|April 29, 2016 ||Tucson.com||"Your old guitar could be worth 2 tickets to see Barry Manilow" by Cathalena E. Burch|
|In almost every city he has visited on his "One Last Time" tour, Barry Manilow has collected musical instruments to donate to local schools through his Manilow Music Project. He is doing the same thing in Tucson. From now through Monday, bring a new or gently used instrument -- guitars, violins, drums, flutes, tubas, music stands, etc. -- to the Tucson Convention Center Box Office, 260 S. Church Ave., and exchange it for two tickets to his concert Monday night. The instruments will be donated to Ironwood Ridge High School, part of the Amphitheater School District. Manilow said he also will donate the new Yamaha piano that he will play Monday night at the Tucson Arena.|
"I believe a lot in teaching a young kid how to play an instrument because it makes their lives better or different,” the iconic pop superstar said during a phone call from California in mid-April. “All these schools are running out of them or they are broken down. These wonderful teachers, they stay until the middle of the night fixing up these instruments because the school districts don’t give them money for it. They are looking for everything. They are looking for music stands, sheet music that these kids can play."
Manilow's "One Last Time" tour officially ends his days of cross-country touring, although it is not the end of his performing days. He said he still plans to do shows, but doesn't want to do the long-haul touring that he has done year in and year out over his 40-plus-year career. The Tucson Convention Center Box Office is open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and an hour before shows.
The Manilow Music Project is part of The Manilow Fund for Health and Hope, a grassroots organization tthat assists local charities and programs. In addition to providing musical instruments to high schools and middle schools, it offers music scholarships at universities throughout the US, Canada and the UK.
|April 29, 2016 ||Tucson.com||"Amphi music program gets a lift from pop legend Manilow" by Alexis Huicochea|
|A Tucson music program is about to get a boost from pop legend Barry Manilow. The singer-songwriter, who will be performing in Tucson on Monday night, plans to donate a piano to students at Ironwood Ridge High School. Manilow is also encouraging community members to get in on the act by donating their gently used instruments in exchange for two tickets to his show. Community members in other cities have donated trumpets, saxophones, guitars, cellos, flutes, clarinets, tubas, trombones, French horns, violins and more.|
Manilow’s piano will be housed at Ironwood Ridge, and any donated instruments will be distributed to elementary and middle-schoolers in need, said Mark Hodge, the music coordinator for the Amphitheater School District. “I love the idea behind this project,” Hodge said. “It’s reflective of Barry Manilow’s desire to make sure music is prevalent in every community. Fine arts are an integral part of a well-rounded education... Our schools provide a wonderful canvas in which students in the fine arts can express themselves through band, orchestra and choir.”
There are more than 1,000 students involved in music programs across Amphi, many of whom are not familiar with Manilow’s work, Hodge said. But since being selected to participate in the Manilow Music Project, students have been exposed to Manilow’s music and have been able to connect with parents who have shared memories of attending Barry Manilow concerts, Hodge said. “There are a few icons who do what they can to support music in schools,” Hodge said. Manilow “is taking his time and money and putting it toward the communities in which he is performing. It’s pretty cool, and we appreciate it.”
The piano and donated instruments were initially offered to the Tucson Unified School District, but the Manilow Music Project moved on to Ironwood Ridge when TUSD was unable to make an immediate commitment.
How you can help? Bring a gently used instrument to the Tucson Convention Center Box Office, 260 S. Church Ave., in exchange for two tickets to the Barry Manilow concert Monday night. Drop off hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Donations will continue to be accepted after the show through May 8.
|April 29, 2016 ||Hastings Star Gazette||"Hastings’ Abby Schultz performed with Barry Manilow, Augsburg College Choir" by Katrina Styx|
|Hastings High School graduate Abby Schultz got what she calls a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” recently. A junior at Augsburg College and the choir manager of the Augsburg College Choir, she got to join her fellow vocalists on stage with the legendary Barry Manilow April 7, when he stopped at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on his farewell “One Last Time!” tour.|
Manilow routinely invites choirs to perform with him, choosing groups that are based in the places he gives concerts. “Barry Manilow apparently saw Augsburg Choir performing on a YouTube clip and he picked (us),” Schultz said. About 30 of the choir’s 54 members got to participate.
Prior to the concert, the choir was given music and started rehearsing. They learned some basic dance moves and practiced with Manilow’s choir conductor just before the concert, but never actually got to rehearse with the star himself. “The first time we got to sing with him was in the concert,” Schultz said. The choir was part of Manilow’s closing act. Together, they sang three of his most popular songs: “I Write the Songs,” “Miracle” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).” “We were the big bang,” Schultz said.
The audience that evening treated Manilow with as much enthusiasm as if they were Justin Bieber’s fans. “I couldn’t see,” Schultz said, noting the view from on stage was a bit blinding, “but word is that a bunch of middle-aged women were screaming their heads off.... Women in the front row were going crazy.”
The fans got even louder when the Augsburg Choir took the stage, she said. Although Schultz is used to performing – she performed with the HHS Riverside Company show choir before heading off to college – the concert was one that ranks highly for her. “It’s an experience I will always remember, not only because I got to perform with Barry Manilow, but as the choir manager I got to be interviewed by KARE11 and FOX9,” she said. “I’m glad it happened when I was in the choir, for sure,” she said.
|April 28, 2016 ||The Gazette||"Barry Manilow's last tour comes to Broadmoor World Arena" by Jen Mulson|
|After more than four decades in the limelight, Barry Manilow has heard it all. The king of the ballads has read the bad reviews and heard the critics disparage him, but he's also experienced the love and devotion of the "Fanilows." And that's what his whole career is about - making an audience feel good. "That's all I think about," says the 72-year-old singer-songwriter. "I don't think about the band or the clothes - it's all about making the audience feel good. It's been that way since the very beginning. That's why I like to interpret lyrics and commune with people out there and make them feel something whether it's good, sad, nostalgic."|
Manilow's "One Last Time!" tour will come to Broadmoor World Arena on Wednesday. The American portion of his tour ends in Denver on May 7. And while he feels somewhat wistful at the thought of not visiting cities anymore he's ready to be done. "Nothing," he says when asked what he'll miss about touring. And then adds, "The audiences."
Those audiences are what saved him when the criticism was at its most savage. After his first tour the critics loved him, he says, but as soon as his 1974 hit "Mandy" rocketed up the charts, they tore him to pieces. "They killed me for 10 years," he says. "The more hit records I had the worse they got."
And he didn't fare so well himself. The Emmy, Tony and Grammy award winner admitted to turning into a monster when the fame hit so fast and hard. "About four years into the explosion I went from being a person to an image," Manilow says. "When that happens, especially to young people, you are confused."
He eventually got clearheaded and returned to his roots - the friends and family who knew him before the fame and could keep him grounded. And that's what he's after now in his 70s - to return home where he can be around loved ones, including his two Labrador retrievers. "That's why I want to get off the road - because I like being a person," he says. "I love the job. I love the audiences, I love the music and the band. The curtain opens and all these people scream, you've gotta be dead to not enjoy that. I float onto the stage and into the wings. I won't give it up, but I've just got to get out of touring."
Manilow was in his 20s when Bette Midler selected him to assist production of her first two albums and act as musical director for the subsequent tour. She didn't need to give him advice, though. He soaked it up simply by watching her on stage. "She's the most brilliant performer we've ever had," he says. "She was never a phony on that stage. Everything she said and sang came from the truth. If you're talented and you tell the truth in lyrics and the way you talk - a lot of younger people don't do that - but if you can be real on that stage, where reality is so far away, then people will come back."
