Michael Feinstein will be bringing his brand of class and oomph to the Pasadena Pops for three more years. The musician and orchestra have renewed his contract as the group's principal pops conductor through 2016.
Feinstein kicked off his first season with the Pasadena Pops this summer, leading the orchestra in June at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in a performance that featured Cheyenne Jackson. The next performance will be Saturday with a program dedicated to classic MGM movies (and their music) and guest starring Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole.
His tenure at the Pasadena Pops was initially for a one-year term, but leaders of the group offered him a multiyear extension.
Feinstein had never conducted prior to joining the Pasadena Pops. The singer-pianist has built a national audience for his PBS specials dedicated to exploring the Great American Songbook. In New York, he performed his cabaret act for many years at Feinstein's at the Regency. He has a new club at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco and a home in Los Feliz.
In 2010, the Pasadena Pops hired Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch as its new principal pops conductor. After Hamlisch died in 2012, the orchestra offered the job to Feinstein, who had collaborated a number of times with Hamlisch, but who had no prior conducting experience.
The summer season will conclude Sept. 7, with Feinstein leading a concert devoted to George and Ira Gershwin.