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Broadway Star of Movin’ Out Joins RPO to Perform Music of the Piano Man, Billy Joel

Rochester, NY – From the 1970’s through the 1990’s, the music of Billy Joel helped to define three generations that have come of age during those decades of the 20th century.  Next month, Michael Cavanaugh – the talented singer hand-picked by Joel himself to take his music to Broadway in the hit show, Movin’ Out – joins the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, April 24 and Saturday April 25 at 8:00 pm each night at the Eastman Theatre.  Lead by Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, the RPO will share the stage with Cavanaugh and his back-up band of electronic, acoustic, and bass guitar, keyboards, drums, bass, and saxophone in some of Billy Joel’s best-known songs including “My Life,” “New York State of Mind,” “Uptown Girl,” “She’s Got a Way,” “Movin’ Out,” and “Just the Way You Are,” plus songs from The Who, Elton John, and more.  Cavanaugh also will be sharing humorous and personal anecdotes from his three years and more than 1,200 performances in Movin’ Out, as well as the story of how he first met Billy Joel and got to Broadway.

The charismatic performer, musician, and actor Michael Cavanaugh was made famous for his piano/lead vocals in the Broadway Musical Movin’ Out, starring in the title role and culminating in both Grammy- and Tony-award nominations in 2003.  Michael began playing the piano at the age of 7, formed his first band at age 10, and began playing locally in his hometown of Cleveland.  In 1999, Michael received an offer to play Las Vegas where, two years later, Billy Joel first spotted Michael and joined him onstage.  It only took two songs before Billy was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man.  Michael left Las Vegas and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp as they shaped the Broadway musical that would become Movin’ Out.  At the end of its run in 2005, Michael began touring with a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook, becoming one of the hottest artists in the corporate world – performing for Microsoft and General Electric, sporting events including the US Open, the Indianapolis 500, and numerous events throughout the United States and Europe.  His first orchestral show debuted in 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony. 

Tickets for these performances are $24-$70, available online 24/7 at, by phone (454-2100) in person from the RPO Box Office (108 East Avenue), and at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.  RPO Box Office hours are 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday-Saturday (non-concert Saturdays, 10:00 am-3:00 pm).  The Pops Series is sponsored by Wegmans; this concert is sponsored by Time Warner Cable, and Nixon Peabody LLP.  Jeff Tyzik’s appearance is made possible by Friends of Jeff.