News and Events
Center for the Arts Presents the John Tesh Big Band
Grammy-nominated and Emmy Award-winning John Tesh, whose 25-year career includes a decade of anchoring Entertainment Tonight, several hit PBS music specials, over 7 million albums sold, and his nationally syndicated radio show, Intelligence for Your Life, brings his big band to Pepperdine's Smothers Theatre for a concert at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22.
On his new big bandcollection and accompanying public television special distributed by American Public Television (APT) titled John Tesh Big Band Live!, the keyboardist fronts a full-blown ensemble and horn section playing Great American Songbook classics.
The projects mark an all-time first for the lifelong musician—letting his lead vocals shine. For the four-time Emmy Award winner and two-time Grammy nominee, these projects are unique, creative departures from his rich history as a composer and performer of "sports music," new age, contemporary jazz, and inspirational works. More importantly, and in a deeper sense, they mark a return to his musical roots.
Tesh's highly successful and varied career path includes a 10-year run as anchor on Entertainment Tonight;six hit public television specials, including his landmark Live at Red Rocks in 1994; a string of No. 1 radio hits; his popular nationally syndicated radio show, Intelligence for Your Life; and a high profile advertising and marketing company. His musical accolades since releasing his debut album, Tour de France, in 1988 include seven million units in total sales; a Keyboard Magazine Award; a 2003 Grammy nomination for "Best Pop Instrumental Album" for his double CD, The Power of Love; and Gold certification for his Live at Red Rocks album.
A self-proclaimed school "band geek" playing trumpet in marching and jazz bands in junior high and high school, Tesh was proficient on the horn and piano from the age of six. He studied with teachers from the Julliard School and was named to the New York State Symphonic Orchestra in high school--while also playing organ in a rock band. Tesh got hooked on Hendrix and the Doors, but also has fond memories of his parents spinning Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Count Basie at parties in their Long Island home.
With his latest musical ventures, Tesh not only pays homage to his early days as a musician, but also fashions a journey inside the jazz, big band, and swing music that shaped the world from the early-to-mid-20th century. Recorded at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, John Tesh Big Band features exciting new arrangements of nine standards and three familiar Tesh originals. Tim Landers, Tesh's musical director for the past 25 years, chose Tony Guerrero and Willie Murillo, two veteran jazz trumpeters, to do the 25-piece horn arrangements and orchestrations, respectively. The classic selections include "The Summer Wind," "I've Got the World on a String," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Blue Skies," "In the Mood," "Sway," and "Beyond the Sea." The reimagined Tesh originals are "Barcelona," "Spanish Steps," and "Give Me Forever."
Tesh's book Intelligence for Your Life: Powerful Lessons for Personal Growth has spent time on the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher's Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon.com bestseller lists.
While the big band experience will be new to many John Tesh fans, his decades of success in creating popular instrumental music—when he could have kept his "dream job" of hosting ET—inspired him to reflect recently, "Lately, I've become the poster boy for quitting your job and following your dream."
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Center for the Arts Web site.