loggins & Messina that formed in the wake of the classic 1971 album Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin' In, originally meant to be Loggins' debut solo album. When Loggins & Messina ended their musical partnership in 1976, Loggins pressed on to explore his own musical path as an introspective solo artist, beginning with such artistically and commercially successful releases as 1977's Celebrate Me Home, with its popular title track, and 1978's Nightwatch, which featured Loggins smash duet with Stevie Nicks, "Whenever I Call You Friend." Mr. Loggins has since recorded a remarkable and eclectic series of albums, including such popular highlights as 1979's Keep The Fire ("This Is It"), 1982's High Adventure ("Don't Fight It," "Heart To Heart"), 1991's deeply personal and acclaimed Leap Of Faith (featuring "Conviction Of The Heart," which Al Gore has called "the unofficial anthem of the environmental movement"), 1993's exquisite live retrospective Outside: From the Redwoods, and 2003's It's About Time.

During this same period, Loggins grew even more well-known for recording a series of soundtrack pop smashes including such Top Ten hits as "I'm Alright" from Caddyshack, "Footloose" from Footloose, "Danger Zone" from Top Gun and "Nobody's Fool from Caddyshack II, as well as for participating in USA For Africa's historic benefit recording "We Are The World," and co-writing the Grammy-winning Song of the Year "What A Fool Believes."

Starting in the Nineties, Loggins' audience then expanded considerably in age range when he went against conventional music industry thinking to become arguably the first major star from the rock world to dedicate himself to recording music for children. "Back in the day, I would sing the bedtime lullabies to my first three children," Loggins recalls. "Then when I recorded my first children's album, I replaced myself."

In 2005, Kenny Loggins reunited with his former partner, Jim Messina, to great surprise and considerable acclaim. As much personally as musically, the Sittin' In Again tour allowed Loggins to rediscover an old friendship. It was so successful and inspiring that they took their show on the road once again in 2009.

BACKGROUND ON THE BOSTON POPS
The Boston Pops, affectionately know as "America's Orchestra," is the most recorded and arguably the most beloved orchestra in the country. With the celebration of the orchestra's 125th anniversary season in 2010, the Boston Pops reached a landmark moment in a remarkable history that began with its founding in 1885. Civil War veteran Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the Boston Symphony (1881) and Boston Pops, intended from the very start to present concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day.

Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Conductor 1930-79
It was Arthur Fiedler's nearly 50-year tenure as Pops Conductor that established the Boston Pops as a national icon by moving the Pops beyond its origins in light-classical music into the world of pop culture showcasing the popular artists of the day as well as the work of young American composers and arrangers. Mr. Fiedler organized the first free outdoor orchestral concerts on the Charles River Esplanade that led to the Boston's now-famous Fourth of July concert, established the Pops as the most recorded orchestra in history-including the first orchestral recording to sell more than a million copies-and introduced the "Evening at Pops" television series, bringing the orchestra into the living rooms of countless Americans.

John Williams, Boston Pops Conductor 1980-1993
When John Williams succeeded Arthur Fiedler in 1980, he was the most highly acclaimed composer in Hollywood, and today, with 45 Academy Award nominations, he is the most-nominated living person in Academy history. With the Pops, Mr. Williams continued the orchestra's prolific recording tradition with a series of best-selling recordings for the Philips and Sony Classical labels, broadened and updated the Pops repertoire-commissioning new compositions and introducing new arrangements of Boston Pops classics-and entertained audiences with live orchestral accompaniment to film clips of memorable movie scenes, many of which featured iconic music from his own film scores. He traveled extensively with the Pops both nationally and internationally, leading the Pops on its first tours to Japan. Mr. Williams also brought a bit of Hollywood to the Pops stage, with special appearances by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Frank Langella, not to mention Darth Vader, R2D2, and C3PO.

Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Conductor 1995-present
Having led more than 1,300 Boston Pops concerts, Keith Lockhart is now in his seventeenth season as Boston Pops Conductor. In response to the ever-diversifying trends in music, Keith Lockhart has taken the Pops in new directions, creating programs that reach out to a broader and younger audience by presenting artists-both established performers and rising stars-from virtually every corner of the entertainment world, all the while maintaining the Pops' appeal to its core audience. He has made 67 television shows, led 33 national and four overseas tours with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and recorded eleven albums. Mr. Lockhart's tenure has been marked by a dramatic increase in touring, the orchestra's first Grammy nominations, the first major network national broadcast (on CBS Television) of the Fourth-of-July spectacular from the Esplanade, and the release of the Boston Pops' first self-produced and self-distributed recordings, now numbering five: Sleigh Ride, America, Oscar & Tony, The Red Sox Album, and The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers. He led the Pops for Chris Botti's "In Boston" TV, CD, and DVD special, featuring guests Sting, John Mayer, Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, and Steven Tyler, recorded live from two performances at Symphony Hall. The recording received multiple Grammy nominations last year and the show was aired on PBS stations nationally. Mr. Lockhart has also led the Boston Pops at several high profile sports events, including the pre-game show of Super Bowl XXXVI and the opening game of the 2007 World Series, at Fenway Park with the Boston Red Sox. Further information about the Boston Pops is available at bostonpops.org.

Highlights of Boston Pops 125th anniversary season in 2010
The 2010 season was a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Boston Pops, highlighted by the world premiere of "The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers." Esteemed actors Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Cherry Jones narrated the moving work celebrating the legacies of John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy. Additional performances were also narrated at Tanglewood by Alec Baldwin and in Hyannis, MA, by Chris Cooper. "The Dream Lives On"-composed by Peter Boyer with Tony Award-winning lyricist Lynn Ahrens-was commissioned and recorded by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops to celebrate the orchestra's anniversary. A recording of the premiere is available at bostonpops.org. Additionally, a cake was baked to mark the Pop's 125th birthday by Duff Goldman, who turned Opening Night at Pops into an episode of the television phenomenon Ace of Cakes. On July 4, Keith Lockhart was joined by country superstar Toby Keith for the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which was witnessed by a live audience of over 500,000 people and over 6 million viewers on television.

ABOUT ESI CONCERTS
ESI Concerts produces unique music and entertainment concerts and tours utilizing minor league baseball stadiums as locations for its productions. With offices in North Carolina and New Jersey, ESI Concerts is affiliated with Entertainment & Sports International, a special events company which produces the Principal Financial Group Family Fan Fest, baseball's largest and longest-running fan celebration. ESI Concerts founders Bert Gould and Joe Owens are entertainment industry veterans whose experience includes some of the television, music, and theater industries' largest and most successful productions.






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