Daily News

Springfield Symphony Orchestra to Present New Orleans Jazz Pops Concert on Feb. 25

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will celebrate “Mardi Gras!” on the Symphony Hall stage at its second Pops concert of the season on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. The evening will feature New Orleans jazz music led by conductor and trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling.

Tickets are on sale, starting at $15, on the Springfield Symphony Orchestra website, www.springfieldsymphony.org. Attendees are encouraged to dress up for the Mardi Gras theme and wear Mardi Gras colors (purple, green, and gold).

Stripling, who is a conductor, trumpet virtuoso, singer, and actor, has led orchestras throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has soloed with more than 100 orchestras around the world. Stripling currently serves as principal pops conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and artistic director and conductor of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

Music of New Orleans natives such as Fats Domino, Mahalia Jackson, and Louis Armstrong will fill Symphony Hall on Feb. 25. According to the program, “from street parades in the French Quarter to late-night jams in the city’s famed clubs, this party transforms into an unforgettable Mardi Gras celebration with Byron Stripling leading the parade.”

As a soloist with the Boston Pops, Stripling, who lives in Ohio, has been the featured soloist on the PBS television special Evening at Pops with conductors John Williams and Keith Lockhart. He has also been a soloist on the worldwide telecast of the Grammy Awards, and his trumpet and voice have been heard on television commercials; TV theme songs, including 20/20 and CNN; and movie soundtracks. He has also performed with artists such as Tony Bennett and Whitney Houston.

Along with the orchestra, Stripling will also perform with his band during the performance, which includes Bobby Floyd, a jazz pianist and Hammond B3 organ player, and drummer Reggie Jackson.

“Springfield’s historic Symphony Hall will be rocking with Mardi Gras and French Quarter jazz tunes and sounds that will move our audience,” said Paul Lambert, president and CEO of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. “Trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling will bring New Orleans to Springfield. This pops concert will appeal to all people and all ages, and we encourage concertgoers to come dressed up for Mardi Gras. We look forward to this fun, unique performance.”