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Artists to Perform New Renditions of Old Songs

"Argent Mortgage Orchestrated" slated to start May 23

April 19, 2005

By COCO SALAZAR


What do LeAnn Rimes, Seal and Jewel have in common? The three are among artists scheduled to perform their songs in creative new ways backed up by a symphony.

The Argent Mortgage Orchestrated tour will consist of eight concerts that will take place in various cities this year, according to a recent press release. The first three concerts will consist of multi-platinum recording and award winning artists, starting with LeAnn Rimes backed by the Boston Pops Orchestra at Boston's Symphony Hall on May 23.

"I am thrilled to have been selected to kick off this amazing new series," said Rimes in the prepared statement. "For my band and me to perform our show and my songs in new arrangements with the Boston Pops is not only flattering, but, as an artist, an amazing challenge. I am very excited and look forward to my evening at the Pops."

The concept of the tour is to present popular artists in the opposite environment of the critically acclaimed MTV: Unplugged format. Rather than stripping music down to the core, the lender's sponsored series of "one night only" engagements will feature artists performing their songs in ways that they choose, with the full backing of symphony orchestras described as "some of America's finest" in the announcement.

"We have been planning this series for quite some time," said Elevation partner Allen Shapiro. "After seeing a few bands in an intimate symphony environment over the past several years, we thought the time was right to stage a series of shows under one banner. We are proud of the line-up assembled so far and look forward to working with other talented artists."

Grammy award winner Seal will perform with members of the Minnesota Orchestra in the second show June 13 at the Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall. The third show will feature Jewel with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Cleveland's Cain Park on July 30.

Irvine, Calif.-based Argent Mortgage said "sponsoring the Orchestrated series is a natural fit" for the company, as the "musical convergence of world-class orchestras and top performing artists offers a unique and innovative experience" that mimics Argent's "un-conforming approach to mortgage lending" for consumers nationwide.

The lender said internationally acclaimed conductor, composer and arranger Frank McNamara will arrange and conduct each show. Late last year, he reportedly arranged and conducted the LeAnn Rimes Orchestra Christmas Tour. His resume also includes work with the Irish Tenors, the American Tenors, The Who's Roger Daltry and Jeffrey Osborne, according to the announcement.

Tickets for the first three shows went on sale April 15.


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