NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 21, 2010) — Disney California Adventure® Park's Hyperion® Theater provided a breathtaking backdrop for Yamaha's 50th Anniversary Dealer Concert on Friday, January 14, held in conjunction with Winter NAMM 2010. Every seat in the house was filled for this multi-genre show featuring superstars Natalie Cole, Jason Mraz, Michael McDonald, Vince Gill, John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting, Jon McLaughlin and newcomers Pull Start Rockets. The surprise host of the evening comedian Damon Wayans kicked things off with the help of Disney's biggest star Mickey Mouse.
A spectacular opening video highlighting Yamaha's 50 years of celebrated artists set the tone for the night. Pull Start Rockets
, a four-piece pop/rock band, took to the stage and wowed the audience with their song, "Can't Get You Out of My Head," a ballad that paired the foursome's heavy rock sounds with the lush 30-piece Yamaha string section.
, one of the world's top R&B performers, delivered inspired performances of his Doobie Brothers classics "What a Fool Believes," and "Takin' it to the Streets." He rounded out his set with a version of the Motown classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," which he sung with back up singer Anita LaFontaine.
Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik
gave energetic and memorable performances of his hits "100 Years" and "Superman." He broke away from behind the piano to sing "Slice," a single from his latest album of the same name. Singer/songwriter/pianist Jon McLaughlin
was the surprise hit of the evening, causing quite the buzz with his riveting performances of his hits "Beautiful Disaster" and "So Close," along with his lesser known songs "Industry" and "That's Why I'm Talking to You."
Pop sensation Jason Mraz
got the audience grooving with his infectious hits "I'm Yours" and "You and I Both" but it was his amazing extended freestyle version of "The Remedy" with the A-list Yamaha brass section that really brought the audience to its feet. Nine-time GRAMMY Award winner Natalie Cole
kicked off her set with a moving duet of "Unforgettable" with her late father Nat King Cole via a large video screen. After two touching performances of "That Rainy Day" and the Sound of Music classic "Favorite Things," she ended her set with an energetic version of her hit "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)."
"We're thrilled that we were able to represent our 50 years of Yamaha in America with such a diverse and talented line up," said Chris Gero, Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs, who produced the concert. "The evening's extraordinary caliber of artists underscores the high regard – and appreciation – Yamaha has for its dealer-base. It was a night none of us will soon forget."
All of the performances were backed by a Yamaha all-star house band and orchestra. Randy Waldman
conducted the 30-piece string section, and renowned bassist and Yamaha artist Nathan East
served as music director for the highly esteemed house band, which included Teddy Campbell on drums, Dave Delhomme and Greg Phillinganes on keyboards, Michael Thompson and Mike O'Neill on guitar and Luis Conte on percussion.
For more information on the extensive Yamaha product catalog and critically acclaimed
Yamaha artists, please visit www.YamahaArtists.com