By Kelly Smith
The beauty of The Florida Orchestra is that the musicians can play absolutely anything, from virtuosic classical masterpieces to Broadway and blues.
There’s a whole world of diverse music in the Raymond James Pops series, led by TFO’s Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and his unique arrangements of popular standards.
When the season starts in the fall, he’ll lead top-notch vocalists, musicians and dancers. Here are five can’t-miss concerts:
A Night at the Oscars (October 9-11): The series opens with an offer you can’t refuse: new Music Director Michael Francis conducting music from award-winning films such as The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings, Rocky and the Bond movies.
Curtis Stigers Celebrates Sinatra (November 20-22): This year Frank Sinatra would have been 100 years old. So come fly with the orchestra and Curtis Stigers (vocals and saxophone) with hits I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Fly Me to the Moon and The Best is Yet to Come, just to name a few.
The Fabulous Forties (January 15-17): Swing dancers join this salute to music from one of the greatest eras, including In the Mood, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Begin the Beguine. Good luck sitting still in your seat.
Red Hot Blues (March 4-6): Sultry Tampa Bay nights heat up with the music of Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Count Basie. A lineup of jazz and blues greats show their stuff with St. Louis Blues, Night Train and Movin’ on Up.
Tango Caliente (May 13-15): Fall under the spell of the dance of romance with familiar tango classics including La Cumparsita and Oblivion. (You don’t think you know them, but you do.) All with tango dancers, a vocalist and a bandoneon (looks like an accordion but it’s not).
Series subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets are available Monday, August 10. Get tickets at www.floridaorchestra.org or 727-892-3337 and 800-662-7286. The orchestra regularly performs at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.