John Driskell Hopkins – Bio

John Driskell Hopkins has walked the musical path for the last 20 years.  As a bass player, guitar player, singer and songwriter for several bands of the rock variety, Hopkins rooted himself in the Atlanta, GA music scene in 1995, producing records and touring with his band Brighter Shade.

Hopkins met Zac Brown in 1998 at an open mic hosted by Hopkins. Over the next several years, they remained friends and with Hopkins lending a production hand, they released the first Zac Brown record, “Home Grown,” in 2004.

Hopkins became a founding member of the Zac Brown Band in 2005 and has enjoyed engineering and songwriting credits on hit songs such as “Toes,” “It’s Not OK,” and “Sic Em On A Chicken,” from the triple-platinum selling record “The Foundation,” as well as “Nothing,” “I Play The Road,” and “Settle Me Down,” from the platinum selling record, “You Get What You Give.” Hopkins also co-wrote the second single from the Zac Brown Band’s third platinum album, “Uncaged,” entitled “Goodbye in Her Eyes” which was the group’s ninth Billboard number one single.

As the ZBB continue to garner critical and public success through numerous awards, including 3 Grammy Awards, Hopkins continues to share the spotlight on stage with his band of fellow songwriters and friends. He has added the title of multi-instrumentalist to his ZBB resume, playing Banjo on the single “Homegrown,’’ which became their 11th number one on Billboard Country charts in March, 2015, from their album “Jekyll and Hyde. Hopkins is also a contributing writer on that album’s second single, “Heavy Is The Head” featuring Chris Cornell, which debuted at No. 37 on Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, marking their first appearance on that chart. The band played both singles as musical guest on Saturday Night Live, March 7, 2015.

Hopkins can be seen and heard in the 2015 internationally-released film “Careful What You Wish For” featuring Nick Jonas, Paul Sorvino, & Dermot Mulroney, produced by Elizabeth Allen. And in 2016, he provided original music for and appears in the upcoming film, “Adolescence” featuring  Tommy Flanagan, directed by Ashley Avis.

When off the road, Hopkins works in his brand new Brighter Shade Studio, songwriting and producing a growing crop of regional talent; he often shares these tracks with BMG/Chrysalis Nashville, whom he’s partnered with in an administrative deal since 2011. He continues to perform at music festivals and venues across the country with his original 6-piece band that includes Greg Earnest on banjo and Leah Calvert on fiddle, and also collaborates with other musicians as often as possible.

In 2015, Hopkins was elected as an advisor to the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Atlanta Chapter, and was subsequently voted in to a Governor Seat for the 2015-2017 term.

In late summer, 2015, Hopkins fulfilled a dream when he collaborated with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra on a Christmas album, titled “In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays,” recording 12 tracks of timeless holiday tunes with soaring arrangements and wonderful special guests such as the Indigo Girls, Balsam Range, and actress/singer extraordinaire, Laura Bell Bundy. The album was released in November, 2015, and Hopkins now joins the APO for holiday shows around the southeast each holiday season, and in 2016, released In The Spirit as a double vinyl LP with bonus tracks.

In November 2017, John released his second holiday album, “You Better Watch Out,” a collaboration with the Joe Gransden Big Band, featuring special guests Aoife O’Donovan, Bela Fleck, and Clay Cook and Daniel de los Reyes of the Zac Brown Band. He’s spending this December playing shows with both the APO and the Big Band, celebrating the holidays and his brief down time with the ZBB before they head out again late January, 2018.

You can catch 11 episodes of Hopkins’ ongoing Podcast , “Under The Influence with John Driskell Hopkins” on iTunes, most of which were recorded while on the road with other band-mates or fellow tour-mates. Another favorite activity during any touring downtime is taking his Harley out for a lap of the city du jour.

He shares his life on and off the road with his amazing wife and three beautiful daughters.

JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS RELEASES NEW HOLIDAY ALBUM WITH THE JOE GRANSDEN BIG BAND

You Better Watch Out - From John Driskell Hopkins of Zac Brown Band, with the Joe Gransden Big Band

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2016

JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS RELEASES NEW HOLIDAY ALBUM
YOU BETTER WATCH OUT
WITH THE JOE GRANSDEN BIG BAND
Featured Artists To Include Béla Fleck, Aoife O’Donovan, Joe Gransden,
Daniel De Los Reyes and Clay Cook

ALBUM RECORDED AT HOPKINS’ NEW BRIGHTER SHADE STUDIOS

HOLIDAY SHOWS TO INCLUDE PERFORMANCES WITH
ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA AND JOE GRANSDEN BIG BAND
Callanwolde Holiday Gala, Red Sky Tapas and
Kennesaw State University’s Morgan Concert Hall

ATLANTA — Today, John Driskell Hopkins (founding member of the Zac Brown Band) has released his second holiday album, entitled You Better Watch Out, with The Joe Gransden Big Band. This follows the success of In the Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays, released in 2015 with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra (and on vinyl in 2016). You Better Watch Out is available immediately for purchase or download on johndriskellhopkins.com, and will be available for download and purchase at additional sites — including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora — beginning Friday, November 24.

