“After sitting out a year due to the sudden death of founder Bob Lappin, the Palm Beach Pops made a triumphant return Sunday night, kicking off its season at the Kravis Center,” writes David Frye in Tuesday’s (12/16) Palm Beach Daily News (Florida). Lee Musiker, the orchestra’s new music director, led the concert, “the first of three programs for this season … titled Holiday Spectacular with special guests the Manhattan Transfer… Musiker has worked with the likes of the New York Philharmonic, Lady Gaga and many other A-listers from jazz, pop, classical and Broadway—including a 12-year stint with Tony Bennett as his music director/pianist…. Whether at the Steinway or the podium, Musiker pulled some great performances out of his charges….  Especially refreshing were the song selections in the first half, which spanned traditional holiday classical pieces to carols and pop standards from the modern era, with a few surprises.… The near-perfect combination of those great Manhattan Transfer vocal arrangements with their superb band and the full, majestic sound of the Pops was truly something magical. It also was a brilliant way to usher in both the holiday season and the return of the Palm Beach Pops, and at the same time to introduce their new leader.”

Posted December 18, 2014