Whatever Midler taught him, it worked. The former jingle writer ("Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There" and "I Am Stuck on Band-Aids") found himself center stage and then a household name who scored 50 Top 40 hits, including "I Write the Songs" (which he didn't actually write), "Copacabana (At the Copa)," "Can't Smile Without You" and "Looks Like We Made It." He owned the adult contemporary genre for almost a decade.
Manilow is also a huge proponent of making sure kids are exposed to music. On every stop of his tour he donates a Yamaha piano to one local school district and also invites a local choir to perform with him. The Palmer High School Chamber Singers will accompany him on "I Write the Songs," "Copacabana" and "It's a Miracle." A Manilow staff person who attended college locally suggested Palmer High School.
Barry Manilow with Dave Koz, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd., $19.75-$169.75; 520-7469, ticketswest.com. Something else: Anyone who donates a new or gently used musical instrument to Broadmoor World Arena will receive two free tickets (valid for pre-selected seat locations) to Manilow's concert.
|April 28, 2016 ||Tucson.com||"'One Last Time' isn't really the last time" by Cathalena E. Burch|
|Barry Manilow played his first Tucson show in 1976 and his last one in 2002. “I know you guys,” he said, which is why the Old Pueblo was among the nearly 30 cities on his “One Last Time” tour itinerary. The tour pulls into the Tucson Arena on Monday, May 2, with jazz saxophonist Dave Koz opening.|
It’s a farewell tour, but not a retirement. The 72-year-old Manilow will still perform live, but he won’t pack up the bus and hit the road for months on end as he’s done over the past four decades. “For me, it’s enough,” the legendary pop singer said early this month from his home in Palm Springs, California. “Forty years of room service is enough, thank you. But not performing and not the audiences. They are great and I won’t stop doing that. I just got to get off the road. ... It’s not retiring, it’s just no more touring.”
Manilow is pulling out the stops for the tour, recruiting college choirs in every city to join him on “I Write the Songs,” “Copacabana” and “It’s A Miracle.” “Every night I turn around and there are a whole bunch of faces that are clapping and smiling and singing their hearts out and they always sound great,” he said of the choirs. “They rehearse before they get there. One of my musicians teaches them the choreography and to make sure they are singing the right notes, and they have a great time.”
And, frankly, so does Manilow. He might be tired of the grind of touring, but his love of performing has probably never been stronger. “It is fun for me. I mean you’ve got to be dead not to be excited when the curtain opens and there are 10,000 people screaming,” said Manilow, who launched his career backing Bette Midler in the early 1970s. “Really, it’s an incredible gift that I’ve been given and that I’m still able to do this and still able to have audiences out there who are still coming. I can’t get over it. I’m a grateful guy.
”Next year he will release his latest album, “This is My Town: Songs of New York,” which he is recording now. The album is a mix of New York City standards and original songs, including the title song.
His show will hit all the high notes of his career, which have been many. Manilow has 50 Top 40 hits and has sold 80 million records. “I’m one of the lucky guys who has a catalogue of songs that people will recognize. So I’m doing all of them,” he said.
His setlist includes “Daybreak,” “Weekend In New England,” “One Voice,” “Mandy,” “Even Now,” “Jump Shout Boogie” and “Looks Like We Made It,” mixed with several songs that he hasn’t performed live in years: “Read ‘em and Weep,” “Somewhere Down the Road” and “Ships.” “I don’t remember the last time I did these songs. It’s great,” he said.
Manilow said that even the songs that he’s performed night after night, year after year, have taken on new meaning in this tour, particularly in cities that he suspects he won’t ever play again. “Knowing that it’s the end ... and I’m saying goodbye to some of these cities and I don’t want to get emotional every night because that would be bad and disgustingly sloppy,” he said. “But these songs that I never really thought were emotional -- ‘I Can’t Smile Without You’ — on an evening like that when I am saying goodbye, this happy hand-clapping thing means much more than it ever did. I’m finding that with a lot of songs that were great uptempo songs, but now because of the lyrics they’re becoming a little more emotional for me.”
The U.S. leg of “One Last Time” wraps up in Denver on May 7 before moving onto the U.K. for three shows in early June. Manilow said there is talk of adding shows in Australia, but as far as he knows his touring days will wrap up this summer. “I don’t want to retire. I’m in great shape. My voice is in great shape. I got my hair. I couldn’t be happier. I haven’t got a potbelly yet and I’m very old. I’m older than I ever intended to be. But in my mind, I’m still 35 and I’m running around the stage like I am. They say when the lights hit you you don’t feel anything,” he said. I always thought they were full of it, but I’m telling you, it’s true. The lights hit you, everything goes away and you just have a great time,” he said. “But this is it. This is the end of the road for me. I can’t wait to put my Tumi luggage in the garage. It’s been out since 1974. It goes in the garage at the end of England.”
If you go... What: Barry Manilow "One Last Time." Featuring: Saxophonist Dave Koz. When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 2. Where: Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets: $19.75 to $169.75 through ticketmaster.com. Get two free tickets when you bring a used instrument - guitar, violin, keyboards, flute, etc. - to the arena box office. The instruments will be donated to local schools.
|April 27, 2016 ||Green Bay Press-Gazette||"Sharing Resch stage with Manilow was 'surreal'" by Kendra Meinert|
|When Randall Meder announced to his students in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chorale that Barry Manilow had invited them to perform with him at the Resch Center, junior Heather Roberts had to sit down. She wasn’t being overly dramatic. She was just being a Fanilow, and they’ve been getting a little weak in the knees for decades now.|
No matter that Manilow’s first hit, 1975’s “Mandy,” is almost twice as old as Roberts. The 21-year-old from Florence discovered one of his concert DVDs by way of her mom when she was a teen, and that’s all it took. “The way he was so personable with the music, it kind of spoke truth to me,” said Roberts, who sings alto, plays piano and is studying music education. “He was the inspiration that began the piano journey for me when I was 14.”
So to find herself onstage with him singing along to “I Write the Songs,” “Copacabana (At the Copa)” and “It’s a Miracle” for the big, celebratory finish of his One Last Time! Tour stop last week, well ... “It was surreal,” she said. “If you had asked me five years ago, ‘Hey, would you like to perform with Barry Manilow?’ I would’ve said, ‘There’s no way on earth that would be possible.’”
Meder, in his 10th year as director of choral activities at UWGB, got an email from the tour’s choir director a month before the concert asking whether the chorale would like to be part of the show’s finale. Timing was a little tricky, since the group was already rehearsing for a performance with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay on April 17 at the Meyer Theatre as part of a 300-member mass choir for Mozart’s “Requiem in D Minor.” It also had its own concert, the final one of the season, coming up Saturday at the Weidner Center, where they’ll perform, among other things, Mozart’s “Requiem, K. 626.”
Meder wasn’t sure he could squeeze Manilow in between all that Mozart. He let the students have the final say. “I don’t think there was anyone who wasn’t thrilled about it,” Meder said. “There was nobody who said anything negative about it. They were really, really excited.”
With the exception of four students who had scheduling conflicts, the rest of the chorale’s 33 members were in. They received most of the music in advance to prepare but still had to be at the Resch at 4 p.m. on concert day so one of Manilow’s backup singers could show them the choreography and brief them on cues to watch for onstage. Their flashy red robes were courtesy of the tour.
