Insights into American Originals, from Pops conductor John Morris Russell:

America’s legendary song-writer Stephen Foster created the first pages of the American Songbook in Cincinnati while working as a book keeper at his brother’s steam-boat shipping company in the mid-1800‘s. Inspired by work songs, spirituals, hymn tunes and Irish ballads, Foster added a hefty dollop of whimsy and imagination and a melodic gift that comes around once every century.

American Originals celebrates the remarkable legacy of Stephen Foster as well as the music of 18th century America that created the foundation of our nation’s musical ethos. These are songs that define “classic”. They have stood the test of time and are still sung in anthems, pop songs and covers across the country and around the world, though often folks have no idea they were created by a man who only lived to 37 and died penniless in complete obscurity.

For our concerts, we have brought together some of the most significant singers in the wave of roots/traditional music that is sweeping across the country and asked them to give their own spin on these classics. We could not bear to bring together all this talent without a recording to immortalize this once-in-a-lifetime event, and so each of our concerts will be recorded LIVE and mixed into the 94th CD of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. We’ll be asking y’all to sing, cheer and clap along with us, live at Music Hall!

Exclusive Fanfare Cincinnati Interview with Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash released one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2014.

Named one of NPR’s top 10 folk albums of the year and nominated for three Grammy Awards, The River & The Thread was inspired by a trip to the American South.

CASH: I think Stephen Foster is an enormously important figure in the canon of American music. ‘Hard Times’ alone is worth a whole genre! I think I draw inspiration from Foster in a very long and slightly convoluted line, but tracing things back to him makes sense to me.

Beautiful Dreamer: The Roots and Future of Americana

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is breaking ground this month with a new concert program diving deep into the roots of American music.

Nestled on the banks of the Ohio River at the crossroads of North and South and along vital trade routes, Cincinnati enjoys a unique vantage point of the traditions and genres that have shaped our culture over the decades. READ MORE

Concert duration and pre-concert entertainment

Friday and Saturday, January 23 & 24, 2015

  • 7:00 PM - Doors to Music Hall open - Pre-concert entertainment begins
    The Ridges (Friday) | Young Heirlooms (Saturday)
  • 8:00 PM - Concert begins
  • 10:15 PM - Concert ends (approx) | Post Concert entertainment begins
    The Ridges (Friday) | Young Heirlooms (Saturday)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

  • 1:00 PM - Doors to Music Hall open - Pre-concert entertainment by Hickory Robot begins
  • 2:00 PM - Concert begins
  • 4:15 PM - Concert ends (approx)

Program subject to change.

Molly Wellmann’s Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon Tasting

Molly Wellmann has curated a small-batch Kentucky bourbon tasting, exclusively for fans of the Cincinnati Pops. FRI, JAN 23 and SAT, JAN 24, join us in Corbett Tower at Music Hall as Cincinnati’s renowned craft cocktail creator and entrepreneur Molly Wellmann leads an interactive sampling of premium bourbons from artisanal Kentucky distilleries.

Doors: 6:30 PM.

Ticket includes a flight of three bourbons and light appetizers. (Ages 21+, valid ID required.) Don’t like bourbon? Substitute 2 beverages of your choice at the bar. Top shelf mixed drinks excluded.

*Does not include concert ticket

Pre-concert bourbon tastings (FRI and SAT)
JAN 23
JAN 24


Rosanne Cash
Joe Henry
Over The Rhine
Dom Flemons
Aoife O'Donovan
Comet Bluegrass Allstars



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