All Press Releases for February 19, 2016

Al Jarreau joins the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Saturday February 27, 2016

Seven-time GRAMMY award-winner, Al Jarreau, to join the KSO at Kalamazoo's Miller Auditorium. Jarreau will perform his acclaimed symphonic program, featuring his sextet and over 70 Kalamazoo Symphony musicians.

    KALAMAZOO, MI, February 19, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Concluding this season's Pops! Series the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is excited to bring the musical talents of seven-time GRAMMY award-winner, Al Jarreau, to Kalamazoo's Miller Auditorium. Jarreau will perform his acclaimed symphonic program, featuring his sextet and over 70 KSO musicians.

Al Jarreau's unique vocal style and innovative musical expressions have made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time. Jarreau continues to tour extensively worldwide with his sextet and their symphony program. The evening's performance will include dozens of Jarreau's most popular hits, spanning his more than 30-year career and will be announced from stage.

Joining Mr. Jarreau and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra musicians for this Pops! performance is conductor Larry Baird. Baird is known internationally for his work as an orchestral music director, conductor, arranger, actor and performer. He has worked with more than 250 orchestras across the globe and several renowned artists such as Al Jarreau, Michael Bolton, Kansas and the Moody Blues. Baird has also recorded for labels such as Vanguard Recording Society, Casablanca, Polygram, Image Entertainment and StarCity Recording Company to name a few.


Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau has a golden musical touch. Al doesn't just sing a song, he inhabits it. Al makes each song he performs his own. But it isn't just these abilities that bring Al, along with other great artists like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, to the exalted heights of great musical artistry. Add, as well, the almost indefinable element of charisma. Al can pop out percussion sounds that can rival the layered textures and the upbeat swing of a full drum kit. He can simulate the sounds of horns and scat sing through complex chord changes and tricky rhythmic meters with an unstoppable flow of ideas.

Al's roots are in gospel. Raised by parents who were deeply involved in spiritual music--his father a minister and a singer, his mother a church pianist--he sang as naturally as he played sports. The inherent aspects of the music, with the rich, melismatic qualities invested in it by African American culture, provided one of the important elements of what would become the Al Jarreau style. Drawn to jazz early on, he discovered another foundation stone of his style

in the improvisational art, with its inspiring combination of creative freedom, blues/gospel structures and the propulsive rhythmic drive we call "swing."

Over the course of Al's remarkable, five decade-plus career, all these attributes coalesced into one of the music world's most uniquely eclectic voices, as well as one of the globe's most universally popular artists. He is only the second artist--Michael Jackson was the first--to win GRAMMY Awards in the jazz, pop and R&B categories. Al has been honored for his rare capacity to perform in the recording studio with the same sort of dynamic electricity he brings to his live appearances. The Recording Academy voters have selected Al for twelve GRAMMY nominations, and granted him seven GRAMMY Awards over four decades--from the '70s to the 2000s--a rare and impressive display of career continuity.

Excerpted from original text written by Don Heckman

Larry Baird

Larry Baird has arranged, orchestrated, conducted, and performed with hundreds of orchestras and artists throughout the world. Some of the more than 250 orchestras he has worked with include the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Louis, National, Atlanta, Nashville, Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Colorado, San Antonio, Houston, and Kansas City Symphony Orchestras, the Buffalo, Rochester, Orlando, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island Philharmonic orchestras, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to name some of these.

Artists he has worked with and continues to work with as orchestral music director, conductor, and arranger include the legendary British band The Moody Blues, multiple Grammy award winners Al Jarreau and Michael Bolton, the unparalleled vocal powerhouse hit makers Three Dog Night, and the innovative art-rock American band Kansas. He has also worked with and conducted shows for legendary British producer, engineer, songwriter, and Grammy winner Alan Parsons, and former Styx keyboardist, vocalist, and songwriter Dennis DeYoung. Baird has written arrangements for multi Grammy award winner and Stellar award nominee Regina Belle, Western Heritage Wrangler Award Winner and Grammy nominee Don Edwards, rock 'n roll recording artists Flash Cadillac, and Grammy winners Emilio Navira el Groupo Rio. He has written and conducted shows with the Los Angeles Pops Orchestra, the Colorado and Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestras, and the Oklahoma Philharmonic Orchestra, and written orchestral arrangements for special concerts by the San Antonio and Akron Symphony Orchestras.

In the theatrical world Larry Baird has had much experience as a musical director, conductor, arranger, actor, and performer for numerous productions. Some of these many shows include: Funny Girl, The Pirates of Penzance, Gypsy, The Boyfriend, Working, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, The Inspector General, Ten Little Indians, and a show based on the story and music of Motown Records, Dancing In The Street.

He has studied conducting with Eugene Lombardi, composition with Grant Fletcher, Ronald LoPresti, and Christopher Priolo, film scoring with Ronald Stein, piano and theory with Nicolas Bubash, saxophone with world renowned Larry Teal Jr. (University of Michigan and Cass Technical Institute), oboe with Ronald Odmark (Detroit Symphony), and vibes with Dick Barnett (Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker). Baird also has done extensive musical studies at Arizona State and Eastern Michigan Universities, the University of Colorado at Denver, and Metropolitan State College. He has recorded for Polygram, Vanguard Recording Society, Casablanca, Intersound/Platinum Entertainment, River North, Image Entertainment, Compendia Music Group, Ark 21, Crystal Jam, Harmony, Canvas, Buddha, and the StarCity Recording Company.

Throughout his career in this unique world of music and entertainment, Baird has had the good fortune to enjoy many successful achievements, not only for himself, but by assisting other performers in the attainment of their goals as well. The wealth of knowledge accumulated from his many years of experience are evident each and every time he takes the stage, raises his baton, or picks up his pen.


Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra presents

Pops! Series
Al Jarreau in Symphony

Larry Baird, Conductor
Al Jarreau, Vocals

Al Jarreau, the 7-time GRAMMY award-winner and internationally renowned pop, rock and R&B legend, joins your KSO with his acclaimed symphonic program, featuring over 70 KSO musicians on stage! Join us for a night of smooth and swinging tunes!

Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 8pm
Miller Auditorium

Tickets: $65- $35
Student and Veteran ticket discounts available

For tickets, visit, call the KSO Box Office at (269) 349-7759 or call Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at (269) 387-2300.

Visit for up-to-date information, details and schedules. Prices, artists, dates, time and program are subject to change without notice.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra also receives generous support from other local, state and national foundations, as well as private and corporate support. For more information, visit


Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Michigan's premier musical organization, providing musical enrichment to over 80,000 adults and youth per year. The third-largest professional orchestra in the state, the KSO has won numerous awards and grants, including the Met Life Award for Arts Access in Underserved Communities, the National Endowment for the Arts for its extensive education programs, and a major Ford Foundation grant to found its innovative Artist-in-Residence program.

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Nikki Statler
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Kalamazoo, MI
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