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Musical extravaganza Lollapalooza comes to city, the first concert in Asia

Mumbai: Musical extravaganza Lollapalooza comes to city, the first concert in Asia | File pic

Mumbai: Cellphone jammers, traffic diversions, non-availability of parking slots and strict width rules for carry-on bags notwithstanding, music lovers descended on Mahalaxmi Race Course by the droves for the first day of Lollapalooza India, which kicked off on Saturday.

This musical extravaganza has become one of the biggest crowd pullers in Mumbai since the covid wave ended and is the first time that the festival is being staged in Asia. It also is a sign of the revival of the music scene in the city, which was fast becoming a popular tour stop for leading international artists before the pandemic.

Easy Wanderlings opened the festival

Indie band Easy Wanderlings opened the festival with a surprisingly big crowd for an afternoon set, while American pop rock group Imagine Dragons were the headliners for the night. 

Meanwhile, K-pop fans are waiting for their idol Jackson Wang, who is already in the city, to bring his charisma to the festival on Sunday.

The organisers are also doing their bit for the environment. Water is being provided in reusable glasses. Dry waste will be recycled. Edible leftover food will be donated to the less-privileged.

“It’s a vibe, all around, behind the stage, and in front of the stage,” said Gautam Pradhan, 19, a student at NMIMS.

However, not everyone was happy. “The big acts are just lip syncing. An electronic act such as Sandunes was so much more memorable to watch and hear. Besides, better sound quality could make the experience way more epic,” said 27-year-old art educator Ashwini H.

People also complained that some of the brightly coloured, gender neutral bathrooms were locked.

Despite these negatives, some of those who attended the concert on Saturday promised to be back on Sunday.

(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )

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Asia’s First Lollapalooza Music Festival Kicks Off In Mumbai

Asia's First Lollapalooza Music Festival Kicks Off In Mumbai

Around 60,000 people are expected at the festival over two days.

Mumbai:

One of the world’s longest-running festivals kicked off in Mumbai Saturday for the Indian financial hub’s biggest music extravaganza since the end of the pandemic.

Lollapalooza’s arrival in Mumbai is the first time the festival has been staged in Asia after branching out from its American origins in the past decade.

Crowds thronged the Mahalaxmi racecourse near the centre of a city that, before the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, was increasingly becoming a popular tour stop for leading international artists.

“I think it’s huge — it’s the first major American festival to come to India, I couldn’t miss it,” Narayani Anand, 29, told AFP.

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“The live music scene is really bouncing back,” she said. “It’s almost like signifying the end to the dark days.”

Not everyone was impressed by this year’s lineup, despite months of anticipation, when the festival’s Mumbai debut was announced last year.

The Strokes, Diplo and Imagine Dragons headline the inaugural concert and Binjal Shah, 30, was among those who decided to skip it.

“The tickets were exorbitant considering the lineup. I couldn’t justify spending that much,” she told AFP.

“There was mad hype before the lineup dropped. But the lineup was really sad. My friends who bought early-bird tickets were really disappointed.”

Around 60,000 people are expected at the festival over two days, organisers say.

Lollapalooza was launched in the early 1990s by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell during the US boom of alternative music.

It was originally conceived as a travelling festival that would explore non-mainstream music and culture.

Lollapalooza shut down after criticism that the festival was becoming increasingly commodified but re-emerged in 2005 as an annual event with Chicago the regular venue.

The festival has since expanded to Latin America, with versions in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as Europe starting with a 2015 edition in Berlin.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Students at this Alabama high school test marketing skills by planning a concert

Students at Demopolis High School are public relations officers and business managers in the making.

Students have spent weeks coordinating a local concert with Jim Mowery, a singer and former contestant on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Reach and Teach helped set up the venture. Since its inception, the program has worked with high school students across the southeast to execute over 60 concerts on school campuses. The program teaches business, marketing and entrepreneurship concepts by providing high school students the opportunity to plan, promote and execute concerts.

Read more Ed Lab: Who are Alabama’s highest-paid school superintendents?