Meder, who was given a seat in the sixth row, couldn’t have been more proud watching his students dive in with such enthusiasm, he said. It was a different experience for them, learning moves and performing in an arena with a crowd so loud they couldn’t hear the count and instead had to rely on the confetti cannons as their cue. Those things don't happen at a campus concert.
Being selected to share the stage with a music icon was an honor, Meder said. “Any time you get a chance to perform with someone who’s really been around ... He’s a name. Everybody recognizes the name Barry Manilow,” Meder said. “He was the real deal. He wrote music. He was a real songwriter. A lot of talent. I’ve always had a lot of respect for pop artists like him who brought a lot of chops to the game.”
Manilow’s tour gave each student two complimentary tickets so they could bring family or friends. Given the tight schedule of the tour, the students didn’t get to meet Manilow. That’s OK with Roberts. She got to sing with him - although she’s pretty sure there were a few times when her mouth was moving but there was no sound coming out. Meder jokes that he instructed the choir beforehand to keep an eye on her onstage. And if it looked like she was going to pass out, somebody [could] catch her.
Roberts had a different suggestion. “I said, 'If I faint, somebody better wake me up, because I don’t want to miss this.'”
|April 27, 2016 ||Tucson.com||"Jazz great goes from headliner to opening act for Manilow" by Cathalena E. Burch|
|Dave Koz finds himself cast in the role of opening act for Barry Manilow, and frankly he couldn’t be happier. “I haven’t been an opening act for a long time so that tool was in my tool shed, it just hasn’t been sharpened for awhile,” the superstar smooth jazz saxophonist said during a phone call somewhere in the California desert as he drove back to Los Angeles. “This is an opportunity to take that out and really sharpen it.”|
So what is it like for the 53-year-old musician who has had a handful of hits, including “You Make Me Smile,” has recorded 19 albums since his 1990 eponymous debut and once served as the bandleader on the Food Network’s popular “The Emeril Lagasse Show,” to find himself performing before audiences of tens of thousands each night, most of whom likely have no idea who he is? Magical.
“The people are not there to see me”: “I think it’s a combination of having only 30 minutes to make my case and knowing that the people are not there to see me. They are there to see Barry, their favorite artist. So what is my job? It’s not a Dave Koz show so how can I put the essentials of what I do into 30 minutes, introduce these people who have never seen me before or never heard my name before? ... My actual job is to put these people into a great mood so that when Barry walks out on stage they are ready for him. That’s a great challenge for me and I really enjoy the process.”
“That’s the Manilow magic”: “From the music you hear when you walk into the venue to the music you hear when you leave, everything in that entire experience has been touched by the hand of Barry. He’s a part of everything. In his mind, he’s created this evening of entertainment, from the opening act to the main show and to the end. He invites me out to play a song and at the end, I come and take a bow with him. It’s a whole evening that makes sense from the beginning ... to the end.”
Birth of a friendship: “I met Barry going back 15 years ago. I got called by him to play on a recording session for the album ‘Here At the Mayflower.’ ... The concept of the album was about an apartment building and each song was about a particular apartment and the story going on inside. This song was about this lonely woman who lived next door who listened to this saxophone player over and over and over. At the end of the song he actually sung my name in the lyric and that was the first day I met him. I had to pick my jaw off the floor, but I knew then that this was going to be a special friendship in my life.”
Making memories one-on-one: “He’s been kind enough to ask me to travel with him, so we have lots of hang time and we have time to talk about music and life in general. It’s been the special part for me, getting to know him better and understand how that mind works and how this magical thing that he creates works.... I’ve really learned so many valuable lessons from this man.... You cannot put a price on that. I consider this one of the best experiences of my life, getting to hang with him.”
Jam-packed opening act: “It’s kind of a nice introduction for people who have never seen us or heard my music before. I play three of my songs (including ‘You Make Me Smile,’ ‘Together Again’) and three cover songs I’ve recorded before including ... the theme song to the movie ‘Frozen,’ ‘Let It Go.’ That’s on the ‘Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection’ album that I released in 2015. That’s really the one song in the Manilow show that people go, ‘Oh, OK , I get it.’ It comes right in the middle of the show; everybody knows that song. It always gets a great reaction.”
|April 27, 2016 ||Sun Current||"Eden Prairie graduate performs with Barry Manilow" by Michelle Doeden|
|Eden Prairie graduate Kaia Markovich, a junior at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, was one of 30 members of the Augsburg Choir who performed with Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Barry Manilow on April 7 when he stopped at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on his farewell “One Last Time!” tour. Markovich is a chemistry major who sings alto in the choir. The students joined Manilow on stage for his encore, which included his Billboard Top 100 chart toppers, “I Write the Songs,” “Miracle” and “Copacabana (At the Copa).” A video of part of the performance can be found online at https://youtu.be/KMGOU0vFbqo|
|April 26, 2016 ||The Independent Collegian||"Toledo is 'Tryin’ to Get the Feeling': UT Concert Chorale sends Manilow off on his 'Farewell Tour'" by Emily Jackson|
|Best known for hits like “Mandy” and “Can’t Smile Without You,” legendary singer-songwriter Barry Manilow will be visiting Toledo “One Last Time” on his Farewell Tour. But Manilow won’t be the only one in the spotlight. The University of Toledo’s Concert Chorale has been invited to share the limelight and sing back-up during the show’s finale.|
The group will perform with Manilow on April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo. “I have personally sung in some other huge performances, but this will probably the biggest audience for most of the singers,” said Bradley Pierson. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to perform and show all that we have to offer." Pierson, UT’s Director of Choral Activities, will be singing with his students on stage that night.
The choir, which is comprised of 30 UT students, will perform three songs with Manilow. “[Copacabana]” and “I Write the Songs” have been chosen, but the third song will remain a secret until the night of the show.
Nate Krebs, a student and member of the Concert Chorale says that he and the choir are looking forward to the opportunity to sing with Manilow. “To say I am excited for the performance is an understatement, as having the chance to sing with a great pop musician in front of thousands of people is an unbelievable opportunity,” Krebs said. “It would be hard for the choir to forget such a performance.”
Anne Valade, a member of the Concert Chorale, said they dedicated one Saturday morning to rehearsing the music for the Manilow show, but the students are rehearsing on their own time as well. “The rest of the work comes from us individually practicing since we’re also working on some other great music in class for our concert on Saturday night,” Valade said.
