Uptown Nights with Byron Stripling | The Philly Pops
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Uptown Nights with Byron Stripling

Byron Stripling, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Mar 1-3, 2019
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Byron Stripling, conductor and trumpet
featuring Carmen Bradford, vocalist
Leo Manzari, tap 

Byron Stripling, who sold out his memorable Ella, Louis & All That Jazz show in 2017, is heralded as a “powerhouse trumpeter gifted with a soulful voice and a charismatic onstage swagger.” Uptown Nights with Byron Stripling is something new for the POPS — he’ll explore a magical world of song and dance popularized in the clubs of the ’40s and ’50s. Inspired by Harlem’s famed musical hot spots like The Cotton Club and The Savoy, this swingin’ night of musical sensations focuses on Harlem’s heyday — a time when Duke Ellington’s orchestra was the house band, and Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ethel Waters showcased the classics! Vocalist Carmen Bradford and tap dancer Leo Manzari round out the package.

Helpful Information

This program, including intermission, is approximately two hours in length. Artists and program are subject to change without notice.

Discounted parking passes are available from select garages. For more information, please call 215.893.1999 or add a parking pass during checkout when purchasing your tickets.


We hope all of our guests will have a great time and make many memories at our concerts and events. Post your photos or videos on social media and include #phillypops for a chance to win a pair of tickets to any upcoming concert in the current or following season! Please refrain from flash photography in the concert hall. 

Enjoy the show!

Guest Artists
Byron Stripling

Byron Stripling


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

Carmen Bradford

Carmen Bradford , vocalist


Born in Austin, Texas and raised in Altadena, California, Carmen Bradford grew up with music in her home and heart. Following the footsteps of her great family musical legacy, she has carved out a place in music history for herself and plays an integral role in the jazz world. 

Bradford was discovered and hired by William Count Basie and was the featured vocalist in the legendary Count Basie Orchestra for nine years. She has since performed and/or recorded with such talents as Wynton Marsalis, John Clayton, Nancy Wilson, Doc Severinsen, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Byron Stripling, George Benson, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, as well as the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the National Symphony, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, among others. Bradford performed on two Grammy Award winning albums with the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1980s and later collaborated on a third Grammy Award winning album, Big Boss Band, with guitarist George Benson.

Bradford began another chapter in her illustrious career as a solo artist with the critically acclaimed debut album Finally Yours and With Respect (Evidence Records), which established her as one of jazz music’s most diverse and exciting vocal talents. Her next release, Home With You (Azica Records), is a collection of piano/vocal duets with Shelly Berg.

Currently, Bradford makes guest appearances with the Count Basie Orchestra.


Leo Manzari, tap


Originally from Washington D.C., Leo Manzari is a Lucille Lortel-award nominated tap dancer. As part of the duo act The Manzari Brothers, Leo has headlined in the touring and off-broadway productions of Maurice Hines Tappin' Thru Life. He was a featured guest artist on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, BET’s The Mo'nique ShowPBS News HourJerry Lewis Telethon, and ABC's The View. Manzari had a recurring role in Showtime's wildly popular and award-winning television show Homeland. He is the lead writer and vocalist for a musical genre he created called “TAP RAP”. His most recent album, CLOCKWORK, can be found on all major streaming platforms. 

In 1983, the POPS presented The Duke Ellington Orchestra with Mercer Ellington. Again, in 1997, four unforgettable Ellington hits powered the Standards show. In 2014, Classic Soul featured “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “Take the A Train”. Stripling himself performed an amazing Ella, Louis & All that Jazz! concert series in 2017. This new program features Leo Manzari, bringing tap to the POPS stage for the first time.

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