NOTES | The Philly Pops


From the Masters

The artists who inspire us talk about the iconic artists and moments that made them who they are today. 

Ryan Silverman on Stephen Sondheim

Broadway star Ryan Silverman tells us about one of his greatest inspirations — the legendary Stephen Sondheim!

Nikki Renée Daniels on George and Ira Gershwin

Broadway star Nikki Renée Daniels from Book of Mormon, Porgy and Bess, and Les Misérables talks about two of her musical inspirations — George and Ira Gershwin!

Michael Andrew on Frank Sinatra

POPS fan favorite Michael Andrew tells us about his inspiration — the one and only Frank Sinatra!

Allison Blackwell on Audra McDonald

Broadway star, POPS guest artist, and Philadelphia native Allison Blackwell talks about her inspiration — the great Audra McDonald! Hear about when Allison first saw Audra sing, and how that influenced the rest of Allison's career!

Carmen Bradford on Ella Fitzgerald

Guest artist Carmen Bradford from 2019's Uptown Nights performance tells us about the legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. Carmen met her a few times, and found out an amazing surprise!

Leo Manzari on Maurice Hines

Tap dancer Leo Manzari discusses his mentor Maurice Hines, a dancer, singer, actor, and director known for his theatricality.

Terell Stafford on Shirley Scott

Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford reminisces about his time performing and recording with jazz legend Shirley Scott, and performs her composition "Blues Everywhere."

David Charles Abell on Emma Thompson

Music Director & Principal Conductor David Charles Abell shares memories of working with actress Emma Thompson on a production of Sweeney Todd that he conducted in London.

Justin Hopkins on Paul Robeson

Frequent POPS guest artist Justin Hopkins discusses bass-baritone Paul Robeson, a Philadelphia-native known for his powerful voice and 1928 recording of "Ol' Man River."

Terell Stafford on Jimmy Heath

Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford talks about his mentor, Philadelphia saxophonist Jimmy Heath's remarkable talent, spontaneity, and humor.

Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford plays the Jimmy Heath song "CTA" and remembers how the Philadelphia saxophonist taught him about patience as an artist and teacher.

David Charles Abell on Leonard Bernstein

For "students" of all ages!

This semester’s Philly POPS co-op students – all accomplished young musicians attending University of the Arts. Dan McCain, leader and bass, John Polanco, trumpet, and Lonell Johnson, piano, have recorded themselves performing songs that span genres and decade