Hopkins will also perform three holiday shows this season, including the annual Callanwolde Holiday Gala on Thursday, November 30, at 8 p.m. with Katie Deal, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble and The Joe Grandsen Big Band; at Red Sky Tapas on Sunday, December 3 at 7 p.m. with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra; and at Kennesaw State University’s Morgan Concert Hall on Thursday, December 14 at 8 p.m. with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra.

Recorded and mixed at Hopkins’ new studio — Brighter Shade StudiosYou Better Watch Out will feature appearances by musicians including Béla Fleck (“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”), Joe Gransden (“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”), Aoife O’Donovan (“Santa Baby”), Daniel De Los Reyes (“Donde Esta Santa Claus?”) and Clay Cook (“Here Comes Santa Claus”).

“Brighter Shade Studios is a space I look forward to making music in for the rest of my life. For me, it is very creative and comfortable — I like that it’s private, yet functional on a professional level,” said John Driskell Hopkins. “When I’m in this space, I feel as if I’ve transported to another place, another world. I plan to record my music there, as well as the music of my favorite musicians, friends and family. It’s the kind of spot I’ll be using as a producer, writer and engineer — all facets of my musical life. This is where I want to hone my craft and continue to actively contribute to the Atlanta music community.”

You Better Watch Out is the first album to come from this new incarnation of Brighter Shade Studios. Hopkins has also recorded Joe Gransden’s holiday album (coming soon), and will be recording Katie Deal’s new album, among other projects. The studio, a stunning and expansive 2500 square feet, includes an oversized, flexible-use main recording space large enough to hold a 30-piece orchestra. The space also boasts a voice-over booth, machine and mixing room, lounge and full-service bar — made of Sapele (from Taylor Guitars) with customized song lyrics carved into the wood. The space is garnished with hallmarks of Hopkins esteemed career, including guitars, awards, photos and mementos from his musical journey.

NEW HOLIDAY ALBUM

YOU BETTER WATCH OUT

JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS AND THE JOE GRANSDEN BIG BAND

*Available immediately at johndriskellhopkins.com

  1. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
  2. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (featuring Béla Fleck) WATCH VIDEO
  3. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” WATCH VIDEO
  4. “Santa Baby” (featuring Aoife O’Donovan) WATCH VIDEO
  5. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (featuring Joe Gransden)
  6. “Here Comes Santa Claus” (featuring Clay Cook)
  7. “Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season”
  8. “Sing a Kris Kringle Jingle”
  9. “Dónde Está Santa Claus?” (featuring Daniel De Los Reyes)
  10. “Zat You, Santa Claus?”
  11. “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”
  12. “The Man with the Bag”

HOLIDAY CONCERTS

Callanwolde Holiday Gala

Thursday, November 30 | 8 p.m.
John Driskell Hopkins
Katie Deal
Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble
The Joe Gransden Big Band

Red Sky Tapas
Sunday, December 3 | 7 p.m.
John Driskell Hopkins
Atlanta Pops Orchestra

Kennesaw State University | Morgan Concert Hall
In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays
Thursday, December 14 | 8 p.m.
John Driskell Hopkins
Atlanta Pops Orchestra

* * *

WATCH VIDEO: “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” (featuring Béla Fleck)

WATCH VIDEO: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

WATCH VIDEO: “Santa Baby” (featuring Aoife O’Donovan)

# # #

 

Media Contact:

Melissa A.E. Sanders, Tadpole Communications

404.909.6726 | Melissa@TadpoleComm.net

 

They raised $85,000 for charity the night of the I-85 collapse Copy

By: Jennifer Brett

“Our whole goal was, how can we make an impact?” Patrick Gahan said.

The March 30 fundraiser was just one example of the organization’s work, and the impressive turnout exemplifies its supporters’ dedication.

As the event was held right near the affected portion of the highway, some folks actually abandoned their cars and walked or hailed rides to make it.

Erin Alvey O’Sullivan and Kelsey Wingert at the Enduring Hearts fundraiser. Photos provided to the AJC

The evening featured performances from John Driskell Hopkins and Erin Alvey O’Sullivan and live and silent auctions. Celebrity guests included former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Garrett ReynoldsNew York Giants wide receiver and University of Georgia alum Tavarres King and Kansas City Chiefs and UGA alum Chris Conley (who also gave an acoustic guitar performance).

For details on the research Enduring Hearts helps fund, its resources for families and its impressive roster of medical and scientific advisers see enduringhearts.org.

Full Article: http://buzz.blog.ajc.com/2017/05/04/they-raised-85000-for-charity-the-night-of-the-i-85-collapse/

Hop’s Playlist

A few of my favorites.

  1. Tomorrow Brighter Shade 4:30
  2. I Will Lay Me Down feat. Zac Brown John Driskell Hopkins & Balsam Range 3:39

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MerleFest 2017 to spotlight new talent

Excerpt:

John Driskell Hopkins is best known as a founding member, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for the Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band. He has been performing since the ‘90s with Brighter Shade, a rock band he founded. Later, he began songwriting and performing with Zac Brown. Hopkins co-wrote the chart-topping single “Toes” and won a Grammy for Best Country Album with the band for 2013’s “Uncaged.” He also co-wrote “It’s Not OK,” “I Play the Road” and “Nothing” among others. On tour with the Zac Brown Band, Hopkins began as the bass player but now plays the guitar and banjo.

