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The Philly POPS Announces Appointments Of Music Director And Artistic Director For Jazz

The Philly POPS Announces Appointments Of Music Director And Artistic Director For Jazz

Today, the Philly POPS officially welcomes Broadway legend Todd Ellison as Music Director of the 2019-2020 TOPS of the POPS season. Likewise, the POPS welcomes its new Artistic Director for Jazz, world-renowned trumpet player Terell Stafford.

Todd made his POPS debut in 2015's Memorial Salute concert at Longwood Gardens and returned for Best of Broadway and Memorial Salute in 2018. As Music Director, he will lead the full orchestra on July 3 for POPS on Independence, The Philly POPS BIG Band for July 4's POPS at the Celebration of Freedom, The Philly POPS BIG Band + Strings for POPS on the Parkway, and he will conduct five concerts during the 2019-2020 TOPS of the POPS Season.

Following the immense artistic success of JAZZED! The Philly POPS BIG Band with Terell Stafford in the 2018-19 season, The Philly POPS has appointed Terell Stafford to the position of Artistic Director for Jazz.

As the Artistic Director for Jazz, Terell will continue to direct the All-City Jazz Orchestra, continuing this five-year-old partnership between the School District of Philadelphia and the POPS. Terell will expand The Philly POPS' POPS in Schools programming to include new opportunities-bringing credentialed jazz musicians to schools throughout the School District of Philadelphia, while creating programs to bring student performers into the concert hall. The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, which Terell also directs, will be presented by The Philly POPS-creating The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, and adding the jazz orchestra's performances to The Philly POPS' roster of activities.

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Hailed by The New York Times as one of "Broadway's Electric Conductors," Todd Ellison is one of the most accomplished and sought-after music directors working today.

Raised in Essex, Connecticut, Ellison began playing piano at age six and later graduated from Boston University School of Music with a degree in piano performance. His career has spanned many roles, ranging from award-winning Broadway shows to several seasons as the music director for the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular."

Currently, he is the Music Director-Designate of The Philly Pops, the Music Supervisor and Arranger of the new Broadway-bound musical, Roman Holiday, and the composer of the award-winning musical, The Black and White Ball.

Ellison's Broadway credits include: An American in Paris, Annie, La Cage aux Folles, Elton John's Lestat, 42nd Street, Amour, The Wild Party, On the Town, Once Upon a Mattress (starring Sarah Jessica Parker), How to Succeed (starring Matthew Broderick), She Loves Me, Taller than a Dwarf (incidental music) and A Class Act. As Marvin Hamlisch's Music Director, Ellison worked on Ballroom and The Nutty Professor.

Ellison has conducted all over the world, including the Vienna Konzerthaus with Dawn Upshaw and Jerry Hadley, with The Dublin Film Orchestra, Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Mexico City), World Science Festival, Lincoln Center, Cole Porters' Jubilee at Carnegie Hall, and with the Pittsburgh, San Diego, Long Beach, New Haven, New Jersey, and York Symphonies.

Throughout his career, Ellison has accompanied stars like Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, Nicole Kidman, Barry Manilow, Bea Arthur, Jane Lynch, Tracey Ullman and Kelsey Grammer.

Todd led The Philly POPS for its first Memorial Day concert at Longwood Gardens in 2015. He has since conducted 2017's Best of Broadway, 2018's Memorial Salute concerts, and 2018's A Philly POPS Christmas. Todd officially became the POPS' Music Director July 2019.

Terell Stafford has been hailed as "one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player" by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, combining a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford's exceptionally expressive and well-defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Since the mid-1990s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson's Sextet, McCoy Tyner's Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford, with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, performed on Diana Krall's Grammy-nominated From this Moment On (2006). John Clayton invited Stafford to perform with the Clayton Brothers Quintet and Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Stafford is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, which was awarded a Grammy in 2009 for Best Large Ensemble, "Live at the Village Vanguard."

Stafford can be heard on over 130 albums. His latest recording This Side of Strayhorn has been hailed as "the first must-have album of 2011" and "genius." Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer and leader and has received countless award nominations and accolades.

Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago, Illinois and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993

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