April Clark, executive director of Reach and Teach and former high school business teacher, helped found the organization in Leighton, Alabama, with Ashlyn Brown, her former student.

“In 2017, we reached out to hundreds of bands and booking agents, all of which turned us down… except one,” Clark said. “The lead singer of The Velcro Pygmies (Cameron Flener) said yes under a few conditions: It had to be a real rock concert, lights out, standing room only, and the students had to help execute the event.”

“I am one of the two students who piloted the first ever Reach and Teach concert,” Brown said. “In high school, I won a website design competition at the Alabama FBLA state conference which qualified me to compete at the national level in California. To raise money, we decided to have a concert.”

Brown was a member of Future Business Leaders of America, a high school business program; Clark was her advisor. Together, the team worked with a school sports and entertainment marketing class to pull off the concert.

Apart from the actual concert, the students have other responsibilities: Hosting a podcast and producing a video broadcast.

Demopolis students have been working through the program over the last few months with the guidance of their marketing teacher, Courtney Kerby.

“This is the second Reach and Teach concert we have put on at Demopolis High School. Our first concert was scheduled for March 2020 but the pandemic made us postpone until October 2021,” Kerby said. “We hope for the Reach and Teach concert to be an annual event at Demopolis.”

“Each school we work with is different because the students’ ideas are different,” Clark said. “We work with schools all across the southeast and it’s exciting to see students’ creativity come to life through this real-world opportunity.”

Reach and Teach is housed in Kerby’s digital marketing class, the second of two in the school’s marketing program. The key goal of this class is to provide hands-on experience with a real-world event as the final product. Students sell sponsorships to local businesses, promote excitement about the concert and encourage fellow classmates to attend.

The concert planning and details are fully in the hands of the students, from the concert title and performer to logos, ticket prices, social media ads and promotional t-shirts. Students even draft their own budget. Sponsorships are sold to local businesses to help keep costs down for students, along with a limited number of VIP tickets that include breakfast and lunch with the band, a t-shirt and front row seats at the concert.

“This program takes a lot of creativity and public speaking. I have seen my students’ confidence grow throughout this program and that is the most rewarding aspect to witness,” Kerby said. “We are very fortunate to have a community that supports our students and our schools.”

The concert will begin at 2:15 p.m on Feb. 1 in the Demopolis High School gymnasium. General admission tickets for students are $15 and VIP tickets for students are $45.

If you would like more information about this concert and/or Reach and Teach, please contact April Clark at (256) 710-0100 or email at april@rntrocks.com.

You can also check out their website: https://www.reachandteach.rocks/concert-tour.


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RTL Today – Mumbai: India rocks to Asia’s first Lollapalooza festival

One of the world’s longest-running festivals kicked off in Mumbai Saturday for the Indian financial hub’s biggest music extravaganza since the end of the pandemic.

Lollapalooza’s arrival in Mumbai is the first time the festival has been staged in Asia after branching out from its American origins in the past decade.

Crowds thronged the Mahalaxmi racecourse near the centre of a city that, before the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, was increasingly becoming a popular tour stop for leading international artists.

“I think it’s huge — it’s the first major American festival to come to India, I couldn’t miss it,” Narayani Anand, 29, told AFP.

“The live music scene is really bouncing back,” she said. “It’s almost like signifying the end to the dark days.”

Not everyone was impressed by this year’s lineup, despite months of anticipation, when the festival’s Mumbai debut was announced last year.

The Strokes, Diplo and Imagine Dragons headline the inaugural concert and Binjal Shah, 30, was among those who decided to skip it.

“The tickets were exorbitant considering the lineup. I couldn’t justify spending that much,” she told AFP.

“There was mad hype before the lineup dropped. But the lineup was really sad. My friends who bought early-bird tickets were really disappointed.”

Around 60,000 people are expected at the festival over two days, organisers say.

Lollapalooza was launched in the early 1990s by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell during the US boom of alternative music.

It was originally conceived as a travelling festival that would explore non-mainstream music and culture.

Lollapalooza shut down after criticism that the festival was becoming increasingly commodified but re-emerged in 2005 as an annual event with Chicago the regular venue.

