JOHNNY MATHIS

Iconic Singer Johnny Mathis performs at Heinz Hall July 22

Music has always had a special place in balladeer Johnny Mathis’ heart, and he’s spent the last 61 years blessing his fans with songs that have stood the test of time.

Mathis will be returning to Pittsburgh to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a one-night engagement on Saturday, July 22 as a part of his Voice of Romance tour.

JOHNNY MATHIS

“I do some very special songs with the symphony. It’s a very special time for me because it’s the only time that I get to sing certain songs,” Mathis told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “I have a wonderful guitar player, Gill Reigers, who has been with me for about 40 years so I bring him out front to do some songs and he performs with the orchestra, too. It’s very intimate.

“I’m excited about performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra because they are some of the best musicians in the world. I grew up listening to all kinds of music. My voice teachers all suggested that it would be helpful for me to listen to all kinds of music, so I’ve grown to enjoy listening to their music and I’ve learned to keep the attention of the audience by utilizing part of the orchestra. Then, when the whole orchestra comes in it sounds like that. I have to be on my toes when I sing with orchestras because they are some of the best musicians in the world,” Mathis said. “It’s a big thrill for me as a singer to perform with some of the best orchestras. The people who come to listen to the orchestra are some of the best listeners, so I’m a happy man when I come to Pittsburgh.”

Fans will be treated to a culmination of the 81-year-old’s hits as well as new gems from his two current efforts, “Johnny Mathis: The Voice of Romance The Columbia Original Albums Collection,” which showcases first-time-on-CD debuts from his 61 years in music with Columbia Records (from 1956 to present day. 68 original albums remastered on CD, some albums and unreleased archival material are on CD for the first time in one boxed set.)

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