First live symphony concert since the lifting of masking requirements
Muskegon, Michigan, June 7, 2021— “I’m always looking forward,” says Alexander Zonjic. “I’m always optimistic.” In that spirit, when he regretfully had to cancel his Shoreline Jazz Festival due to the ongoing pandemic, the ebullient jazz flutist immediately contacted West Michigan Symphony, resulting in a full-on symphony pops show. Just in the nick of time came the recent lifting of restrictions on masking for those vaccinated, along with partial relaxing of indoor gathering limits. As a result, this performance will be the first symphony pops concert with a live indoor audience (subscribers only) in 16 months.
Selections will include Chick Corea’s “Spain,” Chuck Mangione’s “Bellavia,” Zonjic’s new hit single “City Sway,” and other signature Zonjic tracks and classic jazz. Sponsored by Nichols, the concert will take place at 7:30pm Friday, June 25 in the Frauenthal Center. It will also be filmed for subsequent airing in the WMS Video Concert Hall one week later, on Friday, July 2.
Growing up in Windsor and excited by the music of the British invasion, Alexander Zonjic began his musical life playing lead guitar in an R&B band. The story goes that at age 21, when Zonjic was home on hiatus from a rock tour, a stranger on the street offered him a flute for $50. Zonjic got it for nine. This led to lessons with Detroit Symphony’s principal flutist Ervin Monroe. While playing at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Zonjic met legendary jazz pianist Bob James, who recruited the young flutist into his band. This ushered a decade’s worth of international touring in the ‘80s and a musical collaboration and friendship that endures to this day.
Zonjic has not been idle during the pandemic, returning to his R&B roots with the 2020 release of Playing It Forward—a high-spirited valentine to his beloved adopted hometown of Detroit—on his own Hi-Falutin Music label. Its infectious lead single, “Motor City Sway,” quickly hit the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart and was one of the most added singles on the Billboard BDS chart two weeks in a row.
In response to the recent changes in Michigan’s state health guidelines, the Frauenthal Center has updated its policy to allow those fully vaccinated to attend events without a mask. Those not vaccinated—or still within the two-week timeframe for maximum immunization—are required to wear a mask over nose and mouth at all times while visiting the Frauenthal Center. Due to the still-in-place 50% capacity limit, live attendance to the Alexander Zonjic/West Michigan Symphony concert is limited to subscribers.
Tickets range from $10 for students, $30 for single adults, and $50 for households. To apply a 50% discount, enter the code ZONJIC. The discount is available for advance orders received by Wednesday, June 30. The concert video premieres at 7:30pm Friday, July 2. A private link will be emailed early in the week of the premiere. The concert is available for viewing using the same link for 10 days thereafter. Subscribers who have opted in to the Virtual Concert Series will automatically receive the email link, whether or not they have elected to attend the live performance the week before. Single Virtual Concert tickets can be purchased via the WMS website at westmichigansymphony.org or by calling 231/726-3231.