Despite the UT choirs having two full concerts the following weekend featuring some difficult repertoire, Krebs said that he also feels the chorale is well prepared for Wednesday night. “The music itself was fairly straightforward to learn, but memorization of how the music fits all together is something we will still be working on up until the day of the performance,” Krebs said.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the Huntington Center’s box office. Prices start at $39. For more information, please visit the Huntington Center Toledo’s website.
|April 26, 2016 ||YourErie.com||Manilow comes to Erie|
|Legendary singer Barry Manilow took over the Erie Insurance Arena on Monday night, making everyone swoon. The singer-songwriter broke out the all-time favorites, as well as some more recent compositions. The Arena was filled to capacity with the Manilow faithful. A collaborative choir from Penn State Behrend was invited to help Barry close the show. Prior to the show, the non-profit Manilow Music Project donated a piano, musical instruments, and 200 free tickets for staff and students at the Erie School District. The tour is billed as the last for Manilow, who is now in his 70s.|
|April 25, 2016 ||Tulsa World||"McKinnon on Manilow tour" by John Ferguson|
|Music has taken Russ McKinnon to new career heights. And, it doesn’t get much higher than touring with singer Barry Manilow, either. As the 72-year-old Manilow continues his “One Last Time” concert swing in Toledo, Ohio tonight, he knows drummer McKinnon has his musical back. McKinnon, who grew up and went to school in Broken Arrow, enjoys his job. He is living his musical dream. And, the former Pride of Broken Arrow member has been on some kind of musical tour since 1989.|
McKinnon enjoyed a recent homecoming when Manilow made a stop at Tulsa’s BOK Center for a concert. Otherwise, McKinnon has homes in Los Angeles and the big island in Hawaii. “It’s a huge thrill and honor to get to come home and play,” said McKinnon recently. “And, in the beautiful new (BOK) facility. We played it three years ago. I have played other venues. It is one of the finest and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Manilow’s last tour will end in Israel later this summer, but McKinnon has had a front-row seat on how the singer is giving back. The Manilow Music Project gives a new piano to a school at every concert venue. That’s not all. People can donate unused instruments and through the Manilow Music Project will collect them and fix them. Then, they are distributed to public schools with budget problems.
There was something extra during the stop in Tulsa. Manilow got to meet the Broken Arrow band directors that shaped McKinnon’s attitude for music. But, one person really ignited the musical fire....his mother, Frankie. “She taught junior high and high school in Broken Arrow,” McKinnon said. “I give her all the credit. She was the music and got me going.” Aside from his mother, McKinnon credits people like Tom Stout, Ron Perdl, Ken Grass and others for pushing him to reach higher music goals.
In his spare time, McKinnon teaches music in Hawaii and once did a stint at Union High School. “The BA band program is one of the finest,” McKinnon said. “I sent Barry some links to BA music program.” Plans were made to invite the past BA band directors to the Tulsa concert as McKinnon’s guest. Manilow even expressed an interest in meeting them.
What’s been the crowd reaction during this last Manilow tour? “Barry is one of the few artists that has the impressive catalog he does,” McKinnon said. “I rank him in the Top 5 (of them all). I think the more people realize how special he is. I think there is a new found appreciation.”
McKinnon has a bird’s-eye view of the reaction of concert goers. “The crowds are crazy,” McKinnon said. “But, they are crazy for him. It is a beautiful thing to see. This final tour...I’ve seen an up tick in him. I’ve seen him perk up.” Fans have appreciated him for decades for his songs and what Manilow continues to do for music in schools.
|April 25, 2016 ||University of Wisconsin-Green Bay News||Manilow writes the songs that makes UW-Green Bay sing|
|They received a shout out from the legend himself. Congratulations to the UW-Green Bay Chorale, led by Randy Meder, who had the opportunity to sing back up to Barry Manilow< on his One Last Time tour at the Resch Center, Thursday, April 21.|
Manilow saved the best for nearly last... According to Green Bay Press-Gazette correspondent Kendra Meinert, about 85-minutes into the show Manilow shouted, “Anybody want to hear ‘Copa?'” “With a giant disco ball above and about 30 red-robed members of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chorale on stage with him, the Manilow magic of the last four decades proved to still be in top form,” Meinert reported. “A crowd that filled about three-fourths of the arena danced and sang along, reveling in their time together at the hottest spot north of Havana.”
|April 25, 2016 ||The Tennessean||"Barry Manilow comes to Nashville 'One Last Time'" by Juli Thanki|
|On Thursday night, Barry Manilow’s One Last Time Tour will come to Bridgestone Arena (he was originally scheduled to perform at Bridgestone in February, but had to postpone the concert due to complications following oral surgery). At 72 years old, he’s ready to get off the road once this multi-city tour ends. “It’s been 45 years of room service,” he says. “Touring is a young guy’s game.”|
Thinking about playing Music City for the last time makes the pop icon remember his first trip to town more than 40 years ago. In November 1974, before he had the multi-platinum records, the awards and the legions of devoted “Fanilows,” Manilow played the Exit/In. “I was doing a small club tour promoting my first album, which was originally on Bell Records. Five people bought that album, and they were all my relatives,” he said. “I never thought anything would come from it. But in Nashville, of all places, they greeted this young Brooklyn kid so beautifully. They got me. Nashville was incredible for me … it kind of told me what was about to happen.”
Shortly after that concert, Manilow’s breakout single “Mandy” topped the charts and his life was never the same. He’d go on to sell more than 80 million records and release a number of hits, including “Looks Like We Made It,” “I Write the Songs” and “Copacabana.”
Even after all these years, Manilow can't quite believe that the young man who stepped onto that Exit/In stage before a small crowd 42 years ago will play his final Nashville show in an arena that seats thousands. Chuckling, he says, "It's an amazing, amazing thing that's happened to me."
|April 24, 2016 ||The Blade (Toledo)||"One last time for Manilow: Road warrior will give fans 40 years of hits" by Mike Pearson|
|Once upon a time Barry Manilow was synonymous with AM radio, a balladeer whose cheerful demeanor and memorable melodies made him a semipermanent resident atop the pop charts. He logged an impressive 25 Top 40 hits between 1974 and 1983 -- classics like “Mandy,” “Even Now,” “I Write the Songs,”“This One’s For You,” “Weekend in New England,” and “Copacabana,” which proved so ubiquitous in 1978 that one might easily have mistaken it for the national anthem. Fans can expect those to hear those songs and many others Wednesday, when Manilow brings his One Last Time tour to Huntington Center.|
After four-plus decades of touring, the singer says this will be his road warrior swan song. “[Giving up touring] won’t be hard at all,” he said with a laugh from his home in Los Angeles in a chat with The Blade. “[I won’t miss] being away from home for weeks at a time, or going from hotel to hotel and plane to plane. The day I put my luggage in the garage will be a very big day. I’ve been doing this for 45 years, so this is the end of that kind of life, but not the end of performing.”
He confessed that he was a fish out of water when he first began touring in the early ’70s. “My first tour was a small club tour with a small band, three background singers, and no hit records. That was the moment where, in the act of a desperate man, I pulled out the commercials that I had done and put them all in a medley. It consisted of eight or nine jingles.”
Those jingles bespoke a successful Madison Avenue career in his early 20s, and included pitches for McDonald’s and Dr Pepper. At least two of his jingles -- “State Farm is There” and “I am Stuck on Band-Aid” are still used in commercials today. “It was even better than a hit record because the audience went wild to hear these commercials they’d been hearing on the radio and realized that here was the guy who wrote them. It was fantastic. This was before 'Mandy,' so it was a fun first tour.”
Still, in his jingle-writing days, Manilow said he never envisioned himself as a performer. “For me it was terrifying, because I had no idea what I was doing on the stage because I’d never wanted to do anything like it. Working with Bette (Midler at New York’s Continental Baths) wasn’t performing; I was behind her; I was her music director.”
Midler, of course, went off on her own successful career, leaving Manilow content to work as a producer and arranger for other artists. Then he released “Mandy” and things began to change. “It was terrifying,” he recalled. “I was happy being known as an arranger and producer, anything behind the scenes to make singers look and sound great. So when fame hit me — I was 29 years old -- it knocked me off my feet. I was an adult and already had a career, and this fame thing is a very, very difficult thing to adjust to.”