In 2012, he released an original record called “Daylight,” a collaboration with Balsam Range. In 2015, Hopkins released a holiday album, “In the Spirit – A Celebration of the Holidays,” collaborating with the legendary Atlanta Pops Orchestra and featuring guests such as Indigo Girls, Balsam Range, and Laura Bell Bundy. This year, Hopkins brings his band, John Driskell Hopkins Band, for its first MerleFest appearance.

John Driskell Hopkins is also an actor, who graduated from Florida State University with a degree in general theatre in 1993. His first film, “Careful What You Wish For” (2015), starred Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas, and Paul Sorvino. He was also in the feature film “Adolescence.”

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Full Article: http://www.wataugademocrat.com/mountaintimes/merlefest-to-spotlight-new-talent/article_5331391e-b06a-587e-a24c-ec43ffc04206.html

CONCERT TO BE STREAMED LIVE, NATIONALLY ON STAGEIT EVENT TO BENEFIT ENDURING HEARTS Copy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 14, 2016

ZAC BROWN BAND’S JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS

AND MEMBERS OF ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

TO PERFORM BENEFIT CONCERT AT THE VISTA ROOM

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18

CONCERT TO BE STREAMED LIVE, NATIONALLY ON STAGEIT

EVENT TO BENEFIT ENDURING HEARTS

ATLANTA, GA — On Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m., singer/songwriter John Driskell Hopkins (of Zac Brown Band) and members of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra — Atlanta Pops Ensemble — will perform a StageIt holiday concert at The Vista Room to benefit the non-profit Enduring Hearts. Enduring Hearts raises critical funding for pediatric heart transplants so the hearts children receive operate as efficiently and effectively as possible without needing a second heart transplant. It’s a cause near and dear to Hopkins.

Tickets for the December 18 event are $50 and include a three-course meal and the concert — a live auction will also take place with prizes courtesy of Hoffman & Associates, LLC. In addition, 10 percent of proceeds from all merchandise sales will also be donated to Enduring Hearts.

Viewers on StageIt will also be able to bid on the live auction and, for a $25 donation, will be entered in a raffle to win one of 5 sets of a John Driskell Hopkins autographed CD (Hopkins and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra’s In the Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays) and songbook (The Moose & the Golden Spike).

Live Charity Auction Prizes:

  • Two tickets and a suite at Phillips Arena with limo service to/from event — may be used for a Hawks game or live concert (based on availability)
  • Two-nights of accommodations for two at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, MS

“This is a unique organization that is directly impacting the lives of kids (and their families) who have had to undergo heart transplants,” said Hopkins. “I believe music transcends all things, so to be able to partner with such an inspiring organization in its fundraising efforts through music is both an honor and privilege for me.”

“John was kind enough to play at golf tournament earlier this year, and, more recently, he lent his many talents to create a songbook with Always Saturday, a group of artists who create songs and stories for worthy causes,” said Enduring Hearts Executive Director Ankur Chatterjee. “We are truly blessed to have the love and support of a big-hearted, creative artist like John.”

The songbook, entitled The Moose & the Golden Spike, is an illustrated storybook with downloadable, themed songs featuring Hopkins, the Zac Brown Band singer-songwriter, as a storyteller. The goal of the project is to fill the hearts of 500 heart transplant kids across the country with songbook gift packs. The books will be for sale at the concert and online at Friends Fill Hearts.

“Music has the power to heal,” said Atlanta Pops Orchestra Guest Conductor Tom Gibson. “John has been a great partner to us, so we can’t think of a better way to thank him than to be a part of supporting this great fundraiser for kids in need. We hope music fans from all over Georgia will come out to not only enjoy a great holiday concert, but to also support a great cause.”

* * *

DINNER & A CONCERT WITH JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS

AND THE ATLANTA POPS ENSEMBLE

THE VISTA ROOM (at Napoleon’s)

John Driskell Hopkins

Atlanta Pops Ensemble

Sunday, December 18, 2016

5:00 p.m. — Dinner

6:00 p.m. — Concert

6:45-7:15pm — StageIt Live Stream

TICKETS: $50 here (includes 3-course meal and concert)

STAGEIT: Concert to be streamed live, online here

* * *

ABOUT THE ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is a premier provider of live orchestral music programming for the state of Georgia, the Southeastern U.S. and beyond. With a rich history spanning more than seven decades, the orchestra has captivated audiences throughout the world. Equally adept performing pop, jazz, folk, hip-hop, light classical, country and more, the Atlanta Pops challenges the expectation of what an orchestra is capable of delivering. MORE

ABOUT ENDURING HEARTS

Enduring Hearts’ mission is to fund important and innovative research to increase the longevity of pediatric heart transplants, and improve the quality of life for transplant recipients. One in four children receiving a heart transplant will need another within the first five years. Enduring Hearts works every day to better these odds and improve the lives of heart transplant families. MORE

# # #

Media Contact:

Melissa A.E. Sanders, Watkins McGowan

404.909.6726 | msanders@watkinsmcgowan.com

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ZAC BROWN BAND’S JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS TO PERFORM AT THE VISTA ROOM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 8, 2016

ZAC BROWN BAND’S JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS

AND MEMBERS OF THE ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

TO PERFORM AT THE VISTA ROOM SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18

CONCERT TO BENEFIT ENDURING HEARTS

ATLANTA, GA — On Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m., singer/songwriter John Driskell Hopkins (of Zac Brown Band) and members of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra — Atlanta Pops Ensemble — will perform a holiday concert at The Vista Room, to benefit the non-profit, Enduring Hearts. The evening will include dinner, the concert and a live auction.

