Here’s a few great moments from the PBS SoCal event celebrating the holiday season

with Kristin Chenoweth and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus

with Peter Cetera

with Babyface

with Brenna Whitaker

Here’s a few great moments from the PBS SoCal event celebrating the holiday season with a few special guests … #Christmas #HolidayMusic #SoCal

David Foster.

“Onstage Backstage: A PBS SoCal Holiday Celebration with David Foster and Friends,” Peter Cetera and Babyface Edmonds among stars at PBS fundraiser

Host David Foster and singer-actress Kristin Chenoweth perform onstage at “A PBS SoCal Holiday Celebration.”



The event: “Onstage Backstage: A PBS SoCal Holiday Celebration with David Foster and Friends,” took place Thursday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, a dinner and show heralded as the public television station’s first major fundraiser in Los Angeles. PBS SoCal is now the primary PBS station for the greater Los Angeles area since 2011, when KOCE-TV took over the role under this new name.

The show: The 16-time Grammy-winning Foster — known as “Hit Man” from the PBS “Great Performances” series — welcomed an abundance of talents to the stage, among them Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; Peter Cetera of the rock band Chicago; Peter Asher, formerly of the duo Peter and Gordon; master violinist Maga Zoltan; singer Brenna Whitaker; Telly the Television Monster from “Sesame Street”; and Kristin Chenoweth, who came to fame as Glinda in Broadway’s “Wicked.”

Before her first song, Chenoweth recalled her first live appearance as a rabbit in “The Nutcracker” — she had been deemed “too little to play a mouse.” She ended her segment by performing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which, she pointed out, was first sung by another 4’11” singer, Judy Garland.

In addition to the musical entertainment, composer Alan Menken — known for his Academy Award-winning scores to Disney musicals — introduced an excerpt from the upcoming PBS special, “American Experience: Walt Disney.” And PBS Chief Executive Paula Kerger introduced an eight-minute preview of Season 5 of “Downton Abbey” — “a little drama series that maybe a few of you have heard about,” as she put it. (Kerger said “Downton Abbey” has been the most-watched drama in PBS history.)

The dinner: Diners were surrounded by projections of snowflakes, lighted Christmas trees and arrangements of poinsettias, as the music continued in the Ray Dolby Ballroom. Here, Menken stole the show by playing a medley of his tunes from “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Pocahontas” and other animated Disney films.

The crowd: Guests included Eva and Marc Stern, Marybelle and S. Paul Musco, Roy Disney, Irena Medavoy, Anne Gates, Jenny Jones, Carolyn Powers, Don Hahn, Barbara Davis, Lauren King and from PBS SoCal, President and Chief Executive Mel Rogers; general manager and chief operating officer Andy Russell; and “Studio SoCal” co-host Rick Reiff.

Quote of note: In remarks to supporters, board chair Jim McCluney described the station’s enormous reach throughout Southern California and its “unrivaled content,” ticking off the widely varied offerings: “Antiques Roadshow, “ “Nova,” “Sesame Street,” “Frontline,” “Mr. Selfridge,” “Sherlock,” “Downton Abbey,” “Ken Burns: The Roosevelts” and many more.

“We’re the largest stage for the arts and the most trusted source of information in our community,” McCluney said. “We don’t just hold great parties. We also enrich people’s lives.”

The numbers: Although final results haven’t yet been tallied, show tickets alone cost a minimum of $75 for two. The 400 dinner guests paid from $1,000 each for tickets and as much as $100,000 for tables of 20.

Source: Kristin Chenoweth, Babyface Edmonds among stars at PBS fundraiser – LA Times.

David Foster foundation’s gala raises $8.2 million for organ donation patients


By Jenna Freeman Global News

CALGARY- Canadian musician and songwriter David Foster and more than 800 guests attended his foundations gala Saturday night.

Many celebrity guests were among the crowd that walked Calgary’s red carpet, including Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Jennifer Hudson and Calgary’s own Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

CNN’s Michaela Pereira emceed the event and was joined by other guests including hockey commentator and former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey, Mrs. Laureen Harper and cast members of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The concert portion of the evening was kicked off by Foster playing the theme song from the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games, which he described as, “the best song he has ever written,” and ended with a spectacular performance by Steven Tyler. At the end of the performance, Foster announced that the gala raised $8.2 million.

Foster even took his fundraising efforts to new heights; auctioning off a trip to space at the gala.

The David Foster Foundation was created by the 16-time Grammy award winner to help support families that have children who require lifesaving organ transplants.

Before the gala, Foster met with one family at the Alberta Children’s hospital Saturday afternoon that knows first-hand the importance of raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.

Cassidy Creasey spent many years at the hospital after suffering complications from an E. coli infection.

Finally in June, Creasey received an amazing gift from her mother, a kidney that saved her life.

Now she and her mother are encouraging Albertans to become organ donors.

“It’s made life so much easier,” Creasey explained. ” You could just help so many people to just sign your card and talk to your family.”

Foster is also pushing for the assumed consent program, which would automatically make all Canadians donors unless they choose to opt out of the program.