The rest is musical history; more hits, more tours, and Barry Manilow eventually becoming a buzz word for adult contemporary music with wide appeal. Still, it took years for Manilow to accept that he was a success. “'Mandy' was a hit record; it wasn’t me,” he observed. “Nobody knew who Barry Manilow was. They liked the record. It took a long time to introduce myself to the public. It took a while before I realized that this was more than just one shot. By the time 'Copacabana' hit, I knew that this was for real.”
Does he ever get tired of singing his chart-toppers — a complaint several A-list singers have lodged over the years? “I never get tired of doing my hits. I couldn’t be more grateful that these audiences want to hear them,” he said. “It’s an amazing ride that I’ve had, and since I’ve decided this is my last tour, I’m doing them all. It starts with ‘It’s A Miracle’ and 90 minutes later I hit ‘Copacabana.’ In the middle it’s every record [of mine] that was on the radio.”
That should be manna for devotees of his catalog. He understands an audience’s reluctance to sit through new music, even though such is the lifeblood of all performers. “The sentence that strikes fear into the audience is 'I’d like to do a few songs from my new album,'” the singer said. “Up the aisle they go, to the bathroom or for orange juice. These days I know they want to hear the stuff they’re familiar with. Years ago I went to see Sinatra for the first time, and I wanted to hear the stuff I knew - ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’ and ‘I’ve Got the World on A String.’ And he gave it to us, then he gave us a handful of songs that he liked, and I’ll tell you something, he lost the audience during those songs. I’ll never forget it. It was a big lesson.”
As for the music he hears on Top 40 radio today, Manilow is disturbed by the trend of packaging over substance. “When I began they were still writing songs with great melodies and interesting lyrics,” he said. “They don’t do that today. It’s all about technology and great-sounding records. It’s all about machinery and loops and incredible rhythms. But as far as writing a melody and lyric, that isn’t there. I’m all about a good melody and an interesting lyric. I so believe the public is starving for that. Look at what’s happened with Adele. Here comes a girl who sings great and writes wonderful songs, and out of the box she sells 9 million records. That says the public is looking for that. What you hear on the radio are wonderful-sounding records, but not wonderful songs.”
Having sold more than 80 million records worldwide, the Grammy Award-winner knows his audience well, and he likes its diversity. When he looks out from the stage he sees “the same audience I’ve had for 45 years,” he said proudly. “It’s young kids, it’s grandmas, it’s parents. I’ve had a wide demographic of people for as long as I can remember. The music that I make seems to affect everybody, and that’s my goal, to make people feel great.”
If you go: Barry Manilow performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday with special guest Dave Koz at Huntington Center, 500 Jefferson Ave. Tickets are $19.75-$169.75 at ticketmaster.com, the Huntington Center box office, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
|April 24, 2016 ||The Vindicator||"Manilow concert near sell-out at Covelli Centre" by William K. Alcorn|
|To the delight of local ’70s and ’80s pop-music lovers, one of the kings of pop, Barry Manilow, included a Youngstown stop on his “One Last Time!” tour with a performance Saturday at the Covelli Centre. Manilow, 72, has said this is his last massive North American tour, but he has not ruled out performing concerts or becoming a permanent attraction in Las Vegas.|
Taking the stage at 8:20 p.m., after an exciting set by saxophonist Dave Koz and his band, Manilow opened with several of his audience sing-along favorites, including “It’s a Miracle,” “Daybreak,” and “Somewhere in the Night.” And it only took that first familiar tune to draw the audience, already primed for Manilow, to get into the full spirit of the evening.
People of all ages and from all over the area and beyond took the opportunity to see and hear Manilow, who sounds as smooth and mellow as ever. Several ticket-holders talked about Manilow while waiting to get into the nearly sold-out venue. Among them were Lisa and Bob Matasy of Austintown. Lisa, who is a “big Manilow fan” and last saw the singer in Pittsburgh, said it was nice to not to have to drive far to see him again.
Carolyn Janosko of Hermitage, Pa., who described herself as a “heavy-duty” Manilow fan and said he is her “go-to guy,” noting that all the CDs in her car are by Manilow.
Also, Janosko and Barb Mason, of West Middlesex, Pa., had never before been to a live concert. “When I heard he was coming here, I said, ‘I’ve got to go,’” Mason said.
Cindy Balog of Youngstown and her sister, Linda Alley of Austintown, daughters of Jack Alley, a Vindicator printer for many years, said they came to the concert for their parents “who loved Manilow.”
Mary Angelo of Youngstown became a Barry Manilow fan while she and her five brothers and sisters had to clean the house on Saturdays. “We blasted Barry, and it made the cleaning easier,” she said.
Debby Fabian of Youngstown and her sister-in-law, Marilyn Fabian of Tucson, Ariz., were eager for the show to begin. “He puts on an awesome show,” said Debby, who saw him in Las Vegas. “I have never seen Barry in person. This is such a thrill. Yea!” said Marilyn.
Paul Yakubov of Austintown was waiting for his sister, Dr. Lyn Yakubov and people from her office. “I think we are all Barry Manilow fans,” said Yakubov, who was also interested in hearing Dave Koz. He explained: “I grew up playing the saxophone and formerly played in the Mike Roncone Band.”
Laura Weymer of Liberty and her mother, Kathy Bright of Grove City, Ohio, were among the throng waiting for the concert to begin. Bright said she saw Manilow years ago in Columbus, and was looking forward to singing along again, particularly to one of her favorite Manilow songs, “Mandy.”
Manilow’s performance also was expected to include a medley with excerpts from a dozen or so career-spanning songs. The medley includes “Read 'Em and Weep,” “Somewhere Down the Road,” and “Ships,” according to advance concert publicity. Among Manilow’s best recordings, according to the AXS website, are: “Could It Be Magic;” “It’s a Miracle,” “Mandy,” “Looks Like We Made It,” “Ready To Take a Chance Again,” “I Write The Songs,” “Can’t Smile Without You,” “Even Now,” “Weekend in New England,” and “Copacabana,” which earned a Grammy in 1979.
|April 24, 2016 ||Hudson Star-Observer||"HHS alum performs with Barry Manilow" by Meg Heaton|
|McKenna Selissen, HHS Class of 2014, now a sophomore at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, was one of 30 members of the Augsburg choir who performed with Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Barry Manilow on April 7 when he stopped at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on his farewell “One Last Time!” tour. Selissen, the daughter of Therese & Dave Selissen of Hudson, is a music therapy major who sings soprano in the choir. She is a well-known performer in her hometown and throughout the Twin Cities as part of August Blues with Cavan Denning, Ben Tresselt and Dylan White, also HHS alumni.|
The Augsburg students joined Manilow on stage for his encore, which included his Billboard Top 100 chart toppers, “I Write the Songs,” “[It's A] Miracle,” and “Copacabana.” Selissen said Manilow’s music director viewed tapes of several Twin Cities choirs before choosing Augsburg and the choir had about a week to prepare. They had one rehearsal with Manilow prior to the performance. “It was amazing to be up on stage with him and although we didn’t get to meet him personally, it was unbelievable to share the stage with someone so well respected and well known in the music world,” Selissen said. “I am amazed how many hit songs he's had and with all the commercial jingles he's wrote; he is extremely talented. It was such an honor to have had this opportunity, especially when he announced it would be his farewell concert tour.”
