Blues period

The Fresno Philharmonic has finished up its search for a new music director, and all that’s left is an official announcement. After six memorable concerts featuring some of the greatest works of classical music, the orchestra is ending on a slightly different note:



Byron Stripling performs Saturday in ‘What a Wonderful World.’ Photo / Fresno Philharmonic

Saturday’s finale pops concert is titled “What A Wonderful World: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong” and features renowned trumpeter and singer Byron Stripling, a soloist for the Boston Pops and a PBS star. You’ll be able to catch such favorite tunes as “Hello Dolly,” “St. Louis Blues,” “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

‘What a Wonderful World: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong,’ 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, Saroyan Theatre. $25-$79

The orchestra will be conducted by Chelsea Tipton, II, music director of the Symphony of Southeast Texas and principal pops conductor of the New Haven Symphony.

Two important things to mention:


• I’m giving away a pair of tickets (orchestra Row H) to the concert. To enter, leave a comment on this Munro Review post telling us your favorite Louis Armstrong song. (Or, if you’d prefer, just tell us why you want to go to the concert.) I’ll pick a winner at random and notify via email. You’ll be able to pick up your tickets at Will Call. Deadline to enter is 3 p.m. Friday.

• In a fortuitous twist, several great jazz events in Fresno all came together on the same weekend. Along with the Fresno Philharmonic concert, there’s a Fresno Filmworks screening of the movie “Chasing Trane” (5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Tower Theatre); and “Milestones on Fulton,” the concluding concert of the Milestones Youth Jazz Workshop (2 p.m. Saturday, Frank’s Place). Musicians from the workshop will perform in the lower lobby of Saroyan Theatre following the Fresno Philharmonic concert.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (10)

  • Matt

    I can’t make the concert, but yeah, it’s just about impossible to not get a little happy upon hearing LA and the Hot Fives and Sevens’ “Willie the Weeper”.

  • Brett

    I love jazz. I love the Phil. I’m out of money. I’d like to win.

  • This looks like it’s going to be a fantastic concert. I’m a bit of a newbie to jazz and would love to enjoy some amazing trumpet playing. I sat under Dave Ruffner in the FHS Warrior Marching Band in the late mid-80s and admired the work he did with his young jazz players.

  • My hubby is a musician and it would be a real treat to take him to this

  • Linda Ramirez

    Sounds like a wonderful concert🎹🎼🎺

  • James F Smith

    I an really getting into jazz lately, and I would like to go to see a jazz concert for the first time in a great venue like the Saroyan! 😍😍

  • Judith Reposo

    “What a wonderful world,” followed by “A kiss to build a dream on.”

  • Silvia Fisher

    Hello Dolly! But What a Wonderful World played at our wedding so it’s special

  • Corey Simons

    What a wonderful world is one of my wife’s favorite songs and it would be a great early Mother’s Day gift for her to be able to see this concert.

  • Tom Nixon

    My favorite Louis Armstrong song? There are a number, but it has to be “What a Wonderful World.”


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