The Pacific Symphony Presents KENNY G Tonight
Sultry, sweet sounds of saxophone superstar Kenny G mellifluously meld with the full orchestra, when Pacific Symphony delivers a jazz-infused summer evening of music, led by guest conductor Albert-George Schram. In a recording career that spans three decades and 23 albums, the Grammy Award-winning Kenny G has sold more than 75 million records worldwide (45 million in the U.S. alone) and enjoyed more than a dozen climbs to the top of Billboard's contemporary jazz chart. By grafting elements of R&B, pop and Latin to his smooth jazz foundation, Kenny G has solidified his reputation as the premier artist in contemporary jazz. Having made his debut with Pacific Symphony in February 2013 for a romantic Valentine's Day weekend celebration, Kenny G returns to Orange County tonight, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m., to perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine as part of Mercedes-Benz presents Summer Festival 2014.
Concert tickets range from $25 (lawn seating) to $105 (orchestra seating); children under 14 are half price in most sections with the purchase of an adult ticket. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org. Summer Festival 2014 is also supported by the Orange County Register and media sponsors K-Earth 101, KPCC, KUSC and PBS SoCal.
Patrons are invited to picnic prior to the concert beginning at 6 p.m. And for the over-21 crowd: the Symphony's new Wine Club, hosted by Mercedes-Benz, with its shaded patio and stylish teak tables, is an ideal prelude to the concert. Held in the VIP club, the experience offers live music and an atmosphere that is casual and relaxed. Admission, two glasses of wine and a crackers-cheese-salami-and-fruit plate are $25. Guests are welcome to bring in their own picnics as well. Additional glasses of wine or bottles are also available for purchase. But space is limited to 100 people; for information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799.
"Kenny and I were in grad school together at the University of Washington about 35 years ago," says Maestro Schram, who last led the Symphony in a concert featuring Michael McDonald at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert hall in March 2014. "He played sax. I played trombone in the jazz band. He was phenomenal. I wasn't. Clearly, he made it much further on his sax than I did on my trombone. I love his endlessly flowing music. He is also a very dear man."
The exuberant first half of the concert blasts off with Giocchino Rossini's vigorous, swashbuckling Overture to "The Barber of Seville," one of the most loved and best-recognized works in the classical/opera repertoire, thanks in part to its use in countless movies, commercials and a Bugs Bunny cartoon. The program also includes Joseph Hellmesberger's exciting dance piece with an energetic waltz at its heart: "Danse Diabolique in D minor"; Victor Vanacore's sizzling mambo medley "Viva El Mambo"; the heart-thumping "Born to Hand Jive" from the hit movie "Grease"; and Jeff Tyzik's "Hot Soul Melody," which includes selections from "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," "My Girl," "Touch Me in the Morning," "Reach Out, I'll be there" and "Love Machine."