Grand Rapids Symphony

John Denver tribute concert features former band member, Denver’s final, never recorded song

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

The music of John Denver is like an old friend, outlasting trends and standing the test of time. The greatest hits of this beloved American troubadour will be presented as singer/guitarist Jim Curry joins the Grand Rapids Symphony for its third D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops concert this summer. Two performances of “A Tribute to John Denver” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, July 26-27 at Cannonsburg Ski Area. Associate Conductor John Varineau will lead the concert. Fifteen years after John Denver’s passing, Curry carries on his legacy with this symphonic tribute show taking audiences back to a time when “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine,” and “Country Roads” topped the charts. Curry was chosen as the singing voice of the CBS-TV movie “Take Me Home: The John Denver Story” and has since emerged as the top performer of Denver’s music, presenting some 150 concerts each year. He is not an impersonator, rather he sings in his natural voice. He pays tribute to Denver through the pure honesty of his performance, and his commitment to perpetuate Denver’s positive messages of love, humanity and environmental awareness. The concert features original orchestrations written for John Denver by Grammy-winning composer Lee Holdridge. Curry’s six-member band includes Denver’s lead guitarist, Steve Weisberg, who recorded on seven of Denver’s nine platinum albums. Audiences will also have the unique opportunity to hear the last known song written by Denver, “Yellowstone: Coming Home.” The song tells about the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. Denver sang this song in a live performance with the Houston Symphony on September 26-28, 1997 and he never had the opportunity to record it. To this day, no professional recording of this song has been released. “Being a ‘Rocky Mountain boy’ myself, I’m really looking forward to conducting this concert,” said Varineau. “Denver’s songs have entered the great American songbook and linger in the hearts and minds of music lovers everywhere.” The 18th annual D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops promises to provide some of the best summer entertainment in West Michigan, served family style in a relaxed, natural setting. The grounds open each night at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking, pre-concert entertainment and free children’s activities. Tickets are available at the Cannonsburg box office beginning at […]

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

July 28, 2011 // 0 Comments

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 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 […]