Enduring Hearts raises critical funding for pediatric heart transplants so the hearts children receive operate as efficiently and effectively as possible without needing a second heart transplant. It’s a cause near and dear to Hopkins.

“This is a unique organization that is directly impacting the lives of kids (and their families) who have had to undergo heart transplants,” said Hopkins. “I believe music transcends all things, so to be able to partner with such an inspiring organization in its fundraising efforts through music is both an honor and privilege for me.”

“John was kind enough to play at golf tournament earlier this year, and, more recently, he lent his many talents to create a songbook with Always Saturday, a group of artists who create songs and stories for worthy causes,” said Enduring Hearts Executive Director Ankur Chatterjee. “We are truly blessed to have the love and support of a big-hearted, creative artist like John.”

The songbook, entitled The Moose & the Golden Spike, is an illustrated storybook with downloadable, themed songs featuring Hopkins, the Zac Brown Band singer-songwriter, as a storyteller. The goal of the project is to fill the hearts of 500 heart transplant kids across the country with songbook gift packs. The books will be for sale at the concert and online at Friends Fill Hearts.

“Music has the power to heal,” said Atlanta Pops Orchestra Guest Conductor Tom Gibson. “John has been a great partner to us, so we can’t think of a better way to thank him than to be a part of supporting this great fundraiser for kids in need. We hope music fans from all over Georgia will come out to not only enjoy a great holiday concert, but to also support a great cause.”

Tickets for the December 18 event are $50 and include a three-course meal and the concert — a live auction will also take place with prizes courtesy of Hoffman & Associates, LLC. In addition, 10 percent of proceeds from all merchandise sales will be donated to Enduring Hearts.

Live Charity Auction Prizes:

  • Two tickets and a suite at Phillips Arena with limo service to/from event — may be used for a Hawks game or live concert (based on availability)
  • Two-nights of accommodations for two at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, MS

* * *

ABOUT THE ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is a premier provider of live orchestral music programming for the state of Georgia, the Southeastern U.S. and beyond. With a rich history spanning more than seven decades, the orchestra has captivated audiences throughout the world. Equally adept performing pop, jazz, folk, hip-hop, light classical, country and more, the Atlanta Pops challenges the expectation of what an orchestra is capable of delivering. MORE

ABOUT ENDURING HEARTS

Enduring Hearts’ mission is to fund important and innovative research to increase the longevity of pediatric heart transplants, and improve the quality of life for transplant recipients. One in four children receiving a heart transplant will need another within the first five years. Enduring Hearts works every day to better these odds and improve the lives of heart transplant families. MORE

* * *

DINNER & A CONCERT WITH JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS

AND THE ATLANTA POPS ENSEMBLE

THE VISTA ROOM (at Napoleon’s)

John Driskell Hopkins

Atlanta Pops Ensemble

Sunday, December 18, 5 p.m.

TICKETS: $50 (includes 3-course meal and concert)

# # #

Media Contact:

Melissa A.E. Sanders, Watkins McGowan

404.909.6726 | msanders@watkinsmcgowan.com

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ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA AND JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS TO RELEASE DOUBLE VINYL LP (DELUXE EDITION)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 10, 2016

ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA AND JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS

TO RELEASE DOUBLE VINYL LP

IN THE SPIRIT: A CELEBRATION OF THE HOLIDAYS (DELUXE EDITION)

Release Also Includes Indigo Girls, Balsam Range and Laura Bell Bundy

ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM HOLIDAY GALA CONCERT

AT CALLANWOLDE FINE ARTS CENTER, DECEMBER 1, 2016

Christmas at Callanwolde Gala Concert To Feature John Driskell Hopkins,

Michelle Malone and the VaudeVillains

ADDITIONAL POPS HOLIDAY CONCERTS TO BE PERFORMED AROUND SOUTHEAST

ATLANTA, GA — This holiday season, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins will reissue their beloved holiday album (2015) as a double vinyl LP — In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays (Deluxe Edition). Featuring Hopkins and his signature baritone voice, the recording includes Christmas favorites — both new and old — with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and some very special guests. For a sneak peek at one of the bonus tracks, “Mele Kalikimaka” with Hopkins featuring The Dappled Grays, WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

Tap into a beautiful and nostalgic world, complete with soaring arrangements, expansive harmonies, and even humor! Iconic friends Indigo Girls help to light up the classic “Do You Hear What I Hear?” while bluegrass trailblazers Balsam Range bring the Appalachian mountains into view on “What Child Is This?” and Laura Bell Bundy and Hopkins take “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for a new spin.

HOW TO BUY

The new Deluxe Edition Double Vinyl LP of In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays will be available for purchase beginning Friday, November 18, 2016, on ZacBrownBand.com. The four bonus bonus tracks — which include “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Angels We Have Heard On High”will be also available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon and GooglePlay.

