Singer-songwriter James Taylor will join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony this weekend for the Tanner Gift of Music, the biennial collaboration of two of Utah's most high-profile musical groups. Tabernacle Choir music director Mack Wilberg will conduct the two performances in the 21,000-seat LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
Tickets to the free event were snapped up quickly, but choir officials encouraged would-be concertgoers to try their luck in the standby line, which will form at the north gate of Temple Square. The concerts also will be broadcast live in the nearby Salt Lake Tabernacle.
Choir president Ron Jarrett noted that the Tanner Gift of Music committee has been in talks with Taylor for about five years. Taylor, whose past battles with drug addiction are well-documented, may seem an unlikely partner for the choir, but Jarrett couldn't be more pleased to have him on hand as the concert series marks its 30th anniversary. "The Tanner Gift of Music is meant to bring the community together all interests, occupations, lifestyles, etc.," Jarrett said. "[Taylor] is a good match. He has a long tradition of excellent musicianship and showmanship."
"He is certainly an icon in American popular music," Wilberg said. "I, like everyone else, grew up listening to many of his tunes."
The program will have an Americana theme, including folk hymns, spirituals and selections from the Great American Songbook in addition to Taylor hits. The orchestra, choir and Taylor will perform separately and in combination.
Catherine Reese Newton
How sweet it is
James Taylor will sing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony in the 30th-anniversary edition of the Tanner Gift of Music. Mack Wilberg will conduct.
When • Friday and Saturday, Sept. 6-7, at 8 p.m.
Where • LDS Conference Center, Salt Lake City
Tickets • The free tickets have all been distributed, but there will be a standby line at the north gate of Temple Square and overflow seating in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
Parking • It will be a busy weekend in downtown Salt Lake City, with major events including Comic Con at the Salt Palace and the Greek Festival on 300 West. Plan your transportation accordingly.