Maestro LUKE FRAZIER and THE AMERICAN POPS ORCHESTRA — Washington, DC’s innovative hometown orchestra — will launch their all-star third season with a special benefit event featuring a rare DC-area appearance of vocal legend Marilyn Maye. It will take place on Sunday, August 20 at 3:00 PM at the Orchestra’s new home, Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater (1101 Sixth Street SW). Tickets are $120 and includes a concert by Ms. Maye, the Grammy Award nominated singer who performed 76 times on “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.” She will be joined by renowned pianist Tedd Firth. The two hour event with include hors d’oeuvres, champagne, drinks and dessert. For tickets, please visit www.TheAmericanPops.org.
“The American Pops is thrilled to present Marilyn to DC audiences this summer,” says Frazier. “From her historic Grammy Award nomination to her numerous national TV appearances and her sold-out concerts around the country, Marilyn is truly at the top of her game as she nears her landmark 90th birthday. Over the years she has developed evenings that honor Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson and Johnny Mercer. Now we’re particularly excited that she is creating a special show just for our American Pops supporters. And to do so at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater, the orchestra’s new home base for the upcoming season, is even better.”
Marilyn Maye is an award-winning singer, actress, director, arranger, educator, and a Grammy nominated recording artist. Ms. Maye appeared 76 times on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” the record for a singer. Perhaps the simplest accolade came after one of her show-stopping appearances on The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson said, “And that, young singers, is the way it’s done.” Marilyn began her professional singing career by winning a 13-week appearance on radio station WIBW in Topeka, Kansas, at age 9. During her eleven-year engagement at the Colony in Kansas City, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen who was the first to present her to a national television audience. Those performances led her to an RCA recording contract, which consisted of seven albums and 34 singles, including the first hit recordings of “Cabaret” and “Step to the Rear.” Her place in American music history was assured when the Smithsonian Institution selected one of her recordings, “Too Late Now,” for its album of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century. Her many symphony concert appearances around the United States include the Florida Symphony, the Philly Pops, the Phoenix Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, and the Pasadena Symphony with Michael Feinstein conducting. Her two appearances with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall – for tributes to Stephen Sondheim and Frank Loesser – both received show-stopping applause and rave reviews. Her more than 100 engagements in the last ten years in New York include sold-out multiple-nights at Birdland, Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel, New York’s Town Hall and the 92nd Street Y. http://www.MarilynMaye.com
The American Pops Orchestra founded by Luke Frazier presents innovative orchestral programming, featuring groundbreaking concepts to develop and inspire a new audience for the 21st century. This professional orchestra boasts outstanding musicians from New York and Washington DC. The American Pops presented six original orchestral programs in its opening 2015-2016 season, featuring leading Broadway singers, dancers, and actors. Highlights of the first season include the orchestra’s performance of “Stairway to Paradise: A Gershwin Spectacular” featuring two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole — which was hailed by DC Metro Theater Arts for “inspired arrangements of beloved Gershwin songs that reinvigorate the material and highlight the skill of his musicians” – and “A Broadway Christmas” featuring Elaine Paige, the first Lady of the British Musical Stage. APO’s second season included a 75thbirthday concert for Barbra Streisand, hosted by Fran Drescher; a celebration of the 80s, hosted by Olympic champion Greg Louganis; and a special World War II-era evening commemorating Veterans Day.
As a testament to his mission to reimagine pops programming, Luke Frazier founded the American Pops Orchestra in 2015 presenting all original programming. His commitment to the American Songbook is also evident through his involvement on the Board of the Great American Songbook Foundation. Mr. Frazier has worked with artists such as Kevin Spacey, Darren Criss, Vanessa Williams, Liz Callaway, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Mo Rocca, Lea Salonga, Laura Osnes, Eric Owens, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, Lindsay Mendez, Renée Fleming, Michael Feinstein, Christine Ebersole, Elaine Paige, Arturo Sandoval, and Norm Lewis, among many others. Twitter: @LSFConductor — www.LukeFrazierMusic.com