San Diego Symphony Announces Summer Pops 2016 Lineup Including Diana Ross, Seth MacFarlane, Indiana Jones & More

May 1, 2016

The San Diego Symphony has announced its lineup of artists for its 2016 summer events including Diana Ross, Seth MacFarlane, Amy Grant and so much more. Rebranding the Summer Pops series and calling it “Bayside Summer Nights,” San Diego Symphony’s popular and successful summer series has something for everyone including the traditional weekend concerts, a new Thursday Night Jazz Series, a new Sunday subscription series, salutes to Broadway, Hollywood and Dreamworks Animation along with Mariachi, movies and more.

Beginning with the patriotic Star Spangled Pops on July 1, 2 and 3, and concluding with the 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular on September 2, 3 and 4 , the 2016 season includes a total of 25 concerts all taking place on the edge of San Diego Bay at picturesque Embarcadero Marina Park South, located behind the San Diego Convention Center. The breathtaking views including those of the Coronado Bay Bridge and the downtown skyline create a unique setting for these summertime concerts. One of the favorite traditions of audiences is either bringing in picnics to enjoy from the lawn seating or taking advantage of the convenient table-side food service offered in the Champagne seating section with a menu that features entrees, salads, microbrews and an extensive wine list.

“This summer has the best of past summer seasons as well as new artistic initiatives,” states San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer. “We’ve stretched our horizons to bring you a wide range of music from jazz to country, more films and of course, at the very center of is all, our own San Diego Symphony Orchestra. On Sunday, July 31, we will be presenting a free day of music featuring our region’s very best musicians and culminating in a free performance by the San Diego Symphony. It’s a summer that will thrill and excite our audiences and our city.”

On the heels of San Diego Symphony’s Jazz @ The Jacobs, the summer now includes Thursday Night Jazz. This three-concert series begins on July 14 with The Mambo King: A Tito Puente Salute that will include mambo to bossa nova to cha-cha-chá. Then on August 18, the symphony welcomes The Future of Jazz featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant. A week later on August 25 will feature an exciting lineup of today’s hottest jazz guitarists - Peter Sprague, Russell Malone and Anthony Wilson - who will come together for Jazz Guitar Masters.

"As curator of the indoor Jazz @ The Jacobs, I am thrilled that our summer concertgoers will now have the chance to enjoy jazz as part of our summer series,” states series curator Gilbert Castellanos. “We have incredible world-class musicians lined up for the summer, many of whom I am proud to call my friends. What could be better than listening to these amazing jazz artists outdoors on San Diego Bay. Please join us and keep jazz alive!”

With the Fourth of July falling on a Monday this year, the public is invited to a front-row seat at an all-American birthday party complete with the most spectacular fireworks display over San Diego Bay. But it’s not only a Fourth of July celebration, it’s a salute to the Man in Black himself - Johnny Cash. With more than 150 Johnny Cash hits in their repertoire, Cash’d Out will perform Walk The Line, Ring of Fire, and Jackson along with a string of favorites. It will be memorable holiday filled with music, song and San Diego Bay’s booming fireworks display to light up the night.

Named Billboard Magazine’s “Entertainer of the Century” and called the most successful female artist in history by the Guinness Book of World Records, Diana Ross is a shining pop diva for all time. As lead singer of the Supremes and as a solo artist, Ross has earned 18 number-one singles (12 as lead singer of The Supremes and six as a solo artist). Diana Ross will appear on July 17 accompanied by her own band.

Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, is also a quite the vocalist. On August 12 and 13, MacFarlane performs the music from The Great American Songbook. Cool, classy and sophisticated, this weekend will be filled with lush orchestrations and memories of those who have influenced this multi-talented performer - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Vic Damone and Bobby Darin.