Selissen said she decided on a career in music therapy when she was in high school and volunteered in a program for people with Alzheimer's and other memory impairments. She has continued that work in college. “I have to say the most exciting part about it all for me was being able to give the complimentary tickets we received to two clients from the program I work with now. I actually discovered Barry Manilow's music from this client I worked with. Every day when staff works with him he asks to listen to Barry Manilow on an iPad. He knows every song and all the words so it was such a coincidence when we were asked to do this. This client was beyond excited to not only go to his first concert, but to see his very favorite singer.”
A video of part of the performance with Manilow can be found online at youtu.be/KMGOU0vFbqo.
|April 23, 2016 ||News-Sentinel||Manilow brings solid performance to Fort Wayne in farewell tour|
|Iconic performer and songsmith Barry Manilow confidently ran through his impressive catalogue of hits last night at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum to a crowd of about 4000 people. The 72 year-old performer was joined by this 13-piece band and opening act, jazz artist Dave Koz.|
The show was a part of Manilow’s current farewell tour, “One Last Time!” Yet, the singer has said he plans to still play shows occasionally after the tour has completed. Any Manilow fans - or “Fanilows,” as some call themselves - hoping for more Fort Wayne shows in the future found some encouragement in the singer’s exit remark, “I hope to see you all again someday.”
Opening with the upbeat 1975 hit, “It’s a Miracle,” Manilow maintained a fan-friendly setlist throughout the show. Almost every song originated from his mid-1970s to early 1980s heydey. One notable exception was Manilow’s duet with long-deceased singer Judy Garland on “Zing! Went the Strings of my Heart,” off of Manilow’s 2014 “My Dream Duets” album, made up entirely of duets with deceased singers. During the concert, Garland’s vocals were provided by a video of her singing, played on a large screen at the back of the stage.
A similar effect was used for Manilow’s performance of his breakthrough 1974 hit “Mandy.” With this performance, Manilow sang along with an old recording of himself on the television show “The Midnight Special.”
The use of old footage was one of several examples of Manilow playing with the idea of nostalgia and making allusions to the past. He even refers to himself as being the “Justin Bieber of his day,” at one point. “Ask your mother,” he said to the few millennials in attendance who may not believe him. At one point, Manilow also described one of his songs as being “an oldie but a goodie” - quickly adding “just like me” for comic effect.
The performer appeared to be very comfortable with talking about the past and his place in it. Besides the duets and his sparingly-used back-up singers, Manilow kept the crowd engaged with his ballad-heavy repertoire mostly by himself.
After all these years, the songs do not seem to have lost their magic for the performer. During performances of classic tracks, such as “Could [It] Be Magic” or “Even Now,” Manilow seems to be taken in himself by the emotional heft of the songs. “Oh, isn’t this a romantic song,” he said in the middle of performing “Could [It] Be Magic,” sounding overcome with emotion.
Over the course of the 90-minute show, Manilow performed the songs that made him famous without much frills besides a solid band and a solid vocal delivery. If you are a fan of his work, that is really all you need, because the songs speak for themselves.
|April 22, 2016 ||The Journal Gazette||"One last time: Manilow touring career coming to an end, but not before visiting Memorial Coliseum" by Keiara Carr|
|Eventually being on the road gets to everybody, singer and musician Barry Manilow says. Except for Elton John. “Elton loves being on the road, and good for him,” he says with a chuckle. “But I’m reading that many artists, after many years on the road, decide that it’s time to get off the road.”|
And for the man who writes the songs the whole world sings, Manilow is simply ready to spend more time at home. “(Touring is) a 24-hour a day gig. You’re away from home for weeks and weeks at a time. It becomes your life,” he says during a phone interview from his home in California.
But Manilow’s “One Last Time!” tour is more of a celebration than a consolation. Manilow’s final big tour is packed with all of his hits that span over more than 40 years. Manilow will perform today at Memorial Coliseum. Tickets for the show start at $19.75 to commemorate the year of Manilow’s first No. 1 hit, “Mandy.” Saxophonist Dave Koz will be a special guest. “It’s very exciting, as usual, but this is a little more exciting than usual because it’s the last time, and I think the audiences are aware of it, so they are even more excited,” Manilow says. “The shows are just wonderful, beautiful.”
Manilow says fans will hear some hits he hasn’t performed in years because usually his tours are focused on the promotion of a new album, which means the set list is typically a lineup of new music or medleys from his catalogue. “With this tour, I think just about every song, I think, are songs that are familiar to the audience, and I’ve never quite done it like that,” he says.
But this isn’t a retirement tour, Manilow stresses. He still plans to perform and record albums. He’s just at a point where he wants to savor the moments in between stops. “For me, it just felt like I was done with being away from home,” Manilow explains. “And I wanted more of my life than my career.”
A Brooklyn native, Manilow took accordion lessons and played his neighbor’s piano by the age of 7. Choosing to be a musician in his teens, Manilow attended New York College of Music and the Juilliard School of Music while working in CBS’s mailroom. From there, he launched into his career as a music director, arranger and pianist, working with Bette Midler in 1971. In 1974, Clive Davis brought Manilow to his new label, Arista, and the rest is history.
Manilow has never forgotten how important it is to get an instrument into a child’s hand. The Manilow Music Project is collecting instruments at participating tour stops to be donated to local schools in need. “We get a lot of instruments, thank goodness, in every city,” he says. “We collect 75 to 100 instruments (in) every city. And I think it’s maybe helping these schools.”
There isn’t much Manilow will miss about touring. “I never liked touring to begin with,” he says, frankly. But for the 90 minutes that he’s onstage, his focus remains on the audience. “I like them to sit there for over 90 minutes and forget the craziness that’s going on outside the arena. That’s my goal,” he says. “My work and these shows are really a great feeling evening. Hopefully, everybody will be able to forget their own troubles for 90 minutes and have a great time with some wonderful music, surrounded by wonderful people. These audiences are just great.”
If you go... What: Barry Manilow’s "One Last Time" Tour. When: 7:30 p.m. today. Where: Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave. Admission: Tickets start at $19.75; 483-1111 or www.memorialcoliseum.com.
|April 21, 2016 ||Vindy.com||Barry Manilow returns in final US tour ONE LAST TIME|
|It’s the end of the road for Barry Manilow. The pop legend’s current tour will be the last time he mounts a massive North American tour. He isn’t ruling out a concert here or there, or perhaps a residency in Las Vegas, and he is still planning to continue to record new albums.|
But this time around, there is an air of finality when it comes to living life on the road. Luckily, the 72-year-old Manilow has included Youngstown on this road trip, appropriately titled the One Last Time! tour. It will hit Covelli Centre, with opening act Dave Koz, on Saturday.
Manilow’s only other visit to Youngstown was just five years ago. In that August 2011 concert at Covelli, he was backed by the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and then took the YSO with him on four more concerts in the Northeast and Canada. The YSO will not be accompanying him on the current tour.
But fans can expect a 90-minute concert that will be replete with the litany of hits Manilow has produced in his five-decade career. With no current album to push, there won’t be any little-known new songs. “The fans don’t want me to promote my latest anything,” he told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I haven’t done a tour quite like this ever.”
