BLACKSTAR SYMPHONY The Music of David Bowie
David Bowie fashioned the multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning album Blackstar as his Grand Finale. With a catalogue of 27 studio recordings over a 45-year career, Blackstar stands apart from the rest.
Different in feel and different in sound, it speaks more poignantly – and more metaphorically – than any of Bowie’s prior creations.
Embracing his own vulnerability, Bowie hired a team of musicians, led by saxophonist Donny McCaslin, to aid in artfully communicating the emotions and intentions that this most visionary pop artist aspired to convey. During this period of deep reflection, an intimate musical bond was created between Bowie & McCaslin.
Propelled by a 65-piece orchestra, jazz quartet, and singers, BLACKSTAR SYMPHONY features musical arrangements by world renowned orchestrators Jules Buckley, Tim Davies, Vince Mendoza, Maria Schneider, Jamshied Sharifi, Tony Visconti, Michael Dudley Jr., and Vellu Halkosalmi.
Act I showcases the first ever live performance of the entire Blackstar album with full symphony orchestra. Act II celebrates Bowie’s beloved musical catalogue with touchstone Bowie compositions including “Heroes,” “Life on Mars,” “Suffragette City,” “Space Oddity,” and more that serve as a reminder of the pervasiveness of Bowie’s presence in pop culture.
Donny McCaslin was Bowie’s musical partner and saxophone player on the original Blackstar recording. He conceived the idea to re-imagine Bowie’s work for full symphonic orchestra, performing along with his jazz quartet and two vocalists. “I love this music, and it is close to my heart. David refused to stay in one musical ‘lane’ during his long career, playing with different musical styles and creating a musical language all his own. That principle is at work in this program.”
“The arty, unsettling Blackstar is Bowie’s best” – Rolling Stone
“David Bowie’s final album Blackstar is perhaps the most extraordinary in his amazing career.” – Huffington Post
“Blackstar is unmistakable a band record, showcasing a talented group of musicians who are comfortable navigating the songs’ harmonically twisty byways.” – Billboard
Artistic Director & Co-Music Director: Donny McCaslin
Co-Music Director & Orchestrator: Jules Buckley
Conductor & Orchestrator: Tim Davies
Orchestrators: Jules Buckley, Tim Davies, Michael Dudley, Vellu Halkosalmi, Vince Mendoza, Maria Schneider, Jamshied Sharifi, Tony Visconti
Band Members: Jason Lindner (Pianist), Donny McCaslin (Lead Saxophone), Nate Wood (Drummer/Bassist)
Vocalists: Gail Ann Dorsey, David Poe
Special Guest Artist: John Cameron Mitchell