The festival has since expanded to Latin America, with versions in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as Europe starting with a 2015 edition in Berlin.




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7 reasons why you should be super excited to attend the World’s biggest music festival in Mumbai

For the first time in Asia, Lollapalooza, one of the world’s largest music festivals, will be held in Mumbai. India will join Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, and Sweden as the eighth nation to host this yearly event.

This year Lollapalooza’s line-up includes over 40 international artists, with 26 award nominees. Over 60,000 fans are expected to attend the festival. Ever since the first-ever India edition of the Chicago-based Lollapalooza festival was officially announced back in July, music festival regulars couldn’t stop talking about it. 

BookMyShow is the promoter and co-producer for the festival’s Indian edition along with global producers, Perry Farrell and C3 Presents

Music lovers will have access to four stages that span the Mahalaxmi Race Course and are equipped with some of the city’s best food vendors.

With several renowned musical acts like Zhu and Japanese Breakfast making their India debut, Lollapalooza looks to bring an exclusively curated music experience to India.

Let’s take a look at what’s in store for music lovers.

The Lolla Food Park

In fact, ‘The Lolla Food Park,’ will be serving food from over 60 brands, featuring several dishes that are made exclusively for, and only available at Lollapalooza, like The Flippin’ Palooza, Lolla Waffle Cheese Cones and Lolla Bombay Dogs.

The Lolla Ferris Wheel

The race course is equipped with several ‘instagrammable’ spots, including the Lolla Ferris Wheel, which gives you a bird’s eye view of the festival, letting you catch a glimpse of performances from the top.

Out of the box activities

Lolla and its partners have also organised several ‘out-of-the-box’ activities — Levi’s will set up a pop-up ‘Tailorshop’ where attendees can customise a pair of jeans; ‘Bumble Hive,’ run by Bumble, allows fans to unwind between acts, recharge their phones, and grab some sweet snacks; Budweiser’s Beer Garden gives festival-goes a chance to grab a beer and stroll around between acts.

Lounge to relax

There’s also the Big Top Small Top tent, a lounge area for fans to relax in; the Lollapalooza India inflatable, which will hoist the India flag and make for the perfect Lolla picture; and the Lolla merch store, where attendees can get their fix of collectable Lolla gear.

Focus on inclusivity

Lollapalooza promises a great experience for all–focusing on intersectionality and inclusivity. Driven by BookASmile under the aegis of #LollaForChange, Lollapalooza welcomes people of all genders, sexualities, and physical and mental abilities. Sign language interpreters will be stationed at the main BudZ stage to interpret the headlining artist’s music for hearing-impaired attendees. Handicapped, visually and hearing-impaired attendees will have a specially-equipped team available for help and guidance through the festival’s zones.

Creating a safe space

Alongside partner organisations like 6 Degrees, Lollapalooza is focused on creating a safe space for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. A Quick Response Team is available for on-ground assistance and psychological safety with regard to sexual assault prevention, inclusivity, and mental health. Festival staff and crew have been sensitised on genders, pronouns, consent and other similar topics to ensure that attendees feel welcomed and respected. Gender-neutral restrooms are also available.

Environment first festival

Lollapalooza is also aiming to be an environment-first music festival. With waste segregation, waste management and zero garbage measures in place, as well as reduced single-use plastic and food waste management initiatives in place through community distribution, the festival hopes to adopt an environmentally-friendly festival model. Carbon emissions will also be reduced with the use of electric vehicles within the festival’s periphery. 

Festival goers can also arrive at the venue using public transportation, via the CityFlo Buses that connect several areas of Mumbai to the venue. The #TakeTheTrain campaign also encourages attendees to take the train to Mahalaxmi Railway Station, where acoustic guitarists will give people their first taste of the music to come.

(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )

(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here.  To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper’s PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)



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Katie Price and Peter Andre’s son Junior lands huge new gig after hit single

KATIE Price’s son Junior has landed a huge gig opportunity as he revealed he’ll be performing at Bestival in the summer.