The set list includes a medley with excerpts from at least a dozen career-spanning songs. The medley includes some concert rarities, including “Read ’Em and Weep,” “Somewhere Down the Road” and “Ships.” The singer told the newspaper that the tour also includes a virtual duet with the late Judy Garland - using a video, of course - on “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” It sounds like Manilow plans to share some memories with his fans before saying farewell.
|April 21, 2016 ||GoErie.com||"Barry Manilow brings One Last Time Tour to Erie on Monday" by Lindsey Poisson|
|There was a time when critics weren't fanilows. In fact, countless people have railed against Barry Manilow's sentimental style from the start of his performing career in the 1970s. "Critics had a lot trouble with me," he said in a recent phone interview. "It happens to everybody. When they explode out of nowhere, and the sold-out signs go up, the first thing (critics) say is 'He's not that great.' It was definitely a challenge to stay in my own shoes and to stay believing in what I was doing."|
But no matter the reviews, audiences made it clear: They wanted more from Manilow. He continued to sell records and release chart-topping hits. "In their own way, they kept saying, 'Don't listen to them. We like what you're doing,'" he said. "That made it much easier for me to keep going."
And it looks like he made it. The Grammy-, Tony- and Emmy-winning artist, now 72, has sold more than 80 million records, released dozens of Top 40 hits and has become a musical icon in his more than 40-year career. Now the artist is making the rounds during his One Last Time Tour, which comes to Erie Insurance Arena on Monday.
Yes, it's true. The great singer and songwriter is officially giving up the touring life after his June appearances in Britain. "I'm not retiring," he assured. He'll continue to perform and record, but without all of the exhausting hassle of going from place to place every night. "I got to get off the road, that's all. This is the end of the tours."
Manilow, born Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, started out as musical director of CBS' "Callback" in 1967 and soon dabbled in musical arrangement and jingle writing. But Manilow's first big step toward a musical career came when he began working with Bette Midler, who was still unknown in the early 1970s. Manilow recalled helping her develop her music, as well as her first two records. "I was her music director, her piano player, her arranger, her producer," he said. "She was inventing herself, and I was helping her to create the kind of music that she wanted to do."
It wasn't long, though, before Manilow began working on his own sound, and used Midler's success as a quick template. "When this performing career dropped in my lap, something I had never even thought about, I saw what she had done, and I'm sure I tried to do the same thing," he said. "I learned a lot from her as a performer, and then I had to figure out how to do it on my own. She was a big influence on me."
His first No. 1 hit, "Mandy," came out in 1974. It was soon followed by his singable classics "I Write the Songs" (1975), "Looks Like We Made It" (1976), "Weekend in New England" (1976), "Copacabana" (1978) and "Can't Smile Without You" (1978). Manilow will likely perform a few of those hits during Monday's show. Although the artist relishes any chance to perform a few of his lesser-known album cuts, it's the hit songs that bring the most joy. "If you pin me to the wall and ask me which ones I really look forward to, it's the ones (the fans) like," he said. "I love looking at these audiences, and when I know that they're smiling and excited and happy, that makes me happy, too."
And it's part of the reason why Manilow doesn't plan on completely retiring anytime soon. "When that curtain opens and people are reacting the way they do, you'd have to be dead not to be excited," he said with a laugh. "That will not stop."
|April 21, 2016 ||GoErie.com||"Saxophonist Dave Koz opens Monday's Erie concert" by Lindsey Poisson|
|Dave Koz never imagined becoming a successful recording musician back when he first took up the saxophone in seventh grade. He just wanted to be in his brother's band. "He had a band with his friends that was doing weddings, charity parties, that kind of thing," said Koz, 53, who's about four years younger than his brother, Jeff. "I had taken piano lessons and drum lessons, and really I had no talent whatsoever. But one day, he just sort of let it slip: He said 'The only way you would ever get in this band is to play the sax, because we don't have a sax player.'"|
Decades -- and more than a dozen albums -- later, the nine-time Grammy nominee is a musical force on the jazz scene and touring with Barry Manilow, whom he'll open for at the Monday night show at Erie Insurance Arena. "The tour has been fantastic. It's a whole lot of fun for me because I get a chance to share the stage with a true superstar," he said. "It's kind of like the best master class there is in entertainment."
It's a strange but wonderful turn of events for Koz, who grew up listening to Manilow. "In the mid-'70s, when he was just coming out onto the scene, this was kind of when I was starting to discover music," Koz said.
Although music quickly became a passion, it was wasn't until after college that Koz, encouraged by mentor Jeff Lorber, abandoned his plans to get a regular job to pursue a musical career. He soon signed with Capitol Records and released his self-titled debut album in 1990.
Twenty-five years later, Koz marked a major career milestone by releasing "Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection," his 2015 album featuring recordings with megastars Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Toby Keith and Manilow, as well as jazz musicians Boney James, Rick Braun and Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox. "They're not necessarily the songs that were singles," he said. "When I look at those names and those experiences, it makes me feel very proud, very humbled and very grateful for the life that I've had for the last 25 years."
Although Koz said he's looking forward to a summer tour with his idol David Sanborn and -- somewhere in the near future -- recording another album, he's happy to keep it "all Manilow all the time" right now. "My job is to get people in the mood -- the mood for Manilow," he said. "Hopefully his fans will enjoy a little saxophone as a first course."
|April 21, 2016 ||Vindy.com||"Sax great Dave Koz learns a new role as opening act" by John Benson|
|HBO’s “Game of Thrones” returns Sunday night, but Dave Koz won’t be tuning in. Sure, the saxophonist extraordinaire is currently opening for Barry Manilow’s farewell tour, which comes to Covelli Centre on Saturday; however, the real reason why is simply the Grammy Award-nominated artist isn’t caught up with the most-recent season of the Lannisters, White Walkers and flying dragons.|
Granted, Koz is busy, but the fact that he’s known for his “Game of Thrones Theme [The Smooth Version]” makes this news surprising. “Originally, I didn’t even know about the show,” said Koz, calling from Palm Springs, Calif. “The song wasn’t my idea. Scott Bradlee of the Postmodern Jukebox is a friend. He taught me the music. We went into the studio, shot a video, and the next thing I knew, the video had 8 million views on YouTube overnight. “Since then I’ve become a big fan, and I do love that song. It’s a beautiful melody. So I am watching, but I haven’t seen the most-recent season. Don’t ruin it.”
Spoiler alerts aside regarding Jon Snow, Koz can’t wait to make his Youngstown debut opening for Manilow. Over the years, the two artists contributed to each other’s projects. During that time, they struck up a friendship. In fact, Manilow inducted Koz when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Then last year Koz was invited to open for the “Copacabana” singer’s swan-song tour. There was only one issue. “I don’t remember how to be an opening act,” Koz said. “It’s been so long, I’m guessing probably 20 years. But I know that they’re not there to see me. My job is simple: to just really get these 10,000 people ready to see their favorite artist. So I want to pump them up and put them in a great mood. I know a lot of people will be seeing me for the first time and may never see me again, but the time we’re together will be fun.”
Koz elaborated the time he spends with the legend is tantamount to the greatest master class ever. He’s been able to witness Manilow’s professionalism and creative decisions that have kept him relevant for more than four decades. “It’s pretty astonishing when you really think about it,” Koz said.
As the opener, Koz is limited to only 30 minutes a night. The set list touches upon his most- recent release, “Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection,” which includes collaborations with other artists as well as his new version of “Let it Go” from “Frozen.” Initially, Koz joked he recorded it to get his four nieces off his back, but his opinion of the ubiquitous track quickly changed. “I actually fell in love with the song,” Koz said. “I understand now why it was such a big hit globally. It’s a song where I think the Manilow fans really get it. That’s the first time in my set they really understand. It makes sense because they’re such a romantic, ballad-oriented crowd.”
