POPS on The Parkway for Wawa Welcome America | The Philly Pops
 
POPS on The Parkway for Wawa Welcome America

POPS on The Parkway for Wawa Welcome America

Michael Krajewski, Conductor

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130
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04 July 2017
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Featuring

The Philly POPS BIG Band

Tony DeSare, vocalist and piano

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist

Luis Figueroa, guest vocalist

The Philly POPS is proud to perform in this free, patriotic celebration of America's birthday as part of Wawa Welcome America, the nations largest, free 4th of July concert.


A Philly POPS Salute Series performance honoring our nation's traditions, values, and commitment to service. 

Your sponsorship or donation will help to offset the cost of hosting the veterans, military, and first responders at Salute Series events throughout the year. 

The Philly POPS BIG Band will open the Wawa Welcome America July 4 Concert with the National Anthem at 7PM. 

As the act that performed at the first July 4 concert on the Parkway in 1993, the return of the POPS helps mark the 25th anniversary of Wawa Welcome America.

Tony DeSare and Mandy Gonzalez will join The Philly POPS BIG Band as vocalists, alongside guest vocalist Luis Figueroa, in a program of patriotic standards and recent popular hits. The BIG Band will lead into an evening of pop and R&B music, culminating with headliner and superstar Mary J. Blige.

The city’s grand finale fireworks show brings the evening to a close at 9:30PM.

NBC and Telemundo will televise the event. 

The Salute Series is made possible through the generous support of Presenting Sponsor Comcast NBCUniversal, Key and Major Sponsors Eisner Amper, Bank of America, and Macy's and additional support from PARX Casino, John and Pina Templeton, Susan and Chase McDaniel, and Manning and Virginia Smith. 

Guest Artists

Tony DeSare, vocalist & piano

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Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness and robust musicality. Named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in Downbeat magazine, DeSare has lived up to this distinction by winning critical and popular acclaim for his concert performances throughout North America and abroad. From jazz clubs to Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas headlining with Don Rickles and major symphony orchestras, DeSare has brought his fresh take on old school class around the globe. DeSare has three top ten Billboard jazz albums under his belt and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, the Today Show and his music has been posted by social media celebrity juggernaut, George Takei.
  

Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez, vocalist

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Mandy Gonzalez possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. Currently starring as Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway juggernaut Hamilton, she is perhaps best known for her emotional portrayal of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, In The Heights, a role she originally created Off-Broadway at 37 Arts, and for which she received a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble. She has starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, blowing the roof off of New York’s Gershwin Theatre each night as she belted out the signature song, “Defying Gravity,” and for which she was honored with a Broadway.com Award for Best Replacement. Other Broadway roles include Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical, Aida, and Lennon, where she portrayed multiple roles including Beatles icon John Lennon. Mandy made her Broadway debut in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires, starring opposite Michael Crawford.

Mandy received an OBIE Award and overwhelming critical praise for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli’s Comin’, directed by Diane Paulus, and based on the music and lyrics of singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Television viewers have had the pleasure of seeing Mandy recur as Agent Susan Combs on the hit series “Quantico,” as well as guest appearances on “Doubt,” “White Collar,” “The Good Wife,” among others.

Equally at home on the big and small screen, she has appeared in “Across the Universe,” directed by Julie Taymor, “After,” starring opposite Pablo Schreiber, and “Man on a Ledge” with Sam Worthington. Mandy can be heard as the voice of Mei in Disney’s “Mulan 2,” on recordings of the original Broadway cast album of “In the Heights,” “Kerrigan-Lowdermilk Live,” and “The Man Who Would Be King."

A frequent concert soloist, she has performed with symphony orchestras including Cleveland Orchestra, Philly Pops, Naples Philharmonic, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Arkansas, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Youngstown Symphonies She has also started working on her first solo album with plans for a 2017 release. Mandy can currently be seen as the recurring character Lucy Knox on the hit CBS drama, “Madam Secretary.”

Philly POPS Guest Artist and Singer Luis Figueroa

Luis Figueroa, Guest Artist

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Luis Figueroa is the multi-talented Puerto Rican singer and songwriter posed to become the next Latin pop sensation.  “La Especialista” his first release for Sony Music Latin has an infectious vibe blending acoustic guitars and rich melodies showcasing his distant vocals.  From child talent to YouTube stardom Luis’s journey has taken to him to some of the most prestigious stages in the world working alongside some of the greatest icons in the industry.

After gaining attention through several videos uploaded to his YouTube page, Luis signed with Magnus Media, music titan Marc Anthony’s entertainment company in mid 2017.  His rendition of “Flor Pálida” won him a Premio Juventud for “Best Cover Video” and he performed the song live alongside his idol on the show.  

Combining both his musical and acting capabilities Luis had a featured role in the acclaimed music-themed Telemundo television series Guerra De Ídols (2017).  Alongside Pedro Capó and Christian Pagan he interpreted the series theme song, “Tequila Pa’la Razón” performing it live at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

In 2018, he joined Sebastián Yatra and Lary Over for the urban-pop smash “Por Perro”, which racked up over 430 million views on YouTube to date and reached #16 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Songs chart.  The single was certified 4x-Platinum by the RIAA® and nominated for Video of the Year at the 2019 HTV Heat Awards.  Luis showcased the single during Romeo Santos’s Golden Tour performing it to sold out stadiums across Latin America. 

Luis appeared on Norwegian EDM artist Matoma’s track “Telepatía” off his One in a Million album and his collaboration “Pa Las Babies” featuring labelmate Yashua followed featuring a steamy music video shot in Miami. 

Luis has also contributed his writing skills for the Fifty Shades Freed [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] on the Spanish Version of the Sabrina Claudio song, “Cross Your Mind”.  As well as work on the debut album for Hamilton star Anthony Ramos.

Through his childhood experiences, musical evolution and songwriting Luis; an alum of Berklee College of Music has perfected his craft and is now ready to present his artistic vision to the world.

The Philly POPS BIG Band

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The Philly POPS BIG Band performs throughout the Philadelphia region. Composed of 18-20 musicians – five saxophones, five trumpets, four trombones, a drum set, a piano, a guitar, and bass – the BIG Band plays swing, ragtime and jazz in the style of the Count Basie Orchestra and Harry James Band while expanding its repertoire into all kinds of popular music from Latin to funk and rock. The Philly POPS BIG Band members were chosen for their passion for popular music. Each is also a teaching artist, adept at instructing the next generation of musicians.

Special Thanks to Our Event Sponsor
Slideshow  |  8 Photos
POPS On the Parkway 2017
POPS On The Parkway 2018
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
  • POPS On The Parkway For Wawa Welcome America 2018
    POPS On the Parkway 2017
A Philly POPS Salute Series Performance

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