The Sporting Life: Symphonic Celebration of Prince Edition

4U as performed in Charlotte on Sept 12, 2018. (photo by Benjamin Robson)

Experience the music of legendary artist Prince with a full symphony orchestra when 4U – A Symphonic Celebration of Prince comes to Music City for a one-of-a-kind concert experience at Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 26-27.

Live Nation Urban and TCG Entertainment have created and are touring the first and only official estate-approved symphonic Prince celebration, 4U – A Symphonic Celebration of Prince. 4U presents the music of Prince like never before, with a full symphony orchestra and live band, including amazing musicians and vocalists who will perform together. Prince’s extensive musical catalog will be represented, including his greatest hits as well as some of his lesser-known gems in this musical celebration.

Questlove, an avid Prince fan, has helped curate the music and arrangements that will be played by the symphony. In curating the set list and arrangements of 4U – A Symphonic Celebration of Prince, acclaimed drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson enlisted the talents of Grammy® Award winner Brent Fischer — a member of Prince’s original arrangement team who’s worked with Usher, Michael Jackson, D’Angelo, Elvis Costello and The Roots — to arrange into an orchestral setting music selections including “For You” Intro, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “I Wonder U” medley, “It Ain’t Over ’Til the Fat Lady Sings,” “Venus de Milo/Alexa de Paris” medley, and an “All My Dreams” / “1999” medley.

“In that respect, it feels completely apropos for the production to welcome Fischer’s orchestral arranging talents and production experience,” Questlove said. Additionally, Questlove called on the vast musical talents of Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, the world-renowned multi-instrumentalist, session musician, composer, producer, conductor and DJ whose credits range from Ray Charles to Dr. Dre, for instrumentation. Notably, Fischer and his late father, Dr. Clare Fischer, collaborated directly with Prince throughout three decades. Among countless classic recordings, their distinct sonic fingerprint can be felt on “Sign O’ The Times,” “Graffiti Bridge,” and “Parade,” as well as on the big-screen in “Under The Cherry Moon” and “Batman.” Cited as one of the Grammy’s “seminal moments” by producer Ken Ehrlich, the father-and-son duo co-wrote the arrangement that powered the famous 2004 “Prince Medley” with the younger Fischer joining Beyoncé and Prince as a percussionist during the ceremony.

“Questlove is one of the most innovative artists of today. Between his encyclopedic knowledge of Prince and my history with Prince, we see eye-to-eye on so many creative levels and have a deep respect for preserving Prince’s amazing output,” Fischer said of his involvement with this production in which a 27-piece orchestra comprised of world-class talent will breathe new life into timeless smash hits as well as deep cuts from Prince’s formidable catalog.

On Sept. 14, the Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, released “Piano & A Microphone 1983.” The nine-track, 35-minute album features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano captured in 1983. The album is available now on CD, LP, Deluxe CD+LP, digital release and streaming. Sony Music Entertainment and the Prince Estate recently inked an exclusive distribution agreement covering 35 essential previously released album titles from the Prince catalog from 1978-2015.

4U – A Symphonic Celebration of Prince makes its only stop in Tennessee at TPAC’s Jackson Hall on Sept. 26-27. Performing in major markets across North America this fall, 4U is the first and only official symphonic presentation of Prince’s music approved by the Prince Estate. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. each night in TPAC’s Jackson Hall, 505 Deaderick St. Tickets are on sale now at TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040, and at the TPAC Box Office in downtown Nashville.