A Bayside Summer Nights Concert: Seth MacFarlane and The Great American Songbook

Bayside Summer Nights Continue



Photo by Discover SD

On August 12th and 13th, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane will be showcasing his smooth and swanky voice alongside the San Diego Symphony under the summer night sky at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. They will be performing their rendition of the Great American Songbook, which consists of musical hits from the '40s and '50s. Enjoy a night under the stars accompanied by lush jazz songs, little boogie, a hint of bop, and a whole lot of blues.

Seth MacFarlene is well known for his creative television and film productions such as Family Guy and Ted, however, his more hidden talent is his sleek and soothing voice that is comparable to that of the great Frank Sinatra. MacFarlene was introduced to Broadway, movie musicals, and the Great American Songbook when the star was still an adolescent. After that, his love for all things jazz was fostered by his grandfather’s old record albums of musical legends such as Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. 

He proceeded to pursue his passion by taking vocal lessons from Lee and Sally Sweetland, the same vocal trainers who taught many well known artists such as Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra. His hard work paid off as he has released three very successful albums. His Christmas album reached #1 on the iTunes Holiday sales list, and his latest album earned a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. A key contributor to all three of his albums is conductor Joel McNeely, who is co-conducting this upcoming summer concert with Matthew Garbutt. 

Joel McNeely is an Emmy Award-winning composer, conductor, musician, and songwriter for film, television, and concerts. He has worked with various well-respected filmmakers such as James Cameron, John Lasseter, George Lucas, and others. He has produced and arranged songs for artists such as Norah Jones, Sara Bareilles, Burt Bacharach, Chris Mann, Carly Simon, and many more. As a conductor, he led the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in an award-winning series of re-recordings of classic film scores. 

Similar to MacFarlene, McNeely grew up in a musical family and took an interest in the art at an early age. At age 14, he was accepted into the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and began concentrated music studies in composition and flute performance. After graduating from Interlochen, McNeely headed to the University of Miami where he studied jazz composition and performance.

In addition to McNeely, Matthew Garbutt will be showcasing his talents as conductor at this outdoor summer event by leading the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Garbutt has been the Staff Conductor and Principal Summer Pops Conductor of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 years. He has been praised by audiences and critics alike for his versatile and exciting performances. A Los Angeles native, Garbutt began his musical studies on the tuba at age ten, and he started conducting at age 16. 

The San Diego Symphony Orchestra will be playing the instrumental melodies alongside MacFarlene during this event, as part of their annual concert series. The orchestra has become one of the finest in the United States and was designated a Tier 1 by the League of American Orchestras. In 2010 the Orchestra celebrated its 100th anniversary and was the first California orchestra to reach this milestone. They offer a wide range of concert experiences, and their musical repertoire ranges from classical to upbeat jazz. Enjoy a night out this summer as you watch the San Diego sun set while listening to the harmonious vocals of Seth MacFarlene.