The musician, 17, has followed in his father Peter Andre’s footsteps after he released his first single Slide last year, which became an instant hit with his fans.

Junior Andre announced he'll be performing at Bestival this summer

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Junior Andre announced he’ll be performing at Bestival this summer
The youngster enjoyed music success last year with his first track Slide

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The youngster enjoyed music success last year with his first track SlideCredit: Instagram

Now, the youngster will take to the stage at the music festival held in the south of England. 

Junior announced the news on Instagram with a promo photo and wrote: “I’m gonna be appearing at Bestival this summer. Can’t wait! Who’s coming?”

The Mysterious Girl singer, 49, was chuffed with the news and simply wrote: “Let’s go,” with a string of flame emojis.

While his other fans were thrilled with the annoucement and commented that they’d be there to support him.

Junior stormed to the top of the charts within hours of releasing his debut single in 2022.

His upbeat track shot to the top of the UK iTunes charts.

 Slide sold more than both Harry Styles and Lady Gaga, the other debut song on the charts, The King and I by Eminen, entered the charts at number 14.

He celebrated his success on Instagram by sharing a photo of the charts and thanked his fans.

“Thank you to all those who have supported,” he wrote.

Then he added: “You guys are mad can we get this to the top?”, of the national charts where he sat at number four before getting to the top.

Dad Pete was ecstatic too writing: “What a start. Wow son,” and mum Katie wrote she was “so proud” of her boy.

Before the track was released, he had been teasing his track on TikTok for weeks – where clips of the song have garnered over six million views.

In support of the up-and-coming music artist at his single launch was rapper and comedian Big Narstie, who was among those in the crowd for the performance.

Princess Andre declared herself “so proud” of her older brother Junior as he performed his upcoming single for the first time.

She filmed her sibling in action during the launch party of his debut tune, which will be released on Friday.

Flanked by two backing dancers on a stage, Junior performed in front of an intimate crowd who were clearly fans of the 17-year-old’s debut song as they sang along.

As the song hit the chorus, both backing dancers show off their abilities with impressive flips on stage while Junior serenaded the audience.

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Junior is following in his dad’s footsteps by carving out a career in the music industry.

He inked a mega-deal with Columbia Records and thanked his Mysterious Girl pop star dad for kickstarting his career.

The musician is following in his famous dad's footsteps

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The musician is following in his famous dad’s footstepsCredit: The Mega Agency
Katie Price shares son Junior with pop star Peter Andre

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Katie Price shares son Junior with pop star Peter AndreCredit: The Mega Agency




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Willie Nelson Is Throwing A Party For His 90th Birthday — The All-Star, Two-Day Concert You’re Invited To Attend

Ninetieth birthday celebrations are often quiet affairs. Willie Nelson’s celebration, not so much. His 2-day birthday bash (April 29 and 30) will be at the Hollywood Bowl, and he’s invited “a few” friends.

The event, put on by Blackbird Presents, is called Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90. And you can help him celebrate in person!

Just “A Few Friends” Have Been Invited To Perform

Nelson has invited dozens of music stars to perform. They represent a broad range of music styles. Music icons include Neil Young, Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett, Miranda Lambert, Rosanne Cash, The Chicks, Kacey Musgraves, Norah Jones, Tom Jones, Ziggy Marley, Sturgill Simpson, Beck, Billy Strings, Bobby Weir, Charley Crockett, Edie Brickell, Leon Bridges, Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, Orville Peck, Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, and The Lumineers.

Career Spanning 7 Decades

Nelson, born on April 29, 1933, learned the guitar from his grandfather. At age 10, he started performing at local dances. By 1960, he had his first hit, “Family Bible.”

Since then, Nelson has released nearly 150 albums encompassing styles ranging from honky tonk tunes to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Twenty-five of his songs have reached Billboard’s No. 1 spot. He’s earned 53 Grammy nominations and has won 10.

In addition to his musical accomplishments, Nelson has appeared in more than 40 movies and headlined thousands of sold-out concerts. He’s well-known as a co-founder of Farm Aid, an annual concert to benefit American farmers.