The original album, In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays (2015), is currently available on CD at JohnDriskellHopkins.com, ZacBrownBand.com and AtlantaPops.com, and for digital download via iTunes, Amazon and GooglePlay.

The CD and double vinyl LP will also be available at upcoming Atlanta Pops Orchestra performances.

CHRISTMAS AT CALLANWOLDE

In addition, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra will perform another season of holiday music around the region, including a Gala Concert at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., as part of its annual Christmas at Callanwolde,a spectacular Atlanta Christmas destination. Featured on the gala concert program, alongside the orchestra, will be John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) and Michelle Malone (blues guitarist and vocalist), led by conductor Dr. Tom Gibson. Hopkins will sing various holiday classics with the orchestra — which are also featured on the Pops recording, In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays — including “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” and “O, Holy Night.” Malone will also sing holiday songs with the

orchestra including “Count Your Blessings,” “Jingle Bells,” and one of her own original songs, “Feels like

Christmas.” Opening the evening will be the traditional country guitar trio, the VaudeVillains. Tickets for the Christmas at Callanwolde Holiday Gala can be purchased online at atlantapops.com/callanwolde.

This year, Callanwolde has partnered with Illuminating Design Inc. to transform the exterior grounds and gardens of the historic Candler Estate into a spectacular wonderland for a new Christmas at Callanwolde Light Show, November 21–December 29, from 6–10:00 p.m. The ever-popular Designer Show House will return November 28 – December 13, from 11:00 a.m.6:00 p.m., where visitors of all ages can enjoy touring the 27,000 square-foot historic Candler mansion which will be elaborately decorated with professional holiday displays, an expansive artist market and themed events for all ages offering a variety of daily events to celebrate the season.

ADDITIONAL HOLIDAY CONCERTS

In addition to the Christmas at Callanwolde Gala Concert, the Orchestra will continue to travel the southeast with performances throughout the holiday season, including:

ABOUT ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is a premier provider of live orchestral music programming for the state of Georgia, the Southeastern U.S. and beyond. With a rich history spanning more than seven decades, the orchestra has captivated audiences throughout the world. Equally adept performing pop, jazz, folk, hip-hop, light classical, country and more, the Atlanta Pops challenges the expectation of what an orchestra is capable of delivering.

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra has released a number of recordings over the years, the most recent being 2015’s In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays, a collaborative effort with John Driskell Hopkins — a founding member of three-time GRAMMY-winning and multi-platinum group, Zac Brown Band. The Christmas recording showcases a sound firmly rooted in tradition, but distinctively modern. Featuring new arrangements by Wes Funderburk, the album also includes guest appearances by singer Laura Bell Bundy, legendary folk duo Indigo Girls and award-winning bluegrass group Balsam Range. The album continues to be well received by fans and critics alike, serving to showcase the versatility of the orchestra in the recording studio. To mark the orchestra’s 70th anniversary, efforts were made in 2015 to reconnect to the vibrant energy of the present-day, collaborative Atlanta music scene. A two-night engagement at Oglethorpe University brought together a diverse group of Atlanta superstars representing the diverse sounds of the city. Guest artists included former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Henry Mancini trumpeter Cecil Welch, pianist Brent Runnels, blues guitarist Michelle Malone, hip-hop trailblazers Arrested Development, beatbox protégé HeaveN Beatbox, jazz trumpeter Joe Gransden, singer Chris Wright (performing a song written by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal), world-fusion duo Montana Skies and Americana singer-songwriter Levi Lowrey. Entitled Bringing Together the Past and the Present, the concerts have served as a springboard for the orchestra’s current-day endeavors.

Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Dr. Jason Altieri, the Atlanta Pops orchestra performs concerts throughout the Southeast for special events, performing arts center subscription series, concert associations, and colleges and universities. The orchestra also accompanies celebrity artists on tour and performs at national and international business conventions. Atlanta Pops Orchestra musicians perform as pit musicians for the Fabulous Fox Theatre Broadway Series as well as for other travelling productions, such as Celtic Woman, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller. Dr. Altieri also serves as Associate Conductor of the Reno (NV) Philharmonic and as Director of the Orchestra Program at The University of Nevada, Reno.

# # #

Atlanta Pops Orchestra media contact:

Melissa A.E. Sanders, Watkins McGowan

404.909.6726 | msanders@watkinsmcgowan.com

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John Driskell Hopkins, Atlanta Pops Release Deluxe Christmas Album

JOLIE LAUREN PHOTOGRAPHY

By GABBIE WATTS NOV 29, 2016 City Lights with Lois Reitzes

Last year, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and the Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins teamed up to make a Christmas album. JOLIE LAUREN PHOTOGRAPHY

Zac Brown Band founding member John Driskell Hopkins has added his voice to the Christmas canon. Last year, he teamed up with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra for “In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays.”

That album also features collaborations with the Indigo Girls, Laura Bell Bundy and Balsam Range. This year, the Atlanta Pops and Hopkins are releasing a deluxe edition of the album, featuring several new songs on a bright blue vinyl.

“I always wanted to have a Christmas record, and now I think want five of them,” said Hopkins, who is already thinking about his next Christmas album.

And the Atlanta Pops Orchestra has always been well-versed in collaboration.

