Composer-playwright-performer Steve James will be the special guest attraction for the annual spring Pops Concert by Eugene Jelesnik's Salt Lake Philharmonic orchestra on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the ZCMI Center Grand Court.
At age 16, James created and produced his first full-length musical, "Can You Hear Me?" Just recently, in conjunction with Deseret Book, he developed and produced a new album, "If You Only Knew."With a voice range of more than three octaves, James sings pop, rock, ballads, country, jazz, boogie, Broadway and all types of hit songs from the 1920s through the 1980s. He has performed for conventions and other functions and at many major hotels throughout the western United States.
James will be performing at the free concert with Jasmine, a trio comprised of Kathy Anderton, Wendy Warr and Gera Lynn Carson. They'll be accompanied by Ken Foster, Brian Foster, Joel Richards and Bob MacArt.
The 29-member philharmonic's portion of the program, held annually on LDS Church general conference weekend, will include a variety of instrumental and vocal favorites: Smetana's "Dance of the Comedians" (from "The Bartered Bride"), Franz Lehar's "Gold and Silver Waltzes," Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" (theme from "The Sting"), featuring pianist Bob Davis; Jelesnik's own composition of "The JFK March," Leroy Anderson's "The Typewriter," and "Orange Blossom Special."
Soprano Billie Loukas will sing "Born Free" and "Falling in Love With Love," and baritone Robert Peterson will perform "Corner of the Sky" (from "Pippin"), "They Call the Wind Maria" (from "Paint Your Wagon"), Roger Whittaker's "A New World in the Morning" and "The Impossible Dream" (from "Man of La Mancha").
Both Loukas and Peterson will team up for a medley of songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The King and I."
The Salt Lake Philharmonic Pops Concerts are co-sponsored by KSL-TV and Radio and the Music Performance Trust Funds of the Recording Industries.