Tickets & Events

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Preview

Boston Pops

Esplanade - Boston, MA

The Boston Pops is pleased to announce that Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell will join previously announced guest artists Leslie Odom, Jr., Andy Grammer, and Melissa Etheridge as headliners for the 2017 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, under the direction of Keith Lockhart.

In addition, Alan Menken, the iconic American musical theater and film score composer best known for his scores for films by the Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Tony Award-winning lyricist Jack Feldman are composing a new work, "The Sum of Us," for soloist, chorus, and orchestra, to receive its world premiere at Boston's famed Independence Day celebration. Alix Steel, co-anchor of "Bloomberg Daybreak Americas" on Bloomberg Television and Carol Massar, co-anchor of "Bloomberg Markets" on Bloomberg Radio, will co-host the 2017 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, with additional reporting by Matt Miller, co-anchor "Bloomberg Markets: European Open" on Bloomberg Television.

The traditional fighter jet Military Flyover in coordination with the "Star Spangled Banner," will open the evening's Boston Pops program, and a spectacular 20-minute fireworks show designed by Grucci Fireworks, and accompanied by the music of the Boston Pops and other popular music of the past and present, will bring the celebration to an end. This year's Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will also showcase the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus, along with the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums, adding their own special patriotic flair to the day's festivities. The program will also spotlight musical selections from the Boston Pops's recently released album, "Lights, Camera…Music! Six Decades of John Williams."

 The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will be broadcast on Bloomberg Television. 

The multi-platform distribution also features live concert video streams on Bloomberg.com and on the Bloomberg mobile and OTT platforms. 

Radio listeners in the Greater Boston area can hear the concert through Bloomberg's flagship station in Boston on 1200 AM and on SiriusXM satellite subscription radio on Channel 119.  Radio listeners across the country can also hear the concert through their Bloomberg HD radio station, or listen to it online at subscription-based iheartradio, 94.5 FM-HD2.   In addition, you will also find Bloomberg Radio in Boston at 106.1FM, 1330AM92.9-HD2.

bostonpopsjuly4th.org


Featured Performers

Keith Lockhart, conductor
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Having celebrated his twentieth anniversary as Boston Pops Conductor in 2015, Keith Lockhart is the second longest-tenured conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He took over as conductor in 1995, following John Williams's thirteen-year tenure from 1980 to 1993; Mr. Williams succeeded the legendary Arthur Fiedler, who as at the helm of the orchestra for nearly fifty years. During his tenure, Keith Lockhart has significantly expanded Pops programming, focused on national annual touring, and participated in major media events. He has solidified the orchestra's place in the fabric of the New England community and has led the Boston Pops in countless performance situations. The list of more than 250 guest artists with whom he has collaborated is a virtual "who's who" of performers and pop culture icons.

Keith Lockhart, who occupies the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor chair, has conducted more than 1,900 Boston Pops concerts, most of which have taken place during the orchestra's spring and holiday seasons in Boston's historic Symphony Hall. Mr. Lockhart has also led annual Boston Pops appearances at Tanglewood, 43 national tours to more than 150 cities in 38 states, and four international tours to Japan and Korea. He and the Pops have made 79 television shows and participated in such high-profile sporting events as Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA finals, the 2013 Boston Red Sox Ring Ceremony, and the Red Sox Opening Day game at Fenway Park in 2009. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular draws a live audience of over half a million to the Charles River Esplanade and millions more who view it on television or live webcast. Last year, with Eaton Vance as presenting sponsor and Bloomberg exclusive media partner, the Pops organization presented its first self-produced Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which was broadcast on Bloomberg Television and all its media outlets. Both companies made initial three-year commitments to the event in 2017.

Mr. Lockhart has led eight albums on the RCA Victor/BMG Classics label, including two-The Celtic Album and The Latin Album-that earned Grammy nominations. Recent releases on Boston Pops Recordings include The Red Sox Album, A Boston Pops Christmas-Live from Symphony Hall, and The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, which was a Boston Pops commission premiered in 2010 during the orchestra's 125th season. Released at the beginning of the 2017 Pops season, Lights, Camera…Music! Six Decades of John Williams features Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in a collection of Williams compositions from the 1960s onward, some of which can be considered rarities.

