David Furniss is the Minister of Music at St. John's United Church of Christ in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, a position he has held since 1987. As a concert organist, he has been invited to perform throughout the Philadelphia region and beyond, including international organ festivals in Oaxaca and Saltillo, Mexico.
The Hot Sardines were born when a guy and a girl met at an open vintage-jazz jam session advertised on Craigslist. Between two noodle shops on 49th Street, they discovered a mutual love for songs from the 1920s, '30s and '40s. This is straight-up, foot-stomping jazz, literally: the band includes a tap dancer whose feet count as two members of the rhythm section.
Known for their saucy satire and never-ending silliness, Gilbert and Sullivan's "H.M.S. Pinafore" follows the plight of star crossed lovers Josephine, the captain's daughter, and Ralph Rackstraw, a lowly sailor. As the young lovers come to find out, it isn't easy to hide while aboard a ship, especially with the crew's fumbled attempts at help. So while her father plans her wedding to a more suitable gentleman, the lovers try, and fail, to elope.
Plenty Pepper Steel Band brings together some of the top players in the country to perform world music centering around the Caribbean twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the birth place of the Steel Pan. The ensemble provides the unique opportunity for band leaders and performers, who normally are part of a large steel orchestra or a small jazz ensemble, to perform in a ten piece steel band that represents the instrumentation and sound of a full steel band. The music is all composed or arranged by the members of the band for their own individual home ensembles.
Simone Dinnerstein returns to the Gardens with the Havana Lyceum Orchestra, whose current tour marks the orchestra's U.S. debut. The collaboration between the Havana Lyceum Orchestra and Dinnerstein on Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 is a testament to music's ability to cross all cultural and language barriers.
The singer-songwriter's eighth album is "Sermon on the Rocks," released in 2015. It drew praise from NPR and The Wall Street Journal. Jon Pareles of the New York Times heard the influence of Dylan, Springsteen and Mark Knopfler on the album's songs. Pareles called Ritter's enduring sound "folky" and his songs in general full of "serious ideas and high-flown imagery."