The summer series is known for its variety of musical offerings - from popular tunes to light classical to movie entertainment fun for the whole family. This year, the San Diego Symphony has packaged an eclectic array of musical evenings into a five-concert subscription package. In addition to the Star Spangled Pops (July 3) and the 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular (September 4), the Sunday series offers A Midsummer Night’s Concert (August 7) full of romantic evening of music inspired William Shakespeare from Prokofiev to Mendelssohn. Heading south of the border, it’s Viva Mariachi! (August 21) featuring Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán with San Diego’s own Mariachi Champaña Nevin performing Pasión Mexicana Concerto for Mariachi and Orchestra. On the final Sunday of the month (August 28), the Summer Pops presents Dreamworks Animation In Concert. From Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda, this special evening celebrates the studio’s 20th anniversary in an evening of visually stunning film highlights shown on the giant screen with their memorable scores performed live by the San Diego Symphony.

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops also presents Making Music by the Bay on July 31, from 4-10pm - a free day for the community with the sights and sounds of San Diego’s neighborhoods. It’s a celebration of the musical melting pot that represents our unique city - its rhythm, heart and soul. Join family, friends and neighbors for an afternoon of music and fun activities. Then top off the evening and enjoy a free performance by the San Diego Symphony.

All San Diego Symphony Bayside Summer Nights concerts begin at 7:30pm unless otherwise noted below with gates opening at 6pm. Fireworks happen at the conclusion of all Friday and Saturday night concerts, and also on Sunday nights at the Star Spangled Pops and 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular.

For more information and to purchase subscriptions or single event tickets, visit and check out the full schedule below.

San Diego Symphony 2016 Summer Season – Bayside Summer Nights (Tickets - $20-$85)

Star Spangled Pops - Fri 7/1 & Sat 7/2 @ 7:30pm $20-$85 - There is no better 4th of July event than celebrating America's birthday with the San Diego Symphony! This all-American program features hits from movies, Broadway tunes and popular music, along with a military salute and a grand fireworks finale. Matthew Garbutt conducts. Pre-concert activities for kids begin at 6pm.

Celebrate America on America's Birthday! - Mon 7/4 @ 7:30pm - There was only one Man in Black! Celebrate his American legacy on July 4th with our country's finest Johnny Cash tribute band, Cash'd Out. With over 150 JC hits in their repertoire (including 'Walk the Line, 'Ring of Fire', 'Jackson' and more), the night will be ablaze with memories and the spectacular Big Bay Boom fireworks display, all to celebrate America's birthday.

The Mambo King - A Tito Puente Salute - Thurs 7/14 @ 7:30pm - The brand new Thursday Night Jazz series kicks off with a tribute to the late, great Tito Puente. From mambo to bossa nova to cha-cha-cha, our special guests will immerse you in a soundscape of Afro-Cuban beats, Latin jazz riffs and Tito's favorite, the timbales.

Classical Mystery Tour - A Tribute to The Beatles - Fri 7/15 & Sat 7/16 @ 7:30pm - Remember where you were when you first heard 'Sgt. Pepper'? Relive those moments with the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Liverpool boys' final tour as a group. From 'Sgt. Pepper' to 'Rubber Soul', from 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' to 'Here Comes the Sun', this magical evening makes everyone feel young again

Diana Ross - Sun 7/17 @ 7:30pm - Named Billboard magazine's Entertainer of the Century and called the most successful female music artist in history by the Guiness Book of World Records, Diana Ross is a shining pop diva for all time. Don't miss this ultra-rare chance to hear the Divine Ms. Ross perform at the beautiful Embarcadero!

Chris Botti - Thurs 7/28 @ 7:30pm - Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti is today's best-selling jazz instrumentalist and one of the most important, innovative figures of the contemporary music world. His cool but passionate melodies and international influences will weave a memorable evening of song under the stars.

Trace Adkins - Fri 7/29 @ 7:30pm - From multi-platinum-selling albums to his work with Wounded Warriors, from Grand Ole Opry membership to seven tours with the USO, Trace Adkins is one of today's most exciting country music stars. Come hear his Number One hits '(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing', 'Ladies Love Country Boys' and 'You're Gonna Miss This' at an evening sure to be a rowdy good time!

