Grand Rapids Symphony, singer/dancer James Delisco, performs 40 years of Michael Jackson megahits, August 4-5

James Delisco

Singer/dancer James Delisco, winner of E! Network’s reality series “The Entertainer,” will join the Grand Rapids Symphony for a concert featuring 40 years of megahits from Michael Jackson’s legendary career.

“The Music of Michael Jackson” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, August 4-5 at Cannonsburg Ski Area. This special event is the final concert of this summer’s D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops Series.

The audience will be taken on a musical journey through each era of the King of Pop’s storied career. Delisco recreates Jackson’s greatest hits through his multifaceted pop, rock and soul style, along with impressive dance moves. Delisco’s talent has been described as a cross between Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, and Usher, and he has received rave reviews for his renditions of Jackson’s songs including “ABC,” “Beat It,” “Thriller” and “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

The show is designed to keep the foundation of the music close to the Jackson originals, while adding colors to enhance, according to Arranger/Guest Conductor Brent Havens.

“The wonderful thing with an orchestra is that you have an entire palette of sounds to call upon,” said Havens. “The band is reproducing what Michael did as closely as possible, and the orchestra gives the music richness and a whole new feel.”

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and parking is free on the Cannonsburg grounds. Patrons are invited to arrive early to enjoy picnics and pre-concert activities. The family fun area, open from 5:30 to 7 p.m., features free children’s activities including an instrument petting zoo, face painting and crafts. Dance floors will be available for audience participation. Pre-concert entertainment will be Kathy LaMar and Bob Van Stee.

Advance lawn tickets are $22, less for students/seniors ($20), and children ages 2-15 ($8). Ticket prices increase $2 the day of show. Children under 2 are free on the lawn. Reserved seating is also available through the Symphony box office at (616) 454-9451, ext. 4. Lawn tickets may be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787, at any Ticketmaster outlet or online at ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available at the Cannonsburg box office beginning at 5:30 p.m. each concert evening.

For $40, patrons can purchase an entire evening of fun, with a dinner/concert/post-concert party package. A picnic-style BBQ dinner and cash bar starts at 5 p.m. in the Hearthside Room of Cannonsburg Ski Lodge. After the concert, the celebration continues with a deejay and dancing. Advance reservations only; call Annamarie at (616) 454-9451, ext. 149.

Event partner is Saint Mary’s Health Care.

Major sponsors include Flagstar Bank, The Grand Rapids Press, and Zondervan. These concerts are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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