The Outlaw And The Highwayman

In the 1970s, with Waylon Jennings, Nelson spearheaded the outlaw music movement of American country music. Often called progressive country, outlaw music attempted to escape the constraints of Nashville Sound, the dominant style of country music in the 1960s.

Between 1985 and 1995, Nelson was a founder and performer in The Highwaymen, a group of four country music friends who traveled around the country to perform. These buddies, each of them a Grammy winner, were Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson.

Still Going Strong

Seven decades into his career, Nelson is still performing and releasing albums. I Don’t Know a Thing About Love, featuring the songs of Harlan Howard, will be released on March 3. In addition, he’s the subject of a five-part documentary that recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. And, Nelson has been nominated for four Grammys this year.

Nelson continues his music legacy through his sons, Lukas and Micah Nelson. They will both appear with him at the birthday shows.

Buy Tickets

Members of the general public can buy a 2-day package beginning on January 28 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (PST). Eligible Capital One Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cardholders can purchase tickets at the presale beginning Wednesday, January 25 at 10 a.m. PST.

For show details and information on travel packages, go here. Packages include hotel stays for two or four people at a highly-rated hotel close to the Hollywood Bowl, merchandise gifts, and a pair of tickets for both nights.

To learn more about Hollywood, check out these TravelAwaits articles:


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Lollapalooza 2023: All you need to know from artist line-up to tickets

Lollapalooza 2023: All you need to know from artist line-up to tickets

Punjabi singer AP Dhillon and pop band Imagine Dragons are part of the line-up this year. (Photo credit: Instagram)

The Lollapalooza music event take place in Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Race Course on January 28th and 29th, 2023.

News

  • Prateek Kuhad and The Yellow Diaries will be performing during the two-day music festival.
  • This is the first time the Chicago based music festival is being held in India.
  • The tickets are available to purchase online on BookMyShow starting Rs 9,000.

India is set to host music and art lovers for the first time for the eight edition of the celebrated music festival Lollapalooza. The event is set to take place in Mumbai and will feature a line-up of over 40 artists ranging from different genres of music which includes the likes of AP Dhillon, Prateek Kuhad, and Imagine Dragons.

Here is an all you need to know about the upcoming event:

When and where is it taking place?

The Lollapalooza music event will go on as two-day fest at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Race Course on January 28th and 29th, 2023.

The line-up for the event

Apart from Imagine Dragons, the international singer line-up includes American DJ Diplo and other electronic artists including the likes of Kasablanca, Apashe, Zhu, Imanbek, and Madeon, amongst others. Other international artists include Alec Benjamin of the ‘Let Me Down Slowly’ fame and Chelsea Cutler who’s known for tracks like ‘What Everybody Wants’ and ‘Devil On My Shoulder.’ Also on the line-up is the ‘Apocolypse’ fame Cigarettes After Sex.

The Indian artists who will be performing include The Yellow Diary, Prateek Kuhad and AP Dhillon, among others.

Where can you get the tickets?

The tickets are available to purchase online on BookMyShow starting Rs 9,000. The VIP packages are priced at Rs 20,000 per head approx. and a platinum ticket which comes with tabled seating, air-conditioned restrooms, and transport between stages – is priced at Rs 65,000 approx. as per Travel+Leisure.

 




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MidEast first: Ultra Music Festival comes to Abu Dhabi with Calvin Harris, Afrojack

The first-ever Ultra Music Festival in the Middle East, to be held in Abu Dhabi, will feature top performers from Afrojack and Calvin Harris to ILLENIUM and Skrillex.

Organizers of Ultra Abu Dhabi announced the first phase of headliners in a note to the media on Friday.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Other artists slated to join the festival include Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, KSHMR, NGHTMRE, and Sasha and John Digweed.

Fans can expect two stages, the ‘Ultra Main Stage’ and underground techno and house concept ‘RESISTANCE stage.’

Afrojack was supposed to headline at Ultra Abu Dhabi when it was first announced in 2020, but stood canceled following the COVID-19 outbreak and the restrictions that followed.