Hooray for Hollywood! - Sat 7/30 @ 8pm - Back by popular demand, this tribute to Hollywood and the music that makes it special returns for one night only with a brand new program. Brilliantly edited film clips on the big screen will complement some of the most famous songs and themes written for the movies, performed with panache by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

Sing Along with Broadway! - Fri 8/5 & Sat 8/6 @ 7:30pm - Get ready to sing your heart out as Broadway veterans Doug LaBrecque, Debbie Gravitte and Christiane Noll join the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for a joyful evening performing the greatest hits of all time, both classic and contemporary, from the Great White Way. The first half will feature music from the musical Guys and Dolls.

A Midsummer Night's Concert - Sun 8/7 @ 7:30pm - Sit back and enjoy a romantic evening of music inspired by the Bard himself, William Shakespeare. As a special treat, actors will present short, delightful excerpts from sonnets and plays by this undisputed genius of the English language. Music by Prokofiev and Mendelssohn will be featured.

Seth MacFarlane and The Great American Songbook - Fri 8/12 & Sat 8/13 @ 7:30pm - The creator of Family Guy and Ted has a delightfully smooth vocal talent matched only by his sophisticated interpretations of hits from the Great American Songbook. Enjoy an evening filled with the sound of lush swing orchestras from the 40's and 50's with MacFarlane singing some of the hidden gems of that era.

The Future of Jazz featuring Cecile McLorin Salvant - Thurs 8/18 @ 7:30pm -As the youthful surprise winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, Cecile McLorin Salvant's performance inspired accolades from Wynton Marsalis and The New York Times, comparing her to Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. San Diego's own International Academy of Jazz opens the concert.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Fri 8/19 @ 8pm - Steven Spielberg and George Lucas teamed up to create one of the greatest action-adventure films of all time, starring the incomparable Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Now see it on the big screen as never before, with John Williams' propulsive score performed live by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Pre-concert activities for kids begin at 6pm.

Amy Grant - Sat 8/20 @ 7:30pm - One of the most influential and successful singer-songwriters of the 80's and 90's and multi-Grammy Award-winning artist, Amy Grant, returns to the Embarcadero! Come hear her Number One hit 'Baby, Baby' along with other popular hits including 'Angels', 'My Father's Eyes' and 'Never Alone'. The San Diego Symphony Orchestra does not perform this concert.

Viva Mariachi! - Sun 8/21 @ 7:30pm -Revered as guardians of the mariachi legacy, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan presents festive repertoire of rhythms, dance, and vocals for an exciting evening of pageantry and musical virtuosity. The concert will open with San Diego's own Mariachi Champania Nevin, who will perform the Pasion Mexicana Concerto for Mariachi and Orchestra!

Jazz Guitar Masters - Thurs 8/25 @ 7:30pm - A stellar lineup of today's hottest jazz guitarists (Peter Sprague, Russell Malone, Anthony Wilson) come together for one night's worth of hot jams by the cool bayside.

Bernadette Peters - Fri 8/26 & Sat 8/27 @ 7:30pm - Today's first lady of Broadway comes to the Bayside for an unforgettable weekend performing her incomparable Broadway Songbook. Bernadette Peters is renowned for her interpretations of the music of Stephen Sondheim as well as winning multiple Tony Awards, and performing in television and film- most recently the Golden Globe-winning HBO series Mozart in the Jungle.

DreamWorks Animation in Concert - Sun 8/28 @ 8pm - From Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon to Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks Animation's great stories and beloved characters inspire and delight audiences of all ages. We celebrate the studio's 20th anniversary in an evening of visually stunning film highlights on our giant screen, with their memorable scores performed live. Pre-concert activities for kids begin at 6pm.

1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular - Fri 9/2 & Sat 9/3 @ 7:30pm - Our glorious summer winds down but not before the cannons and fireworks light up San Diego Bay to Tchaikovsky's awesome '1812 Overture'. Join us as we celebrate summer's end in spectacular style!