Sunday, September 21, 2008

Swingin' with Marvin

Last night I attended the first Pops concert of the Seattle Symphony's season.  It definitely did not disappoint!  This season we're lucky enough to have Marvin Hamlisch as the symphony's Principal Pops Conductor.  The last several seasons have each featured one concert conducted by Hamlisch, which usually was one of the best concerts of the season, and now we get him all season long.  And what a ham he always is too.  As usual, the concert would evolve into a stand-up musical comedy routine, with still outstanding music to go with it.  

The music was top notch, with a collection of jazz and swing standards as the theme of the concert.  The featured guests were the US Army Jazz Ambassadors, an outstanding group of Army musicians who performed with the symphony.  We were also treated to several young musicians from the Seattle area, including a jazz quartet, and an amazing clarinet player who's a senior at Garfield HS.  

The featured vocalist was a 14-year old singer from Canada named Nikki Yanofsky, who was absolutely amazing.  Keep your eye on this kid, you'll be hearing a lot more from her in a few years.  

Featured in the concert were tribute medleys Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington among others.  Marvin's interactions with the audience were of course a highlight, as he managed to heckle one person in the 2nd row who had binoculars, and invited them to move to the front row if they were having trouble seeing.  Just before intermission, he also questioned the audience "what exactly do you folks DO during intermission anyway?"  

Looking forward to the Holiday concert.  

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