To be held at Yas Island’s Etihad Park on March 4 and 5, the inaugural edition of the event has tickets on early bird sale from AED 315 for one day.

A Premium General Experience from AED 680 for two days allows holders access to dedicated entrance gates, toilets, F&B offerings and a lounge area, while a VVIP ticket is yet to go on sale.
Since its debut in Miami in 1999, Ultra Music Festival has grown into an internationally-renowned music festival that features top-tier electronic music acts.

It currently operates under the Ultra Worldwide brand in 29 countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, and South Africa.

Read more:

Superstar Elyanna hopes Coachella show will bring Arabic music to global audience

Arab artists urge MENA music festivals to favor local talent after Soundstorm success

David Guetta describes Saudi Arabia’s evolving music scene as ‘witnessing history’


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Jessica Vosk Launches MY GOLDEN AGE Concert Tour

Interview: Jessica Vosk Launches MY GOLDEN AGE Concert Tour

Jessica Vosk is a celebrated singer and actress known for stirring roles on the musical theater and concert stage – and she has just kicked off her “MY GOLDEN AGE” US tour starting in Utah and will be visiting your area shortly! You may recognize Jessica from blockbuster Broadway roles like Elphaba in WICKED, Fruma Sarah in the 2015 revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, or as the Narrator in the 50th anniversary of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Lincoln Center. She also made her Carnegie Hall solo concert debut in November 2021 and then had a return engagement the following year. I had the opportunity to catch up with her before the launch of this new concert tour.

BWW: Hello, Jessica! Where in the county are you today?

Jessica: I just got to Utah. [The tour will be] starting on the West Coast, heading east. But, I’ve never been here before! I always love a new place.

BWW: Fantastic! Well, let’s just jump right in so you can get some rest. [laugh] Tell me, how did you get started performing?

Jessica: I think I had a love of it as a real young kid. I have been told – and there is photographic evidence – of me at 6 months old carrying around a wooden spoon and a pot to play the drums on as I would get wheeled around in a stroller. Bless whoever had to take me outside and listen to my percussion! But, my parents say that I started speaking and singing around 6 months, so I always had this musical nature within me. My parents both had such a love of music as listeners, and my dad was in a band when I was a little kid, so I sort of had it around me.

BWW: You inherited it!

Jessica: I think I did! I think I did. My dad had a record player and his old microphone because he left the band and got a “real” job. I kind of just ran around the house pretending I was a singer all the time. I think I was bit pretty early on by “the bug.”

BWW: You and your dad were performers, then. Do you have other family members who perform as well?

Jessica: I do. My brother’s name is Daniel Vosk. He went to Berklee College of Music in Boston and he’s a phenomenal guitar player! He and I have written a couple of songs together that we’ve never published, but I’m starting to think we should put some music out at this point. He’s super talented.

BWW: So, you grew up singing and performing. What kind of performing did you do when you were younger?

Jessica: Well, I want to say there were one or two community theaters in the town in New Jersey where I grew up. I did the whole community theater thing and cool productions like PETER PAN and REALLY ROSIE. All those things that made me feel like I was a professional performer at age 7. Like you do. There’s a camaraderie in it. You learn so much about what it’s like to just communicate with people and tell a story. And you’re around so many different types of people, so you become a very well-rounded kid. I look back on it and think how lucky I was to get to do it.

BWW: Did you continue performing through Junior High and High School?

Jessica: I did! I performed in all of the high school musicals and, my senior year, I played Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. The time of my life! I [also] did choir in school all the way up until I graduated. It was just the best. There is something about music that I still try to impart upon people: it doesn’t matter where you are, how old you are, who you are, where you’re from, we all know the same songs and when we hear them, it just brings people together. It’s incredibly special.

BWW: Then, you went off to college – and decide to not pursue theater in school?

