Aretha: RESPECT | The Philly Pops
 

Aretha: RESPECT

Byron Stripling, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Feb 14-16, 2020
See All Dates & Times
Fri, Feb 14, 2020
8PM
8PM
Sat, Feb 15, 2020
3PM
3PM
Sun, Feb 16, 2020
3PM
3PM
Featuring

Byron Stripling, guest conductor

Capathia Jenkins, vocalist 

Ryan Shaw, vocalist

St. Thomas Gospel Choir

With her towering vocal strength, unparalleled passion, and bittersweet nuance, The Queen of Soul’s voice shaped the future of R&B—belting her way into the hearts of millions of fans. During her career, she recorded over 100 Billboard-charted singles, won 21 GRAMMY Awards, three American Music Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and more. For decades, Aretha Franklin was the most-charted female artist in history. Rolling Stone appropriately ranked her number one in their list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” 

The Philly POPS welcomes back conductor Byron Stripling as we pay R-E-S-P-E-C-T with the dynamic combination of Broadway Powerhouse Capathia Jenkins and Grammy-Nominated R&B Singer Ryan Shaw. It’s “Chain of Fools,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Amazing Grace,”  “Respect,” and more!

GRAMMY Awards: 44 Nominations, 18 won; 3 Special Awards 
American Music Awards: 5 Nominations, 3 Won 
NAACP Image Awards: 3 Won 

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To Purchase tickets or for questions regarding this concert please call 215.893.1999

Guest Artists
Byron Stripling

Byron Stripling

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A powerhouse trumpeter, gifted with a soulful voice and a charismatic onstage swagger, Byron Stripling has delighted audiences internationally.

Currently, Stripling serves as artistic director and conductor of the highly acclaimed, award-winning Columbus Jazz Orchestra and was recently appointed as the Principal Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Since his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops, Stripling has emerged as one of America's most popular symphony pops guest artists, having performed with over 100 orchestras around the world. He has been a featured soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and performs at jazz festivals throughout the world. 

An accomplished actor and singer, Stripling was chosen, following a worldwide search, to star in the lead role of the Broadway bound musical Satchmo. Many will remember his featured cameo performance in the television movie The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and his critically acclaimed virtuoso trumpet and riotous comedic performance in the 42nd Street production of From Second Avenue to Broadway

Television viewers have enjoyed his work as soloist on the worldwide telecast of the Grammy Awards. Millions have heard his trumpet and voice on television commercials and TV theme songs, including on 20/20, CNN, and soundtracks of favorite movies.

Stripling earned his stripes as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones and Frank Foster. He has also played and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, and Buck Clayton, in addition to the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and the GRP All Star Big Band. 

Stripling enjoys conducting seminars and master classes at colleges, universities, conservatories, and high schools. His informative talks, combined with his incomparable wit and charm, make him a favorite guest speaker to groups of all ages.

A resident of Ohio, Stripling lives in the country with his wife, former dancer, writer and poet, Alexis and their beautiful daughters

Capathia Jenkins, vocalist

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Capathia Jenkins has wowed Philly POPS audiences in the past and most recently at The Philly POPS free concert on July 3rd, 2014, that was part of the Wawa Welcome America! Festival. No stranger to Broadway, she starred as Medda in the hit Disney production of Newsies, and has performed in The Civil War; The Look of Love; Caroline, Or Change; and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. On Off-Broadway, she was in the 2000 revival of Godspell, and also Love, Loss, and What I Wore, as well as (mis)Understanding Mammy – The Hattie McDaniel Story, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Jenkins is an active concert artist, having appeared with orchestras around the world, including The Philly POPS, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony (with Marvin Hamlisch), National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and several others.

Ryan Shaw, vocalist

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Ryan Shaw is a three time Grammy nominated artist. He most recently appeared as Judas in the Lyric Opera House’s (Chicago) US debut of the critically acclaimed London’s Regents Park production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which won the Oliver for “Best Musical Revival”. He also stared as the original Stevie Wonder in Motown the Musical on Broadway. He has also stared on London’s Wets End as the Soul of Michael Jackson in Thriller Live. As a Recording artist Ryan has toured the world and shared the stage with such artists as Van Halen, Bonnie Rait, Joss Stone, John Legend, B.B. King, Bruce Hornsby, Jill Scott, to name a few.