Programming-wise, Keith Lockhart has put an increased focus on musical theater, attracting such leading Broadway artists as Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Kelli O'Hara, Bernadette Peters, and Billy Porter to the Pops stage. He has worked closely with hundreds of talented young musicians, including Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, college students from the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and area high school students. He introduced the PopSearch talent competition and the innovative JazzFest and EdgeFest series, featuring prominent jazz and indie artists performing with the Pops. He is dedicated to building and updating the Boston Pops library of music, which contains over five thousand arrangements.

With a renewed commitment to bring the Boston Pops into the Boston community and to important civic events, Keith Lockhart and the Pops have appeared at gubernatorial and mayoral inauguration ceremonies; the annual tree lighting in Boston's Public Garden; sporting events including Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics games; and the memorial service for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. He has led free concerts in such major public spaces as Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season brings members of the Pops to play for patients at Children's Hospital.

Perhaps the most significant key to Keith Lockhart's success is his ability to connect passionately with audiences through his engaging programs, his commitment to speaking directly from the stage with fascinating insights into the music, and his inherent understanding of the importance of what sets the Pops experience apart from a traditional orchestra concert-an atmosphere of music-making that is both fun and entertaining for music lovers of all ages.

Having just completed an eight-year tenure as principal conductor, Keith Lockhart is now chief guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, which he led in the June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II; he is also artistic director of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival in North Carolina. Prior to his BBC appointment, he spent eleven years as music director of the Utah Symphony, which he led at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in North America, as well as many prestigious orchestras in Asia and Europe. Prior to coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates from several American universities. Visit keithlockhart.com for further information.

Keith Lockhart, conductor Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter
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In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the "Best Song" category at the Academy® Awards for "I Need to Wake Up," written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. Over the course of her more than two decades as a performer and songwriter, Etheridge has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed "inconvenient truths" to keep her down. Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy® telecast to sing "Piece of My Heart" in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease.

Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Melissa Etheridge picked up the guitar at the age of eight and began playing in local bands in her teens. After completing high school, Etheridge was accepted as a student at Boston's Berklee College of Music, but left after only one year to make her way as a performer in Los Angeles. Her bluesy vocal style and riveting stage presence began earning Etheridge a strong following. Legend has it that in a chance encounter at a small club in Long Beach with music industry legend and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell she was signed on the spot leading Blackwell to confess that he felt "The future of Rock and Roll has a female face".

Melissa's first album, Melissa Etheridge (1988), was a critically-acclaimed debut that led to an invitation to sing on the 1989 Grammy® Awards broadcast. For several years, her popularity built around such memorable originals as "Bring Me Some Water," "No Souvenirs" and "Ain't It Heavy," for which she won a Grammy® in 1992. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am (1993). The collection featured the massive hits, "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window," a searing song of longing that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, Your Little Secret, which was distinguished by the hit single, "I Want to Come Over." Her astounding success that year led to Etheridge receiving the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996.

Melissa continued to write, record, and tour throughout the '90s and into the new millennium, releasing Skin (2001) and the upbeat Lucky (2004) along with her DVDs Live And Alone (2002) and Lucky Live (2004). 2005 marked the release of Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled, which includes "I Run for Life," commissioned by Ford Cares as part of their cancer initiative in support of The Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure. The album was recently re-released in an Eco-pak, to include Melissa's Oscar® winning song "I Need To Wake Up." In April 2007, Melissa Etheridge received the distinguished ASCAP Founders Award and released her ninth studio album, The Awakening, selected by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of their Top 50 Albums of 2007. In 2009, Melissa released her 10th studio album, Fearless Love, to a Top 10 Billboard debut. 2011 was an exciting year for Melissa. She made her Broadway debut as St. Jimmy in Green Day's rock opera, American Idiot, and received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2012, she released her most recent album 4th St. Feeling. Melissa will perform sold out shows throughout Europe, Australia, and North America. When Melissa is not on tour, she records her syndicated Melissa Etheridge Radio Show for daily broadcast on stations throughout the US and Canada.

Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter
Andy Grammer
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Multi-platinum selling pop singer-songwriter Andy Grammer is all about inspiring and empowering the world by communicating his truths through his music. The first male pop star in a decade since John Mayer to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of anthemic pop hits, 6 of which are certified gold or better. His debut album featured the platinum singles "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me." Andy's second album, Magazines or Novels, featured the triple platinum infectious smash hit "Honey, I'm Good," which was one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)." His brand new single "Give Love" is the follow up to the certified platinum streaming phenomenon "Fresh Eyes" with over 250 million streams.

 

Andy Grammer Leslie Odom, Jr., special guest
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Multifaceted performer Leslie Odom, Jr. completed his run on Broadway starring as 'Aaron Burr' in the original cast of the blockbuster hit musical, "Hamilton," a role that earned him the 2016 Tony Award for Lead Actor in a Musical. He is also a Grammy Award-winner as a principal soloist on Hamilton's Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won the 2016 award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Odom, Jr. made his Broadway debut at the age of 17 in Rent, before heading to Carnegie Mellon University's prestigious School of Drama, where he graduated with honors. He is the recipient of a 2002 Princess Grace Award for Acting, which is dedicated to identifying emerging talent in theater, dance and film.

Additional theatre credits include Leap of Faith on Broadway, for which he won the 2012 Astaire Award for Outstanding Male Dancer on Broadway and was nominated for a Drama League Award; the 2014 musical Venice, which also played at The Public Theater; and the Encores! Off-Center production of Tick,Tick... Boom! which was his first time working with Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

On the small screen, Odom, Jr. is best-known for his portrayal of 'Sam Strickland' in the NBC musical series, "Smash," and his recurring role as 'Reverend Curtis Scott' on "Law & Order: SVU." He's also appeared in episodes of "Gotham," "Person of Interest," "Grey's Anatomy," "House of Lies," "Vanished" and "CSI: Miami." On the big screen he starred in the 2012 film, "Red Tails," opposite Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and David Oyelowo.

Leslie's debut solo album, "Leslie Odom, Jr," was released in June 2016 on S-Curve Records and quickly rose to number one on the Billboard and iTunes Jazz charts.

Look for him this fall in Kenneth Branagh's reimaging of Agatha Christie's, Murder on the Orient Express featuring an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Dame Judi Dench and more.

Odom Jr. was raised in Philadelphia, and currently resides in New York City.

Leslie Odom, Jr., special guest
Brian Stokes Mitchell
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Multi-platinum selling pop artist Andy Grammer is all about inspiring and empowering the world by communicating his truths through his music. The first male pop star in a decade since John Mayer to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first two singles, Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of anthemic pop hits, 6 of which are certified gold or better. His debut album featured the platinum singles "Keep Your Head Up" and "Fine By Me." Andy's second album, Magazines or Novels, featured the triple platinum infectious smash hit "Honey, I'm Good," which was one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)." His brand new single "Give Love" is the follow up to the certified platinum streaming phenomenon "Fresh Eyes" with over 250 million streams.

Brian Stokes Mitchell The U.S. Army Field Band
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The Concert Band & Soldiers' Chorus are the oldest and largest of The U.S. Army Field Band's performing components. Founded in 1946 and 1957 respectively, these two ensembles combine to present joint concerts on their national tours. They have performed in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries for audiences totaling hundreds of millions. The 65-member Concert Band and 29-member Soldiers' Chorus perform regularly in some of the most famous concert halls in the world, and just as often in the humblest auditoriums in the smallest of communities. The joining of these two ensembles allows them to offer unparalleled versatility of programming, ranging from orchestral masterworks and operatic arias to Sousa marches, jazz classics, and Broadway musicals. The band and chorus also perform independently, and have recently shared the stage with such ensembles as the Boston Pops, the Cincinnati Pops, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. In addition to their national tours, formal concerts, chamber recitals, and educational outreach, members of the Concert Band & Soldiers' Chorus frequently represent the Army at formal and ceremonial functions, including the Presidential Inaugural Parade, presidential funerals, the Army AllAmerican Bowl, and diplomatic efforts overseas.

The U.S. Army Field Band
Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums
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Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums was established in 1982 by Boston-area musicians who wished to further explore the traditional repertoires of the regimental fife and drum corps associated with the European or American armies during the American War for Independence, 1775-1783. They have evolved into a repertory ensemble performing martial, dance, and folk music drawn from 17th, 18th, and early 19th century sources in America and Europe as well as contemporary compositions.

Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes & Drums