Full Article: HERE

John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band talks Atlanta Pops Orchestra, new record, The Vista Room

John Driskell Hopkins with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra

Phil W. Hudson Staff Writer Atlanta Business Chronicle

Excerpt:

On Nov. 28, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Phil W. Hudson sat down with John Driskell Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band for a wide-ranging discussion.

In addition to his work with the multi-platinum selling, three-time Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, Hopkins recently partnered with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra to reissue “In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays,” which features guest appearances from the Indigo Girls, Balsam Range and Laura Bell Bundy, as a double vinyl LP.

Full Article: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2016/11/29/q-a-john-driskell-hopkins-of-the-zac-brown-band.html

PREVIEW OF CHRISTMAS AT CALLANWOLDE TO INCLUDE THE LIGHTING OF NEW 23-FOOT CHRISTMAS TREE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY — PHOTO ALERT FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15

PREVIEW OF CHRISTMAS AT CALLANWOLDE TO INCLUDE THE LIGHTING OF NEW 23-FOOT CHRISTMAS TREE

AND PERFORMANCE BY ZAC BROWN BAND’S JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS

WITH ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA MUSICIANS

WHO:

John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band)

Peggy Still Johnson (Executive Director, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center)

WHAT:

MEDIA PREVEW OF CHRISTMAS AT CALLANWOLDE INCLUDING:

Performance by Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins followed by the Lighting of a NEW 23-Foot Christmas Tree

This year, Callanwolde has partnered with Illuminating Design Inc. to transform the exterior grounds and gardens of the historic Candler Estate into a spectacular wonderland for a new Christmas at Callanwolde Light Show, November 21–December 29, from 6–10:00 p.m. Featured is a NEW, RGB LED Christmas tree featuring 37 billion color combinations all choreographed to your favorite holiday classics. Adding to the magic of the night this year will be a singing forest and a kids-only area where it snows. Also, children will be able to mail their letters to Santa and eat treats along the way.

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is back for another season Christmas at Callanwolde, including the Gala Concert at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.. Featured on the gala concert program, alongside the orchestra, will be John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) and Michelle Malone (blues guitarist and vocalist), led by conductor Dr. Tom Gibson. The program includes various holiday classics with the orchestra, including “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” and “O, Holy Night.”

WHERE:

CALLANWOLDE FINE ARTS CENTER

980 Briarcliff Road, NE
Atlanta, Georgia

WHEN:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15

Photo Op. 1 — 7 p.m.

  • Arrivals and welcome from Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Executive Director Peggy Still Johnson.

Photo Op. 2 — 7:05 p.m.

  • Performance by Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins

Photo Op. 3 — 7:15 p.m.

  • Lighting of the NEW 23-foot, RGB LED Christmas tree featuring 37 billion color combinations, all choreographed to your favorite holiday classics.
    • The grounds will be open to walk, photograph and experience until 9 p.m.

# # #

RSVP TO:

Atlanta Pops Orchestra media contact:Callanwolde Fine Arts Center media contact:

Melissa A.E. Sanders, Watkins McGowan David Kresses

404.909.6726 | msanders@watkinsmcgowan.com 404.872.5338, ext. 228 |dkresses@callanwolde.org

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ATLANTA POPS TO PERFORM HOLIDAY GALA CONCERT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 7, 2016

JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS AND ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

TO RELEASE DOUBLE VINYL LP

IN THE SPIRIT: A CELEBRATION OF THE HOLIDAYS (DELUXE EDITION)

Bonus Tracks To Include “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Angels We Have Heard On High”

ATLANTA POPS TO PERFORM HOLIDAY GALA CONCERT

AT CALLANWOLDE FINE ARTS CENTER, DECEMBER 1, 2016

Christmas at Callanwolde Gala Concert To Feature John Driskell Hopkins,

Michelle Malone and the VaudeVillains

ADDITONAL POPS HOLIDAY CONCERTS TO BE PERFORMED AROUND SOUTHEAST

ATLANTA, GA — This holiday season, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins will reissue its beloved holiday CD (released in 2015) as a double vinyl LP — In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays (Deluxe Edition). Featuring Hopkins and his signature baritone voice, the recording includes Christmas favorites — both new and old — with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and some very special guests. For a sneak peek of one of the bonus tracks, “Mele Kalikimaka” with Hopkins, watch the video here.

Tap into a beautiful and nostalgic world, complete with soaring arrangements, expansive harmonies, and even humor! Iconic friends Indigo Girls help to light up the classic “Do You Hear What I Hear?” while bluegrass trailblazers Balsam Range bring the Appalachian mountains into view on “What Child Is This?,” and Laura Bell Bundy and Hopkins take “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for a new spin.

HOW TO BUY

The new Deluxe Edition LP will be available for purchase as a doubly vinyl LP or digital download beginning Friday, November 18, 2016, at the Zac Brown Band website, or as a dgital download via iTunes, Amazon and GooglePlay.

The orginal CD (released Nov 2015) is currently available online at JohnDriskellHopkins.com, ZacBrownBand.com and AtlantaPops.com, as well as a digital download via iTunes, Amazon and GooglePlay.

The CD and double vinyl LP will also be available for purchase at upcoming Atlanta Pops Orchestra performances.

