MSO Opens Pop Season with Ella, Louis and All That Jazz Tonight

MSO Opens Pop Season with Ella, Louis and All That Jazz Tonight

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra opens the 2013.14 Pops season with Ella, Louis, and All That Jazz tonight, October 11-13, 2013 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Guest conductor Jeff Tyzik leads the orchestra, featuring Byron Stripling, trumpet; Marva Hicks, vocalist; and Robert Breithaupt, drums. In tribute to Ella, Satchmo, and Fats Waller, the concerts include favorites such as S'Wonderful, It Don't Mean a Thing, What a Wonderful World, and selections from Gershwin's Porgy & Bess.

Grammy Award winner Jeff Tyzik is one of America's most innovative and sought after pops conductors. This season, he begins a new role as principal pops conductor of the Seattle and Detroit symphonies and the Florida Orchestra. In the 2013.14 concert season, Tyzik will celebrate his 20th season as principal pops conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and continue to serve as principal pops conductor of the Oregon Symphony. Highly sought after as a guest conductor, Tyzik has appeared with the Boston and Cincinnati pops; Dallas, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Indianapolis symphonies; Philadelphia Orchestra; and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Tyzik made his UK debut in 2010 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In May 2007, the Harmonia Mundi label released his recording of Gershwin works with pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the RPO, which stayed in the Top 10 on the Billboard classical chart for over three months. Alex Ross of The New Yorker called it "one of the snappiest Gershwin discs in years."

Tyzik has collaborated with such diverse artists as Chris Botti, Matthew Morrison, Wynonna Judd, Tony Bennett, Art Garfunkel, Dawn Upshaw, Marilyn Horne, Arturo Sandoval, The Chieftains, Mark O'Connor, Doc Severinsen, and John Pizzarelli and has created numerous original programs that include the greatest music from jazz and classical to Motown, Broadway, film, dance, Latin, and swing. Tyzik holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Eastman School of Music. For more information about Jeff Tyzik, please visit

Byron Stripling, a spectacular trumpeter with a very wide range, a beautiful tone, and the ability to blend together many influences into his own style, is the artistic director of Columbus Jazz Orchestra, leader of his own quartet, and constantly in demand to play with pops orchestras around the world. Stripling was born in Atlanta, the son of a classical singer. Originally, Byron enrolled at the Eastman School of Music with plans to become a classical trumpeter. He met Clark Terry, who asked Byron to join his big band. In 2002, Stripling became the artistic director and conductor of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, where he has presented such guest artists as Branford Marsalis, Chuck Mangione, Mavis Staples, and Wycliffe Gordon. He also makes many guest appearances with orchestras, conducts occasional clinics and seminars, and tours extensively with his own quartet. Byron can also be heard on recordings with Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Lena Horne, Sonny Rollins, Paquito D'Rivera, Gerry Mulligan, J.J. Johnson, Carla Bley, Jim Hall, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and numerous Broadway cast albums.

Marva Hicks is an accomplished and versatile performing artist. Born in Petersburg, Virginia, she grew up singing in the church founded by her grandfather. Winning a local teen contest exposed her to the Broadway stage and lead to a career in the performing arts. She had her first record deal while still a student at Howard University. After graduation, she moved to New York and was cast in her first Broadway show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. Marva then moved to Los Angeles after being signed to her second record deal. At Polygram Records, Marva recorded her album, which yielded the Top 10 R&B single, Never Been in Love Before. During this period, she was introduced to Stevie Wonder and subsequently traveled with him as a backing vocalist. Since returning to New York, she has added The Lion King and Caroline or Change to her Broadway credits. In a rare jazz and blues adaptation of Porgy & Bess, she played Bess and received the B. Iden Payne Award in Austin, TX. Having appeared in five productions at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, she is currently commissioned to create and perform in a solo piece about her journey in show business as a woman of faith.

Robert Breithaupt enjoys one of America's most diverse musical careers as a performing musician, arts administrator, college professor, author, and entrepreneur. He is professor of music and department chair of jazz studies/music industry at Capital University, and has developed one of the most recognized undergraduate percussion programs in the United States. His performance credits include recordings, appearances, and tour with a wide variety of artists, including Eddie Daniels, Monty Alexander, Terry Gibbs, John Abercrombie, Paul Anka, and Perry Como. He has served as the executive director of the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus since 2001 and has held the chair as the drummer of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra since 1981. He has served as an extra percussionist with the Columbus Symphony and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and continues to perform with many of the nation's finest orchestras and ensembles. He has received many honors and awards including Bowling Green State University's Outstanding Graduate Award in 2001, and 2004-2005 membership in the Jefferson Center Leadership Academy.

Ranked among the top orchestras in the country, the MSO is the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the orchestra has received critical acclaim for artistic excellence. The orchestra's 80 full-time professional musicians perform more than 135 concerts each season. A cornerstone organization in Milwaukee's arts community, the MSO provides enrichment and education activities for audiences of every age, economic status, and background.