Thinking about Koz as an unlikely opener brings up an unlikely comparison to Alice Cooper. Perhaps the sax man would have benefited from talking to the shock rocker, who spent the past two years opening the high-profile Motley Crue farewell tour. “The only difference is I imagine a fair amount of people are coming to see Alice,” Koz said, laughing. “Maybe one or two are coming to see me open for Barry.”
|April 20, 2016 ||The Journal Gazette||"Pick Five: Saxophonist Dave Koz" by Keiara Carr|
|Plantinum-selling Jazz saxophonist Dave Koz has been inspired by the greats like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock ... and Disney's Elsa? There's still plenty to learn about Koz as he currently tours across the country as the special guest for Barry Manilow's "One Last Time!" Tour. Koz will make an appearance Friday at Memorial Coliseum as Manilow performs his final big concert in Fort Wayne.|
In this Pick Five, we asked Koz 10 questions from serious to quirky through email. Here are the five he picked to answer.
Journal Gazette: How does it feel to be a special guest on Barry Manilow's "One Last Time" Tour?
Dave Koz: I am having the time of my life! Beyond just the shows, and playing for that many people every night, most of whom are seeing me for the first time – it’s the time I get to spend with Mr. Manilow that makes this gig so special. He’s been a great friend and mentor for years – but having the opportunity to travel together, to have wonderful, long conversations about music and life... well, it’s like the greatest ‘master class’ of all time! Seeing from the inside out, how he has created this amazing career for over 4 decades has taught me so much about longevity, vitality and truly making the most out of our time doing what we uniquely do while we’re here. It’s been one of the great experiences of my life, and I’m very grateful.
JG: Who are some of your jazz music heroes?
DK: I grew up worshipping David Sanborn, who was my main sax hero. I knew every lick on his albums… memorized the songs. He became a good friend and colleague over the years – and cut to this summer, we’re actually doing a tour together! I’m a nervous wreck about it! :) But so excited too. He’s taught me so much – and I can’t wait to learn more. In addition to Sanborn, I admire so many of the greats: Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, Grover Washington Jr., Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker, Cannonball Adderley… I could go on and on!
JG: 2015 marked 25 years in the music business for you. What have you learned?
DK: I think you have to be flexible. I suppose you could say that about any profession really… but especially in the music world, which changes dramatically almost daily, it’s been such an important thing. I never really had a ‘plan’… it’s all been very organic in my career – following what’s working and rolling with all the ups and downs. I can’t believe it’s been 25 years, frankly – I never would’ve imagined this in a million years – it’s been a real gift.
JG: If you were to go on the road with any person (dead or alive), who would you choose and where would you go?
DK: I sometimes feel like I was born in the wrong era – and that if I was alive making music in the '30s and '40s, I’d most surely be in one of those swinging big bands of that era. This was a time when instrumentalists (jazz artists!) were the pop stars of the day. If I could’ve been one of the sax players in Glenn Miller’s Orchestra or be on the road playing in the sax section with Tommy Dorsey’s band, or with Artie Shaw, Count Basie or Duke Ellington... that would be a WOW!
JG: Name your favorite song off the "Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection" album.
DK: I have to give credit to my four nieces for turning me on to the song “Let It Go” from the Disney film, "Frozen." They encouraged me to record it, and I did – and I fell in love with the song in the process. I understand now, why this song is so beloved all over the world. It’s a very special piece of music – and makes for a great sax instrumental! We do it every night in the Manilow show, and it’s always the song that changes the feeling in the arena – the audience all knows it and loves it… and at this moment in our short show, I can actually sense them saying to themselves… "Aha, I get it now!"
|April 20, 2016 ||Toledo City Paper||"Backup for Barry: UT Concert Chorale to sing with legendary performer Barry Manilow" by Jeff McGinnis|
|For nearly 50 years, Barry Manilow has crooned his way into the hearts of audiences worldwide with songs like "Can't Smile Without You" and "Mandy." Now, as he prepares to perform in the Glass City for his "One Last Time" farewell tour, the legendary singer has invited members of the University of Toledo's premiere chorus group to join him onstage as backup singers for what is sure to be a memorable finale.|
A great showman: "I just got an email and a follow-up phone call from the tour manager, and I think they're using choirs throughout this tour as a part of the finale," said Dr. Brad Pierson, UT’s Director of Choral Activities. "He sent me an email and asked, 'Would you be interested?' and I said, 'Of course we would be interested!'" Pierson himself will be singing with his students on three of Manilow's most famous songs as part of the encore - "Copacabana," "I Write the Songs" and a secret third number that Pierson will not divulge.
Ironically, Pierson - who took over as Director of Choral Activities at UT this past August - is not really a big Manilow fan himself, although he is clearly thrilled at the chance for his chorus to perform with such a celebrated artist. "I'm not necessarily the guy who's getting in his car and popping in Barry Manilow albums," Pierson said with a chuckle. "But everybody talks about what a great showman he is, and anybody who has a career that has sustained over such a long period of time— even if you're not necessarily a fan of the music, you gotta show a lot of respect to somebody who can do it year in and year out, while still selling tickets."
An incredible opportunity: The appearance with Manilow is just part of a much larger season for Pierson's performers - a schedule so stacked with events that, as of this writing, the Concert Chorale hasn't even really begun preparing for the Manilow show. "We actually have not started rehearsal yet," Pierson said, noting how the group had just finished a pair of concerts not long before this interview - and are now focusing on another two toward end of the month, in addition to the Manilow performance. "With all the concerts, we have been busy focusing on other things," he noted.
Despite the crowded schedule, Pierson said he hopes his singers will appreciate the incredible opportunity this event affords them. "I don't know that it has entirely hit the students yet," Pierson said. "They know who Barry Manilow is, but... I don't think they have quite as much context as to why this is a big deal. They kind of get it, but I think once they get onstage, and they see the thousands of people out there, screaming for Barry, it will sink in."
For more information on UT's choral ensembles and their upcoming performances, visit: utoledo.edu/comm-arts/music/ensembles/ensembles_choral.html. 7:30pm Wednesday, April 27. $15-$170. The Huntington Center, 500 Jefferson Ave. huntingtoncentertoledo.com
|April 20, 2016 ||Penn State News||Behrend choirs to perform alongside Barry Manilow: 'One Last Time!’ tour comes to Erie on Monday, April 25|
|The choirs of Penn State Behrend have been invited to sing alongside multi-platinum singer-songwriter Barry Manilow during his April 25 concert at Erie Insurance Arena. The concert, part of Manilow’s “One Last Time!” tour, begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at erieevents.com.|
The choir will perform three numbers with Manilow, including “Copacabana” and “I Write the Songs.” Tone-Acious, Penn State Behrend’s student a cappella club, will join the choir for the performance. “This is a unique opportunity, and while it’s definitely outside the realm of what we would normally do in an academic choral ensemble, it highlights Behrend’s arts offerings in front of a huge audience and provides a fun and highly motivating year-end experience for our students,” said Gabrielle Dietrich, director of choral ensembles at Penn State Behrend.
With more than 50 Top 40 hits to his credit, Manilow’s worldwide record sales have exceeded $80 million. The Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning musician was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2002. The “One Last Time!” tour coincides with the 40th anniversary of “Mandy,” Manilow’s first No. 1 hit.