Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed CD, When I Fall In Love, Chris Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist. His success has crossed over to audiences usually reserved for pop music and his ongoing association with PBS has led to four #1 jazz albums, as well as multiple Gold, Platinum and Grammy awards. His latest album, Impressions, won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album at the 55th Grammy Awards in 2013. Performing worldwide and selling more than four million albums, Botti has found a form of creative expression that begins in jazz and expands beyond the limits of any single genre.
World-renowned jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli has been called “Hip with a wink” by Town & Country magazine, “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times and “the genial genius of the guitar” by the Toronto Star. After his recent smash success with the Boston Pops, he was hailed by the Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz.” Inspired by such performers as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Joao Gilberto, as well as the music of composers Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin and James Taylor, to name a few, Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, imparting a cool jazz flavor with his brilliant guitar playing and singing.
One of the country’s most distinguished conductors, Maestro Thomas Wilkins returns to lead the San Diego Symphony for the tenth successive year. A highly sought-after guest conductor for top orchestras throughout the Unites States, Wilkins always brings a special energy and excitement to each performance, which is why he’s been invited back to Symphony at Salk, a concert under the stars.
Wilkins is the Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and he continues his role as the Music Director of the Omaha Symphony. Wilkins was recently named the Boston Symphony’s “Germeshausen Family and Youth Concerts Conductor.” Past positions include Resident Conductor of the Detroit Symphony as well as the Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony (Virginia). He has also served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. A native of Norfolk, VA, Wilkins resides in Omaha with his wife, Sheri-Lee, and their twin daughters Nicole and Erica.
The San Diego Symphony Orchestra performed its first concert on December 6, 1910. In the 100-plus years since its inception, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra has become one of the finest orchestras in the United States and was designated a Tier 1 Orchestra by the League of American Orchestras. In 2010 the Orchestra celebrated its 100th anniversary and was the first California orchestra to reach this milestone.
The San Diego Symphony Orchestra offers a wide range of concert experiences and performs over 120 concerts annually including the Jacobs Masterworks (conducted by Music Director Jahja Ling) offering classical repertoire and featuring acclaimed guest artists such as Lang Lang, Joshua Bell and Itzhak Perlman and the City Lights series led by principal pops conductor and Academy-Award® winning composer Bill Conti. Each summer, the Orchestra presents an outdoor series of Summer Pops concerts featuring classical favorites and popular programs in a festive, outdoor setting on San Diego’s picturesque waterfront.
The home of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra is the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center in downtown San Diego, regarded as one of the finest classical music venues on the West Coast, originally built in 1929 as The Fox Theatre movie palace. In October 2013 the SDSO made its acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut featuring piano soloist Lang Lang, and immediately followed with an 11-day China Friendship Tour with concerts in Beijing, Shanghai and San Diego’s sister city, Yantai.