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Tyzik Feted For 15 Years of RPO Cool

Rochester, NY – For 15 years, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has been the public “face” of the RPO’s WPOP series, conducting and recording jazz, pop, Broadway, rock, holiday concerts, and more, on a stage and on a barge, favoring the audience with his skills as a trumpet player, and often with his own arrangements, orchestrations, and even his own compositions.  In recognition of these years of accomplishments, the RPO prepares to “Celebrate Tyzik!” on its opening WPOP concert with a signature food event, a Red Carpet Spectacular, a public street party, and some very special guest artists joining Jeff onstage.

The Opening WPOP Celebrate Tyzik! weekend – Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 at 8:00 pm at the Eastman Theatre – offers a myriad of pre- and post-concert celebratory options on Gibbs Street. (A detailed description of all additional events – including a pre-concert dinner and Red Carpet Spectacular on Friday night, and a post-concert “Stars & Streetlights Soiree” on both nights – will be forthcoming separately.)
The concerts spotlight Jeff conducting some of his favorite music joined by two of his favorite performers, daughter and mezzo-soprano Jami Tyzik, and longtime friend and fellow trumpeter, Allen Vizzutti.  In 1983, Tyzik and Vizzutti were invited to create a new pops program for the RPO. “We put together a half of a concert that had both jazz and classical styles. People went crazy!,” he said.  “As a result, we started working with orchestras from Spokane to St. Louis. We found that the synthesis of jazz, pop, and classical musical elements worked everywhere.” Tyzik had initiated the basic programmatic style that he has been perfecting ever since.

Jeff’s composing skills also will be on display, with his Transitions and New York Cityscape. The concert opens fittingly with Transitions – the first of Jeff’s RPO commissions –composed for the Orchestra’s 75th anniversary season in 1997-98.  Suite No. 1, an orchestral rendition from Bizet’s opera, Carmen, sets the stage for daughter Jami to show her dramatic and flirtatious side in three vocal selections from the same opera.  Next up, trumpeter extraordinaire Allen Vizzutti, performs the Rochester premiere of his own composition, Concierto Mexicano for Trumpet and Orchestra, a spicy, five-movement work capturing the essence of Mexican culture. 

After intermission, Jeff turns to 1950s New York City with “Mambo” from Leonard Bernstein’s iconic West Side Story, then to three orchestrated  movements from Jeff’s New York Cityscape.  Jami Tyzik returns with the heat of “Summertime” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, after which the RPO switches gears to Del Staigers’ virtuosic “Fantasia Brillante” from Carnival of Venice. When Tyzik returns to stage – trading in a baton for his trumpet – the evening turns super high-energy as he and Vizzutti go “head-to-head” in Vizzutti’s Compadres.  The final Firedance brings Vizzutti back once again as performer and composer in this work that blends classical and jazz techniques to create a unique-sounding masterpiece.

Jami Tyzik made her solo debut at age 17 with the RPO after winning the Jan DeGaetani Competition and scholarship, sponsored by the Rochester Philharmonic League.  She has been a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, and Le Roi David, both here and abroad. Ms. Tyzik has been a guest soloist with orchestras as well as in chamber music, most recently in Respighi’s Il Tramonto with the GRAMMY® Award-winning Ying Quartet.  She made her debut in the title role in Carmen with the Aspen Opera Theatre, and made her Italian debut as Cherubino with the Amalfi Coast Opera.

Equally at home in a multitude of musical idioms, Allen Vizzutti has visited 55 countries and every state in the union to perform with a rainbow of artists and ensembles such as Chick Corea, Doc Severinsen, NBC Tonight Show Band, Chuck Mangione, Woody Herman, Army Blues, and Army Symphony Orchestra.  Performing as a classical and a jazz artist, often in the same evening, he has appeared as a guest with orchestras in Tokyo, Germany, Seattle, St. Louis, Vancouver, and Milwaukee, and has been a soloist at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Newport, and Montreux jazz festivals, and more.  His brilliant sound has been heard on national television, as well as on more than half a dozen recordings, including High Class Brass with Jeff Tyzik.  Mr. Vizzutti is a Yahama performing artist.

A tremendously versatile artist, Jeff Tyzik is many things to many people. Onstage, audiences love his engaging podium style and stellar trumpet playing. Behind the scenes, musicians love his brilliant arranging, intelligent programming, and straight-shooting professionalism.  Tyzik creates every one of his signature programs from scratch—including his programs with guest artists—and he always includes opportunities to feature members of the orchestra.  In addition to the RPO, Jeff is also principal pops conductor of the Vancouver and the Oregon symphony orchestras. His busy guest-conducting schedule includes the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Toronto Symphony, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, among others.  Visit

Tickets for these performances begin at $25, and are available online 24/7 at, by phone (454-2100); in person from the RPO Box Office, Monday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm (non-concert Saturdays, 10 am-3 pm); and seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply.  Students and senior citizens are entitled to a 20% discount on advance single ticket purchases as well as half-price rush tickets beginning at 10 am on the concert day, subject to availability. Special rates for groups of 10 or more also are available from the RPO Box Office; call 454-2100. The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans; this concert is sponsored by Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson & Johnson Company; Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP; and Friends of Jeff.

Celebrating its 86th season in 2008-09, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music, presenting nearly 200 performances each season to a combined audience of an estimated quarter of a million people, including more than 70,000 who experience the RPO’s broad range of educational and community programs.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.