RPO Pops season continues with ‘Kings of Soul’

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik will bring his passion project “Kings of Soul” to Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre in Rochester Friday and Saturday, October 15 and 16 at 8:00 p.m.

Tyzik, continuing his 28th RPO season, discussed the concert Thursday during News 8 at Noon.

“Imagine hearing this great music on stage from Sam and Dave, The Temptations, Jackie Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles, James Brown, Ben E. King, Sly and the Family Stone, Barry White, Curtis Mayfield, Lou Rawls, Michael Jackson, and more,” Tyzik said. “We have three great vocalists – Darren Lorenzo who travels the world singing Motown and also a gospel singer – we have Chester Gregory who toured in ‘Motown’ and actually was on the touring company which came to Rochester, he played the role of Berry Gordy – and then my great friend Michael Lynche who worked with me on putting this together. Michael was an American Idol Season 9 finalist. He was a phenomenal singer. He was known as ‘Big Mike’ if people remember him. So the three of them are going to be out front singing and dancing. And the orchestra is going to be the Rochester Philharmonic, of course, with our strings rhythm section but I’ve modified the horn section a little bit to feel like the music the way it was written for the recording studio – just like you heard it on the radio in the early days. So it’s two trumpets, two trombones, french horn, and saxes. It’s got that kind of vibe like it’s a funk band playing with the orchestra.”

The Pops season began in September with a tribute to Paul Simon. It will continue through 2021-22 with a variety of offerings for music lovers. “We’re going to do our Holiday Concert this year,” Tyzik said. “We don’t yet have the high school chorus joining us because of protocols and everything. They’ll be returning next year. But we have Kearstin Piper Brown – this incredible opera singer, who just happens to live in Rochester. She travels all over the world. She’s joining us. We have next month in November a great Broadway show. People should check that out. We’re doing a John Williams Birthday Concert. It’s going to be John Williams’ – you know, the composer of ‘E.T.,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Schindler’s List,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ all of these great songs – his 90th birthday is next year so we’re doing a concert of music just dedicated to him. And at the end of the year, we’re having this unbelievably fantastic Beatles concert called ‘Beatles: Revolution.”

Tyzik noted that a palpable buzz in Kodak Hall for the Simon shows. “The protocol now is that the Eastman Theatre can have 50 percent capacity, so 1,100 people per concert. We had 1,100 each night and you could just tell the audience wanted to be there. They really want to be in the presence of live music and to get that kinetic excitement going. It was one of the most incredible weeks ever and I’m looking forward to the same thing this weekend. People want to come back and we’re doing it safely so it’s going to be a great experience.”

Gets your tickets for “Kings of Soul” by calling the Eastman Theatre Box Office (585) 454-2100 or go online to RPO.org.

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