Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Adds Joint Performances and Ben Folds to 2022-23 Season | Concert Announcements | Cincinnati

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Photo: Common by Brian Bowen Smith; Ben Folds proposed by Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

Common (left) and Ben Folds will perform with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is planning a few more bangers for this season, adding performances from Common and Ben Folds to their next roster.

king of hip hop Commmon will make its Pops debut on April 25. Common will join the orchestra to perform Elections from his three decades of music, under the direction of Pops’ principal guest conductor, Damon Gumption. Born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Common rose to fame in the 1990s and exploded commercially from 2000 with his major-label debut album. Like water for chocolate. Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, Common won numerous awards for his craft, including those from BET and the Grammys.

But it was “Glory,” Common’s collaboration with R&B singer and pianist John Legend, that got the audience hooked. Created for the 2014 historical drama Selma, based on the 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, the song won the Oscar and Golden Globe, among other accolades. Common also starred in the film as civil rights leader James Bevel.

Below, watch Common and Legend perform “Glory.”



Cherished composer turned 90s classic Ben bends will perform with the Cincinnati Pops on April 25. Folds last performed with the Pops in 2017 and most recently visited Cincinnati at the Taft Theater in November. Folds, who shot to fame in the ’90s with alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, frequently collaborates with musicians such as Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer, and for about a decade performed with orchestras symphony works from all over the world (including concertos he wrote himself).

In April, Folds joined star trek actor William Shatner in a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra, for which Folds has been the first artistic advisor since 2017. Folds also scored and wrote an original song for the children’s musical Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, written by Mo Williams and performed with the National Symphony Orchestra; the musical debuted on April 30.

Below, watch Folds perform his Concerto for piano and orchestra with the ONS.


Performances by Common and Ben Folds complete an already impressive program by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The 2022-23 season also includes a celebration of Judy Garland, Marvel’s score Black Panther, and a tribute to Billie Holiday. Tickets and information are available on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra website.

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