CHRISTMAS AT CALLANWOLDE

In addition, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra will perform another season of holiday music around the region, including a Gala Concert at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., as part of its annual Christmas at Callanwolde,a spectacular Atlanta Christmas destination. Featured on the gala concert program, alongside the orchestra, will be John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) and Michelle Malone (blues guitarist and vocalist), led by conductor Dr. Tom Gibson. Hopkins will sing various holiday classics with the orchestra — which

are also featured on the Pops recording, In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays —including “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” and “O, Holy Night.” Malone

will also sing holiday songs with the orchestra including “Count Your Blessings,” “Jingle Bells,” “Blue Christmas,” and one of her own original songs, “Feels like Christmas.” Opening the evening will be the traditional country guitar trio, the VaudeVillains. Tickets for the Christmas at Callanwolde Holiday Gala can be purchased online at atlantapops.com/callanwolde.

This year, Callanwolde has partnered with Illuminating Design Inc. to transform the exterior grounds and gardens of the historic Candler Estate into a spectacular wonderland for a new Christmas at Callanwolde Light ShowNovember 21–December 29, from 6–10:00 p.m. The always popular Designer Show House will return November 28 – December 13, from 11:00 a.m.6:00 p.m., where visitors of all ages will enjoy touring the 27,000 square-foot historic Candler mansion which will be elaborately decorated with professional holiday displays, an expansive artist market and themed events for all ages and offering a variety of opportunities to celebrate the season with daily events.

ADDITIONAL HOLIDAY CONCERTS

In addition to the Christmas at Callanwolde Gala Concert, the Orchestra will continue to travel the southeast with performances throughout the holiday season, including:

ABOUT ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is a premier provider of live orchestral music programming for the state of Georgia, the Southeastern U.S. and beyond. With a rich history spanning more than seven decades, the orchestra has captivated audiences throughout the world. Equally adept performing pop, jazz, folk, hip-hop, light classical, country and more, the Atlanta Pops challenges the expectation of what an orchestra is capable of delivering.

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra has released a number of recordings over the years, the most recent being 2015’s In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays, a collaborative effort with John Driskell Hopkins — a founding member of three-time GRAMMY-winning and multi-platinum group, Zac Brown Band. The Christmas recording showcases a sound firmly rooted in tradition, but distinctively modern. Featuring new arrangements by Wes Funderburk, the album also includes guest appearances by singer Laura Bell Bundy, legendary folk duo Indigo Girls and award-winning bluegrass group Balsam Range. The album continues to be well-received by fans and critics alike, serving to showcase the versatility of the orchestra in the recording studio. To mark the orchestra’s 70th anniversary, efforts were made in 2015 to reconnect to the vibrant energy of the present-day, collaborative Atlanta music scene. A two-night engagement at Oglethorpe University brought together a diverse group of Atlanta superstars representing the diverse sounds of the city. Guest artists included former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Henry Mancini trumpeter Cecil Welch, pianist Brent Runnels, blues guitarist Michelle Malone, hip-hop trailblazers Arrested Development, beatbox protégé HeaveN Beatbox, jazz trumpeter Joe Gransden, singer Chris Wright (performing a song written by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal), world-fusion duo Montana Skies and Americana singer-songwriter Levi Lowrey. Entitled Bringing Together the Past and the Present, the concerts have served as a springboard for the orchestra’s current-day endeavors.

Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Dr. Jason Altieri, the Atlanta Pops orchestra performs concerts throughout the Southeast for special events, performing arts center subscription series, concert associations, and colleges and universities. The orchestra also accompanies celebrity artists on tour and performs at national and international business conventions. Atlanta Pops Orchestra musicians perform as pit musicians for the Fabulous Fox Theatre Broadway Series as well as for other travelling productions, such as Celtic Woman, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller. Dr. Altieri also serves as Associate Conductor of the Reno (NV) Philharmonic and as Director of the Orchestra Program at The University of Nevada, Reno.

# # #

Atlanta Pops Orchestra media contact:

Melissa A.E. Sanders, Watkins McGowan

404.909.6726 | msanders@watkinsmcgowan.com

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ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM HOLIDAY GALA CONCERT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 27, 2016

ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM HOLIDAY GALA CONCERT

AT ATLANTA’S CALLANWOLDE FINE ARTS CENTER, DECEMBER 1, 2016

Christmas at Callanwolde Gala Concert To Feature John Driskell Hopkins,

Michelle Malone and the VaudeVillains

ADDITONAL POPS HOLIDAY CONCERTS TO BE PERFORMED AROUND SOUTHEAST

Balsam Range Art of Music Festival at Lake Junaluska, NC; Ellijay, Greensboro,

Cartersville, and Atlanta, GA; Enterprise and Dothan, AL; and Newberry, SC

ATLANTA, GA — The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is back for another season of holiday music, including a Gala Concert at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., as part of its annual Christmas at Callanwolde,a spectacular Atlanta Christmas destination. Featured on the gala concert program, alongside the orchestra, will be John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) and Michelle Malone (blues guitarist and vocalist), led by conductor Dr. Tom Gibson. Hopkins will sing various holiday classics with the orchestra — which are also featured on the Pops recording, In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays —including “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” and “O, Holy Night.” Malone will also sing holiday songs with the orchestra including “Count Your Blessings,” “Jingle Bells,” “Blue Christmas,” and one of her own original songs, “Feels like Christmas.” Opening the evening will be the traditional country guitar trio, the VaudeVillains. Tickets for the Christmas at Callanwolde Holiday Gala can be purchased online at atlantapops.com/callanwolde.

