August 08, 2015

John Wilson Orchestra & Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane present Sinatra Prom

Warner Classics to release this sensational Frank Sinatra centenary concert on DVD.

The Voice’ … ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’ … ‘The Sultan of Swoon’: the mythology surrounding Frank Sinatra is overwhelming. A gifted entertainer, screen actor and ubiquitous personality, his real legacy as a pioneer of popular song can sometimes get lost in the clamour. This year the John Wilson Orchestra returns to the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with a special Late Night Prom celebrating the centenary of this musical icon born 100 years ago in a concert that brings together some of the great voices of our own time. Led by the multitalented Seth MacFarlane, The John Wilson Orchestra’s celebration of Frank Sinatra will be broadcast live on British television (Friday, August 7th BBC Four – 10.15pm) and released on a DVD for Warner Classics in October.

John Wilson and his orchestra have thrilled audiences with concerts and their recordings of songs from the golden age of musical theatre in Broadway and Hollywood. Their leap into the limelight at the 2009 MGM Prom seemed like an overnight sensation but was actually the result of playing together for over 15 years.  John Wilson’s appreciation of Sinatra goes back even further: “It is an honour for the John Wilson Orchestra to be returning to the BBC Proms to perform a special late night Prom marking the centenary of Frank Sinatra’s birth and celebrating his legacy” says John Wilson, “The concert focuses on the most important part of his career - the middle years, mainly at Capitol Records, and in particular his collaboration with Nelson Riddle, although other arrangers are represented.

"Almost all of the songs are taken from his famous concept albums, Sinatra was one of the first singers to package songs into the new album format and was certainly the most important and influential.  He single-handedly brought the singer and the song in to the foreground where previously bandleaders had always been in the spotlight. As Benny Goodman had made the general public orchestra-conscious, so Sinatra made them singer-conscious. By the time he was on contract at Capitol Records he was rigorous with his selection of material and choice of orchestras and arrangers. Several of his records from this period represent the high-watermark of popular music in the 20th century. Seth MacFarlane will be making his return to the orchestra and we welcome leading British jazz star Claire Martin and making his debut with the John Wilson Orchestra is actor and singer Jamie Parker.

"We’re delighted that this very special event will be available on DVD for everyone to enjoy.”

Said Hollywood film and television star Seth MacFarlane: “It’s always an utter joy to perform with the incomparable John Wilson Orchestra. Their interpretations of these classic charts are unmatched in the modern era. Don’t walk, run to hear them play anytime you can!”

In August 2009 MacFarlane made his debut  at the BBC Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in a show celebrating the 75th anniversary of the MGM film musicals. The show was watched by millions on British television and MacFarlane subsequently recorded an album of the MGM film musicals with the John Wilson Orchestra for EMI (Now Warner Classics) and toured the UK and performed with the John Wilson Orchestra in Los Angeles.

This year in addition to the Late night prom on 7th August devoted to Frank Sinatra, John Wilson and his orchestra will return to the BBC Proms on 5th September for a celebration of Bernstein’s scores for stage and screen and embark on a nationwide 13-date UK tour in November with a sensational new show celebrating the genius of George Gershwin finishing at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 16th November.