Jessica: I know…what a loose cannon! I thought, after high school, that I wanted to go to college for musical theater and I subsequently went to the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. They have a great BFA program. But, it just sort of didn’t gel with what I was looking to do. Of course, I was 18-19…what did I know?! I just knew that I wanted to be doing it for real, and I just wasn’t getting the chance to do it for real. I don’t know if I didn’t love being in classroom settings. It just didn’t jive with me, and so I told my parents that I didn’t want to go there anymore, and I’d much prefer to just come back and audition on my own. They said, “Well…you DO have to finish school.” I’m saying that to you much nicer than it was said to me. [laughs] It was more like, “If you don’t finish school, young lady, you will DIE.” [laughs] So, naturally, I thought about it. They said, “Why don’t you just choose something different?” So, I did: I went into Communications and Investor Relations and wound up getting a job in Manhattan at a corporate cubicle learning a dictionary of investment terms. I thought it would make my parents happy and proud.

BWW: Did it work?

Jessica: It did! They were thrilled that I had health insurance and a pay check coming in biweekly. They knew that I was good at my job. So, when I told them that I wanted to leave, I wouldn’t say they were as thrilled about it. Truth be told, they were like, “What?!” They were surprised – and I think they were really nervous. I was leaving a job in finance when the market was crashing in ’08, when all of the bank loans were going bad and the big banks were shutting down. People were doing layoffs. It was a pretty scary time for job security – and knowing that I could have kept my job and I decided to still walk away was a big red flag. Now they’re okay! But it took a little time.

BWW: What inspired you to make that jump? It’s a bold move!

Jessica: I will say it was a massive pivot in my life. It’s a huge deal when you’re a girl in your 20s, getting people to see you as a serious person in that field. And I was doing the thing and it was going really well. And I kept getting promoted – which was incredible within the corporate world, being a woman just getting out of college and rising up the corporate ladder of success. And the more I would get promoted, the more anxious and stressed and panic-filled I would get. I didn’t understand what anxiety attacks or panic attacks were. They were completely foreign to me – but I certainly was having them. And I think that was a pretty big catalyst at the time. That, paired with the fact that I had just gone completely silent with anything art-related in my life. I refused to see any shows. I refused to go to any concerts. I refused to sing. I refused to do anything because I think I was secretly pretty pissed that I wasn’t doing it! All of that led to me crossing my fingers and watching the market crash and going into the HR office and saying, “Um, if anybody needs to lay anybody off, I volunteer as tribute!” She’s a risk taker. I still am a risk taker in every way, shape and form. I live my life that way. I’m a firm believer that there’s nothing stopping you from doing whatever it is that you want to do. It’s possible!

BWW: And you’ve shown that with what you’ve done since then. You’ve now performed in several Broadways shows and been at Carnegie Hall! Since coming back to the theater world, what have been those shining moments where you look back in awe and say, “I did that!”?

Interview: Jessica Vosk Launches MY GOLDEN AGE Concert Tour
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Jessica: You know, in times like this after a pandemic, it’s a very weird place to be because you feel like you haven’t accomplished that much because it’s been three years of weirdness. But, then I look back and think, well, I played Carnegie Hall twice in the past year. [Before that,] I got to lead a company by playing Elphaba in WICKED for two years. One of those years was WICKED’s 15th anniversary on Broadway! It’s been a really incredible ride. I made my Broadway debut when I was 30…by all standards in the theater world, that’s geriatric! [I’ve seen] what it’s like to be a kid in your 20s and you graduate, coming from a great program, and you land yourself a role on Broadway. It’s the most exciting thing. It’s a very different feeling when you’re coming from an entirely different career to make that leap. But, somehow I did it! It took – and still takes! – a lot of hustle and a lot of luck and right place/right time. But, as much luck as it takes, you still have to be prepared to walk through the door. So, I am really proud of those moments, like when I got the call that I was going to play Elphaba. Or, when I got the call that I was going to make my Broadway debut. These are the things that you say to yourself, “Wow. I worked so hard for this.” People don’t often see the behind-the-scenes of it all.

BWW: I love that. So, now you are now launching a national concert tour. Tell me about the concert! What is the inspiration behind this new venture?

