Annual Rob Mathes Holiday Concert is Back Live and In-Person at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College
Two Shows December 16 & 17
The annual Rob Mathes Holiday Concert is back live and in-person this year at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. Two shows will be presented on Friday, December 16, and Saturday, December 17, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available through artscenter.org or first and second row seats can be purchased through the concert’s nonprofit beneficiary Food Rescue US - Fairfield County. Rob Mathes is an Emmy award-winning, Grammy, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominated musician and Greenwich, Connecticut, resident. He is usually the man behind the music, producing albums, arranging and orchestrating, and is a sought-after music director. His annual holiday concert, a holiday tradition in the New York City/Connecticut area for 29 years, is his time to take center stage to the delight of his many fans.
“After two years of COVID, so many are grateful for the return of LIVE music,” said Rob Mathes. “We are desperate for it. I know I am! To be back performing live at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase is a gift. I cannot wait for this year’s concerts! We filmed the Holiday Concert the last two years at a church in Old Greenwich and that was great, but a live audience is EVERYTHING!! The live concert dynamic is so powerful and the audience are half of it. My whole band and choir will be back and we will be rockin’ the house, ringing in the Holiday like nobody’s business!!”
The Rob Mathes Holiday Concert puts a new, intensely musical spin on a holiday concert. Featuring some of NY’s finest musicians, it is an eclectic evening of high-energy pop, jazz, and rhythm and blues, with original holiday songs and many newly arranged classics. They all have a unique Rob Mathes touch on them. Rob’s Dad is a Dylan fan, his Uncle a big band trombonist and his Mother and Aunt play Mozart and Chopin all day. Rob brings together influences from Duke Ellington to Joni Mitchell, from Jeff Beck to Vaughan Williams, and the evening is always quite a musical journey. Joining Rob on stage is his all-star band with a six-piece horn section featuring Jeff Kievit on Trumpet, Will Lee from the Late Show with David Letterman and The Fab Faux on bass, Billy Masters on guitar, Gunnar Olsen on percussion, Rick Knutsen on keyboards, and James "D Train" Williams and Vaneese Thomas, two local legends who sing RnB and Gospel and who have stolen the show for the better part of two decades. Also performing with Rob is a 40 voice choir.
Rob Mathes has had a busy year working on some big projects, one of the most recent being his debut conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra for the opening of the new David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Joining Rob on stage for the opening gala night’s performance called The Journey, were Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton, Sara Bareilles, Brandon Victor Dixon, Renée Fleming, Brian Stokes Mitchel, Joaquina Kalukango, Bernadette Peters, Vanessa Williams and the Juilliard School Preparatory Division Chorus. In 2022, Rob also recently worked with Bruce Springsteen, arranging strings and horns on his newest album Only the Strong Survive, which featured a collection of fifteen soul music classics; he also orchestrated Panic at the Disco’s new record Viva Las Vengeance and worked with Sting and Shaggy on their new album titled Com Fly Wid Mi, a compilation of the Frank Sinatra songbook sung in reggae style.
Rob Mathes' credits are many and also include conducting the orchestrations for new artist Scarypoolparty's debut album The Act of Forgiveness on Hollywood Records, arranging and conducting the orchestra for Weezer's new album OK Human, conducting a live performance of Weezer's record with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, orchestrating the songs for the film of Lin Manuel Miranda's In The Heights, and also orchestrating Lin's directorial debut Tick, Tick, Boom, written by Jonathan Larson, composer of Rent. Rob worked closely with Hamilton's music producer Alex Lacamoire on both projects, and worked on “Spaces”, a new album by artist Pete Muller. In September 2020, Rob musically directed the first in-person show since the start of the pandemic performed at the Kennedy Center, featuring soprano Renée Fleming and singer Vanessa Williams. He won an Emmy for his long-time musical direction of the Kennedy Center Honors and was nominated for a Tony for his work on Sting’s The Last Ship.
Over the years, Rob has written orchestrations for a number of artists all over the stylistic spectrum, from Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, and Mavis Staples to Jay Z, Lenny Kravitz, Mary J. Blige, and Beck, from Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Harry Connick Jr., and Fall Out Boy, to work with classical artists such as Renée Fleming, Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voigt, and Yo-Yo Ma. His arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner for the 2013 Super Bowl for Renée Fleming and the New Jersey Symphony was published by Hal Leonard and his arrangement of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven for the band Heart (Ann and Nancy Wilson), performed at the Kennedy Center Honors, led to him being asked by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page to testify at the trial over the song’s publishing rights, which they won.
This year's concert benefits the nonprofit Food Rescue US - Fairfield County, which uses its proprietary online and app technology as a platform for volunteer food rescuers to directly transfer excess food from local businesses and restaurants to social service agencies that feed the food insecure. Food Rescue US - Fairfield County has provided 30+ million meals to individuals who are food insecure in our community while keeping 41+ million pounds of excess food out of landfills.
“I really can’t wait to be back on stage at The Performing Arts Center,” noted Rob Mathes. “It is my ‘home away from home.’ For myself and my incredibly loyal fans, all of whom are family at this point, the Holiday Concert helps kick-off the holiday season. Many have said to me, ‘it isn’t the holidays without your concert,’ That means so much to me and I don’t take it lightly. We’ll be bringing our all to the PepsiCo Theater at The Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday nights.”
To purchase tickets for the Rob Mathes Holiday Concert, visit artscenter.org. To purchase premium front row seats that come with a VIP meet-and-greet with the band after the show, visit Food Rescue US - Fairfield County. To learn more about Rob Mathes, visit robmathes.com, Facebook, and Twitter @RobMathesMusic and Instagram @robmathes.music and youtube.com/user/RobMathesMusic.
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College (The PAC), is a four theatre complex located on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY, and is the major professional, nonprofit arts presenter in the southeastern New York and southwestern Connecticut region. For more than 40 years, The PAC has been the hub of a creative community that brings together internally acclaimed artists and rising stars, creative practitioners, civic and academic leaders, community activists, and an inspirational array of loyal volunteers and friends who recognize the power of investing in the performing arts to spark creativity and connection.
To learn more about The PAC, visit artscenter.org or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @purchasepac.