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At RPO Pops, It's Nothin' But the Blues

October 30, 2006

Daniels, Gordon, Stripling and Floyd Bring the Blues Genre to Life

Rochester, NY – The hugely versatile talents of vocalist Dee Daniels, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, trumpeter Byron Stripling, and keyboardist Bobby Floyd jazz up the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik in “Nothin’ But The Blues,” on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at 8 p.m. in the Eastman Theatre

Recognizing blues as the foundation of American jazz, the soloists will bring their individual gifts to songs made famous by legendary performers Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Count Basie, Bessie Smith, and Fats Waller.  Dee Daniels’ thrilling four-octave range captures the essence of songs such as Night Train, Basin Street Blues, Fine and Mellow, Every Day I Have the Blues, as well as her original Tonight I Won’t Be Singin’ No Blues.

Dee Daniels brings her gospel background, blues flavoring, and jazz styling to the symphonic stage.  Her voice has been described as having “a hypnotic quality, delivering an impressive range that gave the romantic songs and verse of 50 years ago new life and raw emotion.”  Dee was privileged to perform with the late Sarah Vaughan, Lionel Hampton, and Joe Williams, as well as such luminaries as Hank Jones, Johnny Griffin, and Toots Thielmans.  She has performed through the United Kingdom, Africa, Egypt, Hong Kong, North America, Australia, Japan and several European countries. Most recent solo CD and DVDs are Feels So Good and Dee Daniels Live at Biblio, respectively. 

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon enjoys an extraordinary career as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger and educator, touring the world appearing for audiences ranging from heads of state to elementary school students.  His playing has been hailed as “mixing powerful, intricate runs with sweet notes extended over clean melodies.”  Mr. Gordon has received two “Trombonist of the Year” awards by the Jazz Journalists Association.  His latest solo recording is Cone’s Coup, and two DVDs – a new score for the 1925 Paul Robeson film Body and Soul, and the Mohammad Ali musical tribute I Saw the Light – are scheduled for upcoming releases.

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 has 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.

Tickets for these performances are $20-$56, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, as well as at all Wegmans Video Departments.  RPO Box Office Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.). The Wegmans Video Department is open seven days a week, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. A convenience fee may apply.  The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans.

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 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming in recent years.

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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