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New RPO Symphony on the Genesee Barge Concert Made Possible by City of Rochester

July 11, 2008

RPO and Mambo Kings Say “Ahoy” to a New Floating Venue, Part of Mayor Duffy’s “River City Rhythms”

Rochester NY – From the Erie Canal to the Genesee River, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra “barges” into a new venue this summer, as Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik leads the Orchestra in Symphony on the Genesee, a free floating concert on Friday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. The event is part of the “River City Rhythms” music series, sponsored by the City of Rochester. 

The concert takes place on a barge tethered at Corn Hill Landing (Exchange Blvd. at Plymouth Avenue South) on the Genesee River with Tyzik and Rochester’s own Mambo Kings take rhythm to the river – with a musical “something for everyone” – as it presents pops favorites, patriotic numbers from RPO’s new recording HONOR: Portraits of America, and a line-up of hot Latin charts perfect for a warm summer evening.  As has been the tradition of the last two barge concerts on the Erie Canal in Fairport and Pittsford, Jeff Tyzik will be “delivered” to the floating barge by the Mary Jemison river boat – courtesy of Corn Hill Navigation – just prior to the concert start.

“We are so pleased with this sponsorship by the City of Rochester, which allows us to perform in the perfect setting –the heart of the city in historic Corn Hill Landing with the spectacular Genesee River and city skyline as backdrop,” said Tyzik.

“Captain” Jeff opens the program with one of John Williams’ most recognizable works, the main theme from Star Wars Suite for Orchestra.  From outer space, Tyzik travels back in time to an era of flower children and tie-dye with his arrangement of songs from the 1960s and 1970s.  The heat is on when Mambo Kings join the RPO on the barge for an original chart, Melodia son Guajita by group founder Richard DeLaney, and Dave Brubeck’s classic Blue Mambo à la Turk.  Mambo Kings then takes the helm, cruising through Afro-Cuban hits like Guillermo Castillo’s Tres Lindas Cubanas and the ever-popular Oye Como Va by Tito Puente.  Jeff Tyzik and the RPO return for the concert finale, Stars and Stripes Forever – a Rochester musical tradition.  Symphony on the Genesee will culminate in a fireworks display – thanks to First Niagara Bank – timed to coordinate with the last chorus of that final spirited piece.

Founded in 1995, Mambo Kings is Rochester’s leading Latin jazz ensemble.  Since its debut with the RPO in 1997, the group has earned national acclaim for its blistering Latin rhythms and brilliant jazz improvisations.  Mambo Kings has appeared throughout North America as both as featured soloists with acclaimed orchestras and in music festivals, including the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Rochester International Jazz Festival, exciting audiences everywhere. 

The RPO concert is preceded by soprano Cecile Saine performing Broadway tunes at 5:30 p.m., followed by the nine-member Fiddlers of the Genesee at 6:30 p.m.

In addition to the generous sponsorship by the City of Rochester, additional support is provided by New York State through Senator Joseph Robach and by First Niagara Bank.  On-street parking is available along Exchange Boulevard as well as in the Exchange Boulevard parking lots and in the Court Street Garage as well as other downtown garages.

Celebrating its 85th season in 2007-08, 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 by grants from Monroe County; City of Rochester; National Endowment for the Arts; and New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. 

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