Jessica: In putting together my first Carnegie Hall show, my solo debut at that venue, I really wanted it to be something special that showed a lot of why I am here and the things that inspire me. We often talk about the “Golden Age” of music, which is pretty specific in its parameters. But, I wanted to talk about what MY ever-changing Golden Age of music was and is. I grew up with artists like Linda Ronstadt or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young or Joni Mitchell alongside Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber and massive Broadway composers who you would consider quite traditional: Rodgers & Hart or Rodgers & Hammerstein, you name it. And I still consider both of those genres my Golden Age of music. It’s a very inspirational thing when you’re trying to put a show together to look back at the mentors that you had in your life musically. So, I wanted to embark on this tour with a bit of a twist on that show of my Golden Age and add new material. I am not a traditional Broadway performer: I was classically trained to sing as a kid; however, I love to sing Pop and Rock. I love to sing Broadway as much as I do a Taylor Swift or Madonna song. All of that is covered on this tour.

BWW: It sounds like it will be quite the journey! What else can the audience expect?

Jessica: When it comes to concerting, something I think people are very surprised by is how much storytelling [there is] and how much my show can feel like a comedy show – which is always my goal. I am a very unscripted type person. I’m a very firm believer that the audience is the missing piece of any great concert or show: [they] hold just as much significance as those who are on stage. I like to do as much as I can to make sure my shows are interactive and to let people feel like they can sing along or be themselves in the room or, if I ask a question, someone can answer it.

BWW: And you’re kicking it off tomorrow! Congratulations! As you look forward to that show, what are you most excited about or what intimidates you?

Jessica: I’m a Jersey girl. I’m pretty sassy. I’m pretty fun, but I’m loud and I tell jokes. You’re hoping that people like you. You hope you do okay. I do love to bring people along for the ride – it’s always scary to hope these people are along for the ride, as well, and that they like what I am bringing to the table. Because it’s a mix of a bunch of different tunes. I like to give Gen Z a bit of a Millennial/Baby Boomer experience when they go, “What song was that? I’ve never heard that before?” and you’re like, “Yeah… her name’s Dolly Parton.” And at the same time, we can do the same for the Boomers and the Millennials going, “Oh! That’s the new Taylor Swift album. Or that’s a mashup of Bonnie Raitt and Jason Robert Brown.” The exciting thing for me is people not knowing what to expect and leaving with a couple of new thoughts in their head, or feeling like they could forget whatever was going on in their life for that 90 minutes of their day and have somebody bring them something special.

BWW: Well, I am really excited to see it when you arrive here in upstate NY. One last question before we go: if you could give any aspiring musicians some advice, what would that be?

Jessica: I have to remind myself of this all the time: you are exactly where you are supposed to be. There is no one path that is the “be all, end all” path to get you where you want to go. I have people ask me a lot, “How did you get to where you are and how can I do that?” My path is the most untraditional there is. But, if I hadn’t taken it, I wouldn’t have gotten here – that much I know. Have patience with yourself because it’s so hard to do. And, even though it can feel like the end of the world if something doesn’t completely go your way, it’s just because it wasn’t the right thing.

For tickets and additional information on Jessica’s MY GOLDEN AGE concert at a venue near you, see below:

January 27, 2023
Livermore, CA- Bankhead Theatre
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January 29, 2023
Scottsdale, AZ- Virginia G. Piper Theater
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February 5, 2023
Boston, MA- Symphony Hall
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February 11, 2023

Newport News, VA- Ferguson Center for the Arts

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February 14, 2023
Washington, DC- Washington Performing Arts
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February 16, 2023

Portland, ME- Merrill Auditorium

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February 18, 2023
Saratoga Springs, NY- UPH Great Hall
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February 28, 2023
The Villages, FL- Sharon Performing Arts Center
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March 2, 2023
Gainesville, FL- Upstage at the Phillips Center
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March 3-4, 2023
West Palm Beach, FL- Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Playhouse
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March 9, 2023
Columbus, IN- The Commons
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March 10-11, 2023
Indianapolis, IN- The Cabaret
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March 22, 2023
Athens, OH- Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium
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March 24, 2023
Broken Arrow, OK- Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center
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March 25-26, 2023

Joplin, MO- Beshore Performance Hall

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