Philly Pops returns with ‘Viva Philadelphia’

Courtesy of Mark Garvin
Courtesy of Mark Garvin

“Viva Philadelphia!” says Michael Krajewski.

And why not? It’s the name of the first program of Krajewski’s tenure as the music director of the Philly Pops and it takes place Friday, October 11 through Sunday October 13 at the city’s Kimmel Center.

“Viva Philadelphia!” highlights the Italian-American and Philly connection to the great pop songs of our country.

“Italians love to sing and they’ve always loved music,” Krajewski says. “They’re the ones who invented opera and when they immigrated to the U.S. they brought their love of music with them. It’s not surprising that the first and second generation Italian-Americans emerged as popular singers.”

“Viva Philadelphia” is the Philly Pops take on the music of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Andrea Bocelli, city legend Mario Lanza and more. City singer Eddie Bruce, the Poperazzi vocal trio and The Pops Festival Chorus will join in.

As for Krajewski, he’s 63 and lives in Orlando. He’s also the principal pops conductor of the Houston, Jacksonville and the Atlanta symphonies and he’s filled in a couple of times for the Philly Pops in the past.

Now he takes over for the iconic Peter Nero after Nero’s 34 year run. The “Viva Philadelphia!” program is an example of where Krajewski wants to take the orchestra.

“You’ll be hearing a wide variety of popular music but always with an emphasis of music that people know and love,” Krajewski says. “I look forward to programming music that people will find a part of their own personal soundtrack.”

Upcoming programs include evenings based on the music of Simon and Garfunkel, Marvin Hamlisch, John Williams and the Midtown Men’s Four Season’s tribute. There’s also the annual Holiday Pops! coming up in December.

“My goal is to give them the music that’s a part of their life and the special treat is you get to hear the music played by this fabulous orchestra inside a world class concert hall,” Krajewski says.

If you go

Michael Krajewski and the Philly Pops “Viva Philadelphia!”
8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11; 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13
Verizon Hall of the Kimmel Center, 300 S Broad St., Philadelphia
$30-$114
215-893-1999; www.kimmelcenter.org.



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