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As Summer Heat Flares Up, RPO Cools Down with the Blues

June 26, 2007

Daniels, Gordon, Stripling and Floyd Jazz up the CMAC stage

Rochester, NY – After their successful appearances in November during the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s regular season, internationally renowned vocalist Dee Daniels, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, trumpeter Byron Stripling and keyboardist Bobby Floyd return by popular demand to cool off the summer with the RPO and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik in “Cool Blues” on Saturday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Constellation-Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC). 

The soloists will bring their talents to songs made famous by legendary performers Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Count Basie, Bessie Smith and Fats Waller.  With her extraordinary four-octave range, Dee Daniels takes the lead in songs such as Night Train, Fine and Mellow, Moving on Up and her own Tonight I Won’t Be Singing No Blues. The RPO’s rhythm section of Dave Mancini, drums; Jeff Campbell, bass and Bob Sneider, guitar fill out the blues sound.
Dee Daniels’ style was born in her stepfather’s church choir in Oakland, California, honed through the R&B era and brought to full fruition during a five-year stay in Europe from 1982 to 1987.  Whether accompanying herself on the piano or fronting symphony orchestras, she brings her gospel roots, blues flavorings and unique styling to the world of jazz.  She has shared the stage with numerous jazz legends including the late Sarah Vaughan, Lionel Hampton and Joe Williams, as well as Clark Terry, Hank Jones and Toots Thielmans.  Dee’s diverse worldwide performances have brought her in front of royalty as well as theater, television and radio audiences. She has released several CDs and a 2006 DVD, Dee Daniels Live at Biblo.

Wycliffe Gordon enjoys an extraordinary career as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger and educator, touring the world performing hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz for audiences ranging from heads of state to elementary school students. Among his many accolades, Mr. Gordon has received two “Trombonist of the Year” Awards by the Jazz Journalists Association. Wycliffe’s latest releases include his solo recording, Cone’s Coup and two DVDs: the 1925 classic silent film Body and Soul and his own musical tribute to Muhammad Ali, I Saw the Light.  Wycliffe serves on the faculty of the Jazz Studies Program at The Juilliard School. His collection of trombone ensembles and a method book are scheduled for publication.

An Eastman School of Music alumnus, trumpeter Byron Stripling has become a favorite with the RPO and Pops audiences nationally.  Since his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, Stripling has performed with a wide range of symphony orchestras and played and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton and Clark Terry in addition to the Lincoln Center Classical Jazz Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band.  He currently serves as Artistic Director and Conductor of the highly acclaimed Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

Keyboardist Bobby Floyd regularly performs as a soloist, with a trio or big band, or with orchestra in jazz and gospel music.  He has shared the stage with Dionne Warwick, Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval and Faye Robinson, and has accompanied David “Fathead” Newman, Bobby Watson, Greg Osby and Billy Hart.  Mr. Floyd has completed three recordings: Interpretations, Setting the Standards and Floyd’s Finest Gift.  His next project, soon to be released, is a live performance recorded in Spain.

CMAC tickets are $15-$50 in advance, $20-$55 at the gate. Discounts are available for seniors, students and children 12 and under. CMAC tickets are available at the RPO Box Office (585) 454-2100, online at www.rpo.org, through Ticket Express, or through Ticketmaster (585) 232-1900.  Please note: CMAC summer tickets are NOT available at Wegmans.  CMAC Box Office (Lincoln Hill Road, Canandaigua) will be open on concert days from noon to concert start, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning July 6.  The next RPO CMAC concerts are Saturday July 21 and July 28.

CMAC concerts take place rain or shine. Except for lawn seating, all other seats are covered.  The grounds open at 6 p.m. and concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own blanket or lawn chair for relaxing on the hillside. Reusable plastic containers and vacuum-seal bottles are allowed.  Please note the following ground rules: alcoholic beverages may not be brought into CMAC (beer and wine are available for purchase); glass, bottles, cans, recording devices, grills, pets, fireworks and cameras are not permitted on the grounds.

The RPO’s Summer Series is sponsored by Constellation Brands; its CMAC residency is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust.  This concert is made possible by Morgan Stanley.

Now in its 84th season, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award, and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.  RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County; the City of Rochester; and American Airlines, the official airline of the RPO.

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