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$5 “When I Play Music”



Thanks to our newest friends at The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, we became aware of this amazing opportunity to help with music education in this great city of ours.

The “When I Play Music” campaign will be primarily driven by social media, and will utilize mobile giving (text “ASO” to 50555 to give $5*), online giving (, and QR Codes to enable audiences to give donations, beginning at just $5, to support the Orchestra’s vast education outreach programs and initiatives.
The John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Charitable Foundation, Inc. has offered a challenge grant of $25,000 to be paid when the campaign’s first $50,000 in new or increased gifts has been raised.
“The Atlanta Symphony is known best for performing great music and presenting great artists — but we are also an educator, nurturing talented student-musicians, and exposing young audiences to musical experiences,” said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D. “When students have access to the arts, they achieve higher academic test scores, watch less T.V., and participate in more community service. Music impacts our lives in so many ways. We hope the Atlanta community will support this campaign with $5 donations.”
“A grassroots campaign, very reliant on social media, is an idea whose time has come for American orchestras,” said League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “I applaud the always-innovative Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for bringing attention to the positive power of music in children’s lives, and making an effort to also widen its base of support. I hope this campaign will inspire other communities around the U.S. to support their local Orchestra’s educational initiatives.”

This campaign has been extended through September and The Backstage Beat urges ALL of you to give $5 today!

Click HERE and donate today!

Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.


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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!



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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5



Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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