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.
In the 100 plus years since its inception, the San Diego Symphony has become one of the leading orchestras in the United States. Through a rich mixture of innovative and educational programming designed to appeal to all ages and cultures, the Symphony makes music an integral part of the cultural and intellectual fabric of the San Diego region, valued by and relevant to all its residents. The San Diego Symphony offers a wide range of concert experiences and performs over 100 concerts each season, including an annual appearance at “Symphony at Salk.” Symphony performances at downtown San Diego’s historic Copley Symphony Hall include the Jacobs’ Masterworks series led by Music Director Jahja Ling, the City of Lights, which features popular guest artists; the Family Festival, the Symphony Exposé, and an outdoor Summer Pops season at the picturesque waterfront of the Embarcadero Marina Park South.