This year, Callanwolde has partnered with Illuminating Design Inc. to transform the exterior grounds and gardens of the historic Candler Estate into a spectacular wonderland for a new Christmas at Callanwolde Light ShowNovember 21–December 29, from 6–10:00 p.m. The always popular Designer Show House will return November 28 – December 13, from 11:00 a.m.6:00 p.m., where visitors of all ages will enjoy touring the 27,000 square-foot historic Candler mansion which will be elaborately decorated with professional holiday displays, an expansive artist market and themed events for all ages and offering a variety of opportunities to celebrate the season with daily events.

“Callanwolde is a beautiful facility and their Christmas season decorations are fantastic,” said John Driskell Hopkins. “It’s a wonderful setting for this concert with the Atlanta Pops, and the staff is always fabulous. I look forward to being a part of a performance that is quickly becoming a great Atlanta tradition.”

“It is such a joy for Callanwolde Performing Fine Arts Center to partner with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra,” said Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Executive Director Peggy Still Johnson. “Their musicianship is at an excellent level, and we both share a rich history of music and arts in Atlanta. Our guests are in for a real treat this year.”

“All of us at the Atlanta Pops Orchestra are thrilled to be part of the Christmas at Callanwolde tradition,” said Atlanta Pops Orchestra CEO Leonard Altieri. “Nothing impacts a person’s holiday spirit in the way traditional holiday music does. We look forward to another great holiday season of tremendous music.”

* * *

ADDITIONAL HOLIDAY CONCERTS

In addition to the Christmas at Callanwolde Gala Concert, the Orchestra will continue to travel the southeast with performances throughout the holiday season, including:

* * *

ABOUT ATLANTA POPS ORCHESTRA

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is a premier provider of live orchestral music programming for the state of Georgia, the Southeastern U.S. and beyond. With a rich history spanning more than seven decades, the orchestra has captivated audiences throughout the world. Equally adept performing pop, jazz, folk, hip-hop, light classical, country and more, the Atlanta Pops challenges the expectation of what an orchestra is capable of delivering.

The Atlanta Pops Orchestra has released a number of recordings over the years, the most recent being 2015’s In The Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays, a collaborative effort with John Driskell Hopkins — a founding member of three-time GRAMMY-winning and multi-platinum group, Zac Brown Band. The Christmas recording showcases a sound firmly rooted in tradition, but distinctively modern. Featuring new arrangements by Wes Funderburk, the album also includes guest appearances by singer Laura Bell Bundy, legendary folk duo Indigo Girls and award-winning bluegrass group Balsam Range. The album continues to be well-received by fans and critics alike, serving to showcase the versatility of the orchestra in the recording studio. To mark the orchestra’s 70th anniversary, efforts were made in 2015 to reconnect to the vibrant energy of the present-day, collaborative Atlanta music scene. A two-night engagement at Oglethorpe University brought together a diverse group of Atlanta superstars representing the diverse sounds of the city. Guest artists included former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Henry Mancini trumpeter Cecil Welch, pianist Brent Runnels, blues guitarist Michelle Malone, hip-hop trailblazers Arrested Development, beatbox protégé HeaveN Beatbox, jazz trumpeter Joe Gransden, singer Chris Wright (performing a song written by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal), world-fusion duo Montana Skies and Americana singer-songwriter Levi Lowrey. Entitled Bringing Together the Past and the Present, the concerts have served as a springboard for the orchestra’s current-day endeavors.

Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Dr. Jason Altieri, the Atlanta Pops orchestra performs concerts throughout the Southeast for special events, performing arts center subscription series, concert associations, and colleges and universities. The orchestra also accompanies celebrity artists on tour and performs at national and international business conventions. Atlanta Pops Orchestra musicians perform as pit musicians for the Fabulous Fox Theatre Broadway Series as well as for other travelling productions, such as Celtic Woman, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller. Dr. Altieri also serves as Associate Conductor of the Reno (NV) Philharmonic and as Director of the Orchestra Program at The University of Nevada, Reno.

ABOUT CALLANWOLDE FINE ARTS CENTER

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve the historic Candler Estate and offer fine arts and outreach to the community. The Estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1920 by the Candler family. Classes and workshops are offered for all ages in visual, literary and performing arts. Special performances, concerts, events gallery exhibits, outreach programs, rentals, and fundraising galas are presented and offered throughout the year.

# # #

Atlanta Pops Orchestra media contact:Callanwolde Fine Arts Center media contact:

Melissa A.E. Sanders, Watkins McGowan David Kresses

404.909.6726 | msanders@watkinsmcgowan.com 404.872.5338, ext. 228 |dkresses@callanwolde.org

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What are your travel must-haves?

I always travel with my Leatherman, if it’s not on my person it’s in my suitcase. It’s a multi-tool: a knife and a pliers, and a bottle opener. I use it all the time.

And then, I always have some Gaffer tape, and my banjo picks. They’re in a little case, and I