Houston Symphony Celebrates Valentine’s Day Weekend with Romantic Songs from The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook

By: Houston Symphony
| Published 02/10/2019


HOUSTON, Texas -- What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend than with romantic songs sung in the indelible style of the “First Lady of American Song” Ella Fitzgerald?! Houston Symphony Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke and the Houston Symphony provide the passionate, musical answer to that question with the program The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook, 8 p.m. Feb. 15 & 16 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17.

The Symphony pays tribute to Fitzgerald’s countless classic songs with the help of special guests from the world of Broadway. Montego Glover, who currently plays Angelica Schuyler in the Chicago cast of Hamilton, Capathia Jenkins and N’Kenge return to Houston to lend their own versatile, vocal stylings to some of Fitzgerald’s greatest hits. With the plush accompaniment of the full Houston Symphony under Reineke’s direction, Glover, Jenkins and N’Kenge pay tribute to Fitzgerald’s timeless voice with romantic ballads and sweet jazz stylings.

Known for her flawless intonation, thrilling improvisation and astonishing range, Fitzgerald was one of the greatest American singers of all time, and her strong, musical influence is still felt today. The program includes classic, romantic Fitzgerald songs such as “Our Love is Here to Stay” and “Come Rain or Come Shine”.

The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook program takes place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
Steven Reineke, conductor
Montego Glover, vocalist
Capathia Jenkins, vocalist
N’Kenge, vocalist

About Steven Reineke
Steven Reineke has established himself as one of North America’s leading conductors of popular music. In addition to being Principal POPS Conductor at the Houston Symphony, Steven is the music director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the posts of principal pops conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto Symphony Orchestras and associate conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Steven is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include Atlanta, Cincinnati, Edmonton and San Francisco.

On stage, Steven has created programs and collaborated with a range of leading artists from the worlds of hip hop, Broadway, television and rock, including Common, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Wayne Brady, Peter Frampton and Ben Folds, among others. In 2017, he was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered leading the National Symphony Orchestra—in a first for the show’s 45-year history—performing live music excerpts between news segments.

As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Steven’s work has been performed worldwide and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America, including performances by the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare was used to commemorate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s pavilion, and his Festival Te Deum and Swan’s Island Sojourn were debuted by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops Orchestras. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands worldwide.

A native of Ohio, Steven is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned Bachelor of Music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.

About Montego Glover
Montego Glover is currently starring in the Chicago cast of Hamilton in the role of Angelica Schuyler. For her starring role as Felicia Farrell in Memphis, she was nominated for a Tony Award, received a Drama League nomination and won the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for her performance.

Montego has appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables as Fantine and the new musical comedy It Shoulda Been You as Annie Shepard. She made her Broadway debut in the original company of The Color Purple in the roles of Celie and Nettie; she earned her second Drama Desk Award as Nina in The Royale at Lincoln Center Theater. She has been a guest artist with The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre and the Huntington Theatre, among others. She earned a Craig Noel Award nomination for The Royale, a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Once on This Island and an IRNE Award for Aida.

In concert, she has performed with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Caramoor Summer Music Festival, Delacorte Theater, The Smith Center (PBS Special), as well as the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

Television and film credits include: The Following, BlackBoxTV, Hostages, Smash, Golden Boy, The Good Wife, White Collar, Made in Jersey, Law & Order and the independent film Broken Soldier. She can be seen and heard in numerous commercials, voiceovers and animated series. She has served as a member of the Artists Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors and Lincoln Center Theater and is a New York PopsEd Ambassador.

@MontegoGlover, MontegoGlover.com

About Capathia Jenkins
Capathia Jenkins, the Brooklyn-born and -raised singer/actor, most recently released the critically acclaimed CD Phenomenal Woman: The Maya Angelou Songs with her collaborator Louis Rosen; They sold out New York’s world-famous Birdland theatre for three nights.

Capathia made her Broadway debut in The Civil War, where she created the role of Harriet Jackson. She then starred in the Off-Broadway 2000 revival of Godspell, where she wowed audiences with her stirring rendition of “Turn Back, O Man,” which can be heard on the original cast recording. She returned to Broadway in The Look of Love and was critically acclaimed for her performances of the Bacharach/David hits. Capathia created the roles of The Washing Machine in Caroline, Or Change and Frieda May in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me where she sang “Stop the Show” and brought the house down every night. In 2007, she went back to Off-Broadway and starred in (mis)Understanding Mammy: The Hattie McDaniel Story for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. She was also seen in Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore and starred as Medda in the hit Disney production of Newsies on Broadway.

An active concert artist, Capathia has appeared with numerous orchestras around the world, including the Houston Symphony; Cleveland and Minnesota Orchestras; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (with Marvin Hamlisch); National, Atlanta and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Cincinnati Pops (with John Morris Russell); Philly Pops; Seattle, Utah and San Diego Symphonies; the Hong Kong Philharmonic and many others. She was a soloist with the International Music Festival ?eský Krumlov in the Czech Republic multiple times. Capathia had the great honor of performing in the Broadway Ambassadors to Cuba concert as part of the Festival de Teatro de La Habana. She has appeared several times at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops and also sang in a Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch at the Library of Congress.

Her television credits include 30 Rock, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, The Practice, and The Sopranos. She can be seen in the film Musical Chairs directed by Susan Seidelman. She was seen in NBC’s live performance of The Wiz. Capathia can be heard on film soundtracks of Nine, Chicago and Legally Blonde.


About N’Kenge
International award-winning singer N’Kenge was called “electrifying” by the New York Post in the role of Mary Wells, which she originated in Broadway’s smash hit Motown: The Musical.

N’Kenge starred in the Michael Jackson Tribute Show world tour and recently made her debut in the leading role of Mother Hare/Circe in The Golden Apple at New York City Center Encores! She consistently performs as soloist with orchestras around the globe. Berry Gordy describes her as “the most versatile artist I know.”

N’Kenge was a presenter at the 58th Annual New York Emmy® Awards, performed for President Clinton and President Obama and starred in London’s West End production of The Genius of Ray Charles. She is the current star, conceiver and producer of the Broadway-bound musical based on The Legacy of Dorothy Dandridge, which will open Off-Broadway in the summer of 2019.

For more details on tickets and N’Kenge’s 2018–2019 tour schedule and recordings, visit nkengemusic.com.

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2018–19 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fifth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer more than 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston.

The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label PENTATONE. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.

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