For many, April 21, 2016, was the day that the music died. Specifically the music performed by one of the greatest entertainers to ever live.
Prince, who died on that day of an accidental drug overdose, was found unresponsive in the elevator of his Paisley Park studio compound in Chanhassen, Minn,. He was 57 years old.
“There’s some kind of spiritual connection to Prince that is unexplainable. Beyond the artistry, beyond the music, there was some kind of cosmic connection that a lot of people had to him that is unexplainable,” said singer and multi-instrumentalist Marshall Charloff.
For those who were unable to make the trek to Paisley Park to pay our respects to His Purple Majesty, the Pittsburgh Symphony will honor Prince’s memory and spirit with “The Music of Prince” March 4. The Symphony will be backed by a live band, guest conductor Brent Havens and soloist Charloff, all of whom will perform some of the Artist’s biggest hits including “Purple Rain,” “Raspberry Beret,” “When Doves Cry” and many more.
“There’s some kind of spiritual connection to Prince that is unexplainable. Beyond the artistry, beyond the music, there was some kind of cosmic connection that a lot of people had to him that is unexplainable.”
“I generally look for artists who have a catalogue large enough to support a two-hour show with an orchestra, the music will fit and the audience will have a good time,” explained Berklee-trained conductor and arranger Havens who has written music for orchestras, feature films and every genre of television. Under the auspice of Windborne Music, he is arranger/conductor for 14 symphonic rock programs including: The Music of Whitney Houston, The Music of Michael Jackson and the Music of Queen with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
“When he passed away,” Havens continued, “We had a lot of orchestras asking if this was something we would be doing and I did the research and into his material and we thought it would be a good thing to do. I think that with a lot of these artists, the sheer magnitude of their personality, their voices, everything they put into their performances and the music people connect with them. Prince’s music is also very rhythmic and that also has something to do with it.”
In addition to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Charloff, and Havens, The Music of Prince will also feature vocalist Ann Marie Castellano, Eldon Sully on guitar; Dan Clemons on bass guitar; Powell Randolph on drums and keyboardist Justin Avery.