- Two Special LA Philharmonic Performances
- Good Performances of John Sawoski's Orchestrations
- Good Reviews for Zemeckis Band, Arranged and MD'd by John Sawoski
- Sawoski Remotely Triggers Piano While Musical Directing I Remember You
- DVD of Winning Ugly (scored by John Sawoski) Now Available
- More Concerts with Capistrano Valley Symphony Orchestra (including special guest artist Sophia Sawoski)
- John Sawoski Appears in New Rob Reiner Film Rumor Has It
- Other Continuing Engagements: Gregg Marx, Christopher Walker
John Sawoski Gives Two Special Performances for the Los Angeles Philharmonic:
On May 16, 2005, John Sawoski accompanied Soprano Lisa Vroman in a private performance for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Board Of Directors, hosted by LA Philharmonic Chairman John F. Hotchkis. The performance included musical theatre highlights, some new material, and a special Finnish folk song, performed in honor of conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who later commented that the song was "perfect." Also in attendance were former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Ginny Mancini (widow of Henry Mancini), and many other dignitaries.
On June 11, John Sawoski accompanied Baritone Rod Gilfry in a private performance for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Business and Professional Committee, in the Fifth Floor ballroom at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The performance included musical theatre selections, traditional opera arias, and two pieces from a new opera, Margaret Garner, by Nobel Prize-winning author and librettist Toni Morrison and Grammy-winning composer Richard Danielpour. Co-commissioned with the Cincinnati Opera (July 2005) and the Opera Company of Philadelphia (Jan./Feb. 2006), and based on a true historical event, it also stars Denyce Graves, Jessye Norman and Gregg Baker, and had its world premiere with Detroit's Michigan Opera Theatre in May 2005.
DVD's of Rod Gilfry's wonderfully entertaining one-man show, My Heart Is So Full of You, filmed in February 2004 during sold-out performances at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California, are available at http://www.gilfrydvd.com/ .
Good Performances of John Sawoski's Orchestrations:
John Sawoski's orchestration of Danny Boy, was performed March 19, 2005 by The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra and tenors Matthew Surapine (Metropolitan Opera) and Jim Russell (New York City Opera). Comments included:
- "The music was the equal of any major orchestra in America... a hidden jewel."
- - Massachusetts State Senator Richard T. Moore, Milford Daily News, Milford, Mass.
"The audience listened to the words of these classic ballads, and couldn’t help shed a tear or two... no one held back their applause when the songs were over – the audience couldn’t contain themselves. Irish eyes were surely smiling!" Susan McWade Surapine
John Sawoski's orchestrations for The Leading Ladies, performed in concert May 22 by the Capistrano Valley Symphony Orchestra with top Los Angeles studio musicians like trumpeter Rick Baptist, were also well-received. More upcoming concerts and events by The Leading Ladies will feature musical direction and arrangements by John Sawoski.
Good Reviews for Zemeckis Band, Arranged and Musical Directed by John Sawoski:
John Sawoski arranged and musical directed for Staar, a one-woman original revue starring Leslie Zemeckis, which ran Mondays from April 11 to May 16, 2005, and was featured on Entertainment Tonight, Playboy Radio, KNAC radio, and KTLA-TV. Produced by Donalee Austin. Executive Producer Robert Zemeckis. The Tolucan Times (April 21, 2005) and Entertainment News called the band, playing several arrangements by John Sawoski, a "hot razzmatazz jazz band." The band consists of tenor saxophonist Ben Wendell, trombonist Garrett Smith, drummer Richard Martinez, and John Sawoski at the piano (as well as guest conductor Ed Vodicka).
John Sawoski Remotely Triggers Piano While Musical Directing I Remember You
John Sawoski's musical direction of Bill Hayes, Lee Meriwether, and Caryn Richman, and piano-playing for the play I Remember You at Norris Center for the Performing Arts in Rolling Hills Estates, CA in May 2005, was "well realized by musical director John Sawoski's offstage playing" (Los Angeles Times). An acoustic piano on stage, actually triggered remotely (with the PianoDisc system, from an offstage MIDI keyboard) by John Sawoski, appeared to be played by Bill Hayes, convincingly enough to make the Palos Verdes Peninsula News state that "a charming Bill Hayes portrays the piano player with conviction, and to some patrons' surprise, he even plays his own piano, with musical director John Sawoski filling in seamlessly behind a scrim." After that review appeared, Bill Hayes began making a nightly curtain call speech asking how the audience enjoyed his playing, and subsequently confessing that he didn't play a single note. Audiences also enjoyed John Sawoski's moving arrangement of "The Water Is Wide," sung by the cast in the final scene nightly. A grand piano and the PianoDisc system were graciously provided by Kawai.
DVD of Winning Ugly (scored by John Sawoski) Now Available
The film, Winning Ugly: Twenty Years Later, a retrospective video about the 1983 American League West Champion Chicago White Sox, with original music score by John Sawoski, is now available on DVD as well as VHS, at all White Sox home games this season at U.S. Cellular Field.
Click here for an audio clip of the End Credits Theme (2.04MB MP3, 1:46)
- For more Film and TV music clips by John Sawoski, please see John Sawoski's newly-updated Music for the Visual Media demonstration area.
More Concerts with Capistrano Valley Symphony Orchestra
Carlo Spiga, Conductor
The Capistrano Valley Symphony orchestra, conducted by Carlo Spiga, features classic symphony sounds, show tunes, and popular music from the 40's to the present day in the beautiful Mission San Juan Capistrano courtyard. The music begins at 6:10 p.m.
July 24, 2005: John Sawoski plays piano and orchestrates for his 4-year-old daughter, guest soloist Sophia Sawoski, who is being brought back after her successful December 2004 solo debut with the orchestra. This concert will feature music originally sung by Shirley Temple, and other sweet surprises.
John Sawoski will perform in 2 additional concerts this season with the Capistrano Valley Symphony: August 21 and Sept. 25. Tickets: $15 -$55. For tickets and other information, call (949) 240-8584 or see the Capistrano Valley Symphony web site at http://www.capovalleysymphony.com/ .
John Sawoski Appears in New Rob Reiner Film Rumor Has It
On April 26, 2005, John Sawoski filmed a scene with an on-camera band for the upcoming Warner brothers picture Rumor Has It. Directed by Rob Reiner, the film, starring Jennifer Aniston, Mark Ruffalo, Shirley MacLaine, and Kevin Costner, is set for release December 9, 2005. The band was contracted by Rick Fleishman of Visual Music.
Other Continuing Engagements:
Wednesday Evenings from 6:30 to 10:15 pm - John Sawoski plays piano, arranges, and music directs for Emmy Award-winning actor and vocalist Gregg Marx at Maggiano's Little Italy at The Grove. The group features veteran jazz bassist Nedra Wheeler and drummer Jack LeCompte. http://www.reviewplays.com says: Anyone who wants to feel the sounds of love should bring his/her significant other for a significant evening of song. Few singers have the magic in the voice that Gregg brings, and even fewer can reach through to your heart and play the love strings like a harp. The musical platter is full and rich, and everyone gets a little something they like. Maggiano's Little Italy at The Grove is located at 189 The Grove Drive Z80, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323-965-9665). No cover charge or reservations necessary.
Sundays 9 am: John Sawoski accompanies for the Caritas Chorus at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Parish in Los Angeles under the direction of renowned composer Christopher Walker. St. Paul's is located at: 10750 Ohio Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024.