On Television, Ryan has been guest artist on The Ellen DeGeneres ShowEllen's Really Big Show, Last Call With Carson Daly, and The Martha Stewart Show, His music has been featured on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, and Lincoln Heights. His music has also been featured in the films My Blueberry Nights starring Norah Jones, Jude Law, and Natale Portman; Brides Maids starring Kate Hudson, and Ann Hathaway, and the Sex In the City Sound Track.

As a concert soloist, Ryan Shaw made his Radio City Music Hall debut at the Dream Concert benefit to build the Martin Luther King Jr National Monument in Washington DC. His Carnegie Hall appearances include an Elton John and Bernie Taupin TributeA Celebration of The African American Cultural Legacy, Curated by Jessye Norman. Ryan has also been honored to be the second artist in history to be asked to perform a return engagement at the Central Park Summer Stage Galla (second to Stevie Wonder). He has also been a featured artist with the Houston Symphony for their R&B Mixtape concert as well as the soloist for the Houston Symphony’s 4th of July Celebration. Ryan then returned to Carnegie Hall to headline the Nat King Cole Centennial Concert. Upcoming concert engagements include The Cleveland Orchestra, Philly Pops, Houston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Springfield (OH) Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, among many others.

St. Thomas Gospel Choir

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The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir (STGC) is from the Historic African Episcopal Church of Philadelphia, where the Reverend Canon Martini Shaw is the Rector. The STGC currently consists of 60 spirit-filled, energetic, singers, ministers, and musicians of all ages and backgrounds. The choir’s membership represents more than 10 different area churches.

The STGC shares their music ministry at over 100 services, programs, concerts, and celebrations of all kinds every year. In 2013, STGC was named “The Best Regional Choir” in Verizon’s Music Competition, How Sweet The Sound, and the choir performed to a sold-out audience at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. In 2015, the STGC won “Traditional CD of the Year” and Walt Blocker won “Producer of the Year” at the The Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards held in Memphis. Locally and nationally, the STGC has received numerous awards and recognition, including the PHL LIVE Center Stage competition for “Best in Gospel Music” for which the choir was recognized by the Philadelphia City Council.
The STGC has performed for the installation of the last two Episcopal Church Presiding Bishops (in 2005 for the first female Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, and again in 2015 for the current and first African American Presiding Bishop, Michael B. Curry). Both were historic services of installations held at the Washington National Cathedral.
Over the years, STGC has shared their music at churches, conventions, and gatherings of all kinds. One of the many honors has been singing at the historic and prestigious Thomas A Dorsey’s National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses in Washington, D.C., Orlando, and New Orleans. The STGC was also featured at the Chorus America Conference held here in Philadelphia in 2019, as well as regularly singing the National Anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies.

STGC has more than five musical recordings that showcases their various styles and love of all music from original service mass music to soul stirring gospel music. The most recent is Part 1 of their first Holiday Music EP now available.

The STGC regularly performs several genres of music including gospel, classical, Motown, pop favorites, and classics such as Stevie Wonder, U2, Gladys Knight, and Elton John, and will join the POPS in 2020 for its tribute to Aretha Franklin. STGC has appeared in the Lee Daniels movie soundtrack of The Woodsman and the English version of the international cartoon Kikoriki, as well as several plays and other musicals.

The St. Thomas Gospel Choir has performed in San Jose and Limon in Costa Rica and completed an 11-day tour in Rome, Venice, and Florence, Italy in June 2018. The STGC will be singing for the Inauguration Ceremony for the Mayor and City Council this January at The Met Philadelphia and also will be the featured Artist at the May Festival in Cincinnati in 2020 with the Cincinnati Orchestra.

Waltier Blocker is the co-minister of music with his Creative and Performing Arts classmate, Dr. Jay Fluellen, at the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia. Walt attended both Westminster Choir College and the University of the Arts and studied church music, opera, and music education. Walt is a classically-trained singer and is a well-known bass soloist, music director, recording producer, song writer, vocal coach, actor, and often writes music with The Philly POPS, for the Washington National Cathedral, national music conventions, and churches and choirs around the country. Waltier also serves on the national board as a consultant for musical changes and addendums for the Episcopal Church. Walt has performed and worked with directors, singers, and musical artists all over the U.S. and Europe. Walt is known for demanding excellence. His passion for music, combined with years of varied experience and knowledge and most of all love of God, brings out the best in everyone with whom he works.