Hanson, Kittel & Co, Ladysmith Black Mambazo will join Grand Rapids Symphony for Picnic Pops in July!
In 1995, the Grand Rapids Symphony stepped on stage beneath a new outdoor band shell at Cannonsburg Ski Area, and a new West Michigan summer tradition of great music in the great outdoors was born. The sizzling sounds of the 1990s returns to the 2020 D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops in July with the pop sensation, Hanson.
The Grand Rapids Pops' 26th annual summer season features the extraordinary fiddle, mandolin and hammer dulcimer virtuosity of Kittel & Co.; the suave and sophisticated, close-harmony vocals of The Doo Wop Project; and the joyously uplifting world music sounds of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Sponsored by SpartanNash, the 2020 Picnic Pops, led by Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, opens with Grammy nominees Kittel & Co., fronted by Michigan's own Jeremy Kittel from Ann Arbor, on July 22. Brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson, whose smash hit "MMMBop" was the summer anthem of 1997, join the Grand Rapids Pops at Cannonsburg Ski Area on July 24.
"Symphony Under the Sky" continues with stars of Broadway's "Jersey Boys" and "Motown: The Musical" singing songs made famous by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and more in The Doo Wop Project on July 29. The 2020 Picnic Pops wraps up on July 30 with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, featured prominently on Paul Simon's 1986 album "Graceland," which won the Grammy for Album of the Year.
Season ticket sales for renewing subscribers are now underway. Season tickets for new subscribers, offering substantial discounts as well as access to the special event presale for Hanson, will go on sale on Feb. 3.
Single tickets to see Hanson for subscribers go on sale Feb. 24. All remaining single tickets for Hanson go on sale March 2. Single tickets for the rest of the 2020 D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops go on sale March 9. Call the Grand Rapids Symphony at (616) 454-9451 ext. 4 or go online to PicnicPops.org.
Kittel & Co. - July 22
Switching from Bach to Bluegrass at the drop of a hat, Grammy-nominated violinist and fiddler Jeremy Kittel's goal is "just to make honest music." The Michigan-born musician has shared stages with artists including Bela Flack, Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito D'Rivera and My Morning Jacket, performed at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and at Berklee College of Music, and on TV's "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" and radio's "A Prairie Home Companion."
Growing up near Ann Arbor, Kittel recalled "Playing different styles was kind of a dream of mine." Today, the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, graduate of the University of Michigan and former member of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet, plays music drawing from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, Classical, electronic and more with his all-string band, Kittel & Co., which recently appeared at Interlochen Center for the Arts, at The Ark in Ann Arbor and at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey.
Hanson - July 24
In 2017, the trio of brothers who make up pop-rock trio Hanson celebrated 25 years of playing music together, selling millions of albums and reaching fans from Tulsa to Tokyo. After five years and two independent albums, Hanson released their major label debut in 1997 and saw a meteoric rise with the international smash single "Mmmbop" from the album Middle Of Nowhere, which garnered multiple Grammy nominations and five consecutive top 40 singles, including "Where's The Love," "I Will Come To You" "Weird."
HANSON | String Theory brings together an exciting collaboration of song craftsmanship and symphonic spectacle framing the established Grammy nominated multiplatinum pop-rock trio's music with symphonic arrangements.
The Doo Wop Project - July 29
Stars of "Jersey Boys," "Motown: The Musical" come to town with the classic doo wop sounds of The Drifters, The Del-Vikings and The Temptations. On Broadway, they sang as Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. With the Grand Rapids Symphony, The Doo Wop Project spans the gamut of tight-harmony vocals from The Crests ("16 Candles"), The Belmonts ("A Teenager in Love") and The Flamingos ("I Only Have Eyes for You") and the early days of all-male vocal groups to doowopified arrangements of later songs by Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Maroon 5.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - July 30
In the mines of South Africa, impoverished black miners, living far from their homes and families, created their own genre of vocal music to entertain themselves. In the town of Ladysmith in the African province of kwaZulu Natal, singers honed their craft where Ladysmith Black Mambazo were discovered by Paul Simon who featured them on his 1986 recording "Graceland," which went on to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Proclaimed "South Africa's Cultural Ambassadors to the World" by Nelson Mandela, the multiple Grammy Award winners have shared stages with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Josh Groban, and the group has been heard on the soundtrack for such films as Disney's "The Lion King, Part II," "Eddie Murphy's "Coming To America," and Clint Eastwood's "Invictus." Benefactor sponsor for the concert is Inclusive Performance Strategies.
Ticket Options and Prices
3-Concert Series and Flexpass Packages
Save up to 32% off single-ticket prices with a 3-Concert Series subscription for lawn seats or save up to 14% off single-ticket lawn seats with a 6-ticket Flexpass. Sales to new subscribers begin Feb. 3.
The 3-Concert Series subscription covers any seats to Kittel & Co., The Doo Wop Project, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Subscriptions for lawn seats are $45 for adults or $15 for children ages 2-18. Children under age 2 are admitted for free. Subscriptions for general admission chair seating are $81. Tickets for an individual reserved table seat are $156 or $1,200 to reserve an entire table for eight.
The Flexpass 6-Pack offers six lawn tickets that can be used in any combination, on any concert night, for Kittel & Co., The Doo Wop Project, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Flexpasses are $114 for adults. Flexpasses cannot be used for the special event Hanson.
Individual Concert Tickets
Single tickets will be available for Hanson first for Picnic Pops series and Flexpass subscribers beginning Feb. 24. Single tickets for Hanson will go on sale to the public on March 2. All remaining single tickets for the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops go on sale on March. 9.
All single tickets for all Picnic Pops concerts are $5 more on the day of the show. All children under age 2 are free for all Picnic Pops concerts except for Hanson.
Lawn tickets for Kittel & Co., The Doo Wop Project, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are $22 for adults or $5 for ages 2-18. Other tickets are $33 for reserved chairs, $55 for individual table seats, and $440 for a full table of eight.
Lawn tickets for the special event Hanson are $45. Other tickets are $67 for reserved chairs, $112 for individual table seats, and $896 for a full table of eight.
About the Grand Rapids Symphony
Organized in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger, Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and Associate Conductor John Varineau, nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are given each year, touching the lives of some 200,000, nearly half of whom are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities all reached through extensive education and community service programs. Affiliated organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, and the biennial Grand Rapids Bach Festival.