Thursday’s appearance at Kleinhans Music Hall of the band America, rescheduled from an earlier date, wraps up the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s BPO Rocks! series. For now.
The 2014-15 season, though still a glimmer on the horizon, reminds fans of this freewheeling chain of concerts that the fun is just beginning.
The biggest surprise next year is the BPO debut of Randy Newman. Best known for his offbeat hit “Short People,” Newman has also written much-praised film music, most notably the bittersweet score to the movie “Ragtime.”
BPO Executive Director Dan Hart said that Newman entered the BPO’s orbit because of other acts visiting Kleinhans. “He was working with the same agent as Natalie Merchant and the Indigo Girls,” he said. “He’s been on our radar. The Randy Newman canon of music is all over the place. It’ll be fun.”
The rest of the season is a mix of novelties and encore performances.
The BPO will welcome Blood Sweat and Tears, fronted by singer and former “American Idol” contestant Bo Bice, in February 2015. And back by loud and popular demand are a couple of high-wattage acts. One is the Michael Jackson tribute led by James Delisco, a show that was a big hit in 2011. Another is an evening devoted to the music of Led Zeppelin. Conductor Brent Havens has brought this tribute to Kleinhans several times, always to great acclaim.
“That’s the gold standard of the rock series,” Hart said.
Here is the lineup as it stands for the next season of “BPO Rocks!”
• Oct. 25: The appropriately named Hit Men were behind hits by acts including Elton John, Carly Simon, Carole King and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
• Nov. 7: The Music of Led Zeppelin, featuring conductor and arranger Brent Havens and vocalist Randy Jackson, returns to Kleinhans Music Hall.
• Nov. 22: Jay White joins the BPO for the first time for a tribute to Neil Diamond. White has reportedly polished his Diamond act to a fine sheen, performing it at the Seneca Niagara Casino in 2012. He looks like Diamond and he sounds like him.
• Jan. 30, 2015: Randy Newman joins the BPO for a journey through his music.
• Feb. 28, 2015: Blood Sweat and Tears will take the audience through its hits, including “And When I Die” and “You Make Me So Very Happy.”
• May 1, 2015: Brent Havens returns with the Music of Michael Jackson. Singer James Delisco, a seasoned Vegas performer who portrayed the Gloved One at Kleinhans in 2011, steps once more into Jackson’s moonwalking shoes. There will be state-of-the-art lighting and a six-piece band.
All concerts begin at 8 p.m. For details on BPO concerts, call 885-5000.
Meanwhile, the band America, winding up this year’s series, plays Kleinhans at 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $42-$75. For information on BPO events, call 885-5000.