“We’re not curing cancer,” Foster said. “We are just saying, ‘Please don’t make people wait three or five years or die while they’re waiting for an organ.’”

Saturday’s concert will include performances by Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jackie Evancho and Sinbad.

The Miracle Gala and Concert will also auction off a seat on a spacecraft that will take the winning bidder on a 62-km high space flight.

Click here if the video doesn’t open


[Video] David Foster & Friends Asian Tour 2012 – Singapore

November 2012: Cast including Chaka Khan, Babyface, Haley Westenra, Paul Young, Fernando Varela, Peter Cetera, and Dirty Loops. These are clips during the Asian tour where the show played to rave reviews in Singapore.

Interview: And the beat goes on …



Global Times | 2012-11-14 18:20:04
By Li Yuting
Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

Known in the record industry as the “Hitman,” David Foster turned the Shanghai Grand Stage into a talk show with music on Tuesday night. During Hitman: David Foster and His Friends, he was sometimes the quiet piano player, occasionally the good-humored host, at times the modest singer performing a few lines, and at other times the talent scout offering audience members an impromptu 20-second audition.

During the golden age of pop music in the 1980s and 90s, this songwriter and producer won 16 Grammy Awards and was a three-time Oscar nominee. Among his smash hits down the years are “I Swear,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Because You Loved Me,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and “The Prayer.” Some 20 of Foster’s hits were performed at the Shanghai gig by four of his biggest stars: Chaka Khan, Babyface, Peter Cetera and Hayley Westenra.

Great voices

Now 63, this Canadian-born discoverer of new talent admitted that he felt “nervous and scared” before the Shanghai gig. “I love great voices, and everyone you see on stage has a great voice – except me,” he modestly told the Global Times.

A little more assertively, he continued: “I probably have a good sense of melody. Everybody says to me, ‘you’re a magic guy; you found Celine Dion when she was 10, you found Michael Bublé singing at a wedding, you found Josh Groban here, Charice there.’ But I would say I’m just an average person. I do have some skills such as playing piano, writing songs, arranging and producing, which are God-given talents,” he said.

This is Foster’s third time in China, and his second in Shanghai, but it was his first-ever concert in the country. The Global Times caught up with him beforehand.

GT: Do you think your songs have had much influence on Chinese audiences and musicians?

Foster: I have no idea, but when I played in Bangkok and Jakarta, amazingly audiences sang along to everything we played – and not just the major hits.

The pianist Lang Lang is my friend, and I love his soul and spirit, as well as the composer and conductor Tan Dun, who is such a peaceful person.

GT: You have been a composer, arranger, producer and television host. Which of these roles do you most enjoy?

Foster: You know, when I go to the doctor’s and I fill out the form and it asks for “occupation,” I still put musician, because that’s what I still I feel I am as a piano player. I think I’ve been working hard to make the most of my talent in roles like, as you said, television, composing, producing – the glamorous parts of my life. But my favorite job is still piano playing.

GT: What is the secret behind your inspiration and energy when it comes to making music?

Foster: In the show you can see different performance styles but they are all based on my core belief – I love melody and I love quality. In the 1970s, I was just learning “how to be me” like anyone else when they were young and stupid. In the 80s and 90s I had so many hits and I really found where I belonged musically. All my classical influences as a child, and all the hardships that my parents endured to get me piano lessons and orchestra lessons, all came together to ensure I made quality music. In the 2000s, I wasn’t able to write top 40 hits anymore, so I changed direction and found people like Michael Bublé and Josh Groban. And when I work with Andrea Bocelli, Rod Stewart and Seal, I still find ways to make music, to keep myself happy and to still sell CDs. I want to sell and I want people to buy what I do. It’s tough in the digital era, but it’s not impossible.

GT: You are closely associated with female superstars like Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Do you like the title “the diva maker?”

Foster: I have six sisters and five daughters, so maybe I prefer working with women, or are better with them. But you know, I’ve worked with many men, too: Michael Bolton, Bocelli, Chicago and Michael Jackson among them. I don’t think I’m a “diva maker,” but I’m good with women.

GT: Are you still scouting for new talent today?

Foster: My latest discovery is 12-year-old Jackie Evancho who really understands music. It’s not just like she sings the songs, but she really knows what her job is. And also on this tour, I’m featuring a new group I signed and love called “Dirty Loops.” They are three young kids (average age 25) from Sweden, who perform jazz-style music.

GT: Any advice for young Chinese musicians and singers?

Foster: The road of any career may zigzag, but you have to try to go straight. That means putting all your energies into it, 24/7. You have to work on Saturdays and Sundays, because if you don’t, there is someone else who will and he will get there before you. And you have to be the leader, not a follower. I know in Asian culture there are a lot of followers. It’s ok to be influenced by music of America and the UK, but don’t copy it.

GT: You’ve won so many Grammys and other awards. What is left to achieve?

Foster: I want four more! 20 Grammys would put me in the top 10 of all-time winners. I’d like people to say about me: “He did good, and he did his best.”