May 29, 2009

RPO Has Great Big Band Sound

This morning, I stopped over at the dress rehearsal for tonight's concert, and boy, can the RPO swing!

Conducted by Jeff Tyzik, Night at the Cotton Club recreates the music of the 1920s and '30s, with mood lighting to make it feel like the legendary Harlem nightclub.

Trumpeter Byron Stripling (pictured) was in fine form and I can't wait to hear the whole concert - which also features singer Carmen Bradford, drummer Bob Breithaupt, and tap dancer Ted Levy.

Joining the RPO in the saxophone section (pictured here between Nancy Boone and Ray Ricker) is Jamal Rossi - a different role for him than his usual one as Senior Executive Associate Dean and Professor of Woodwinds at the Eastman School of Music. This is just one of many ties between the RPO and Eastman, especially since many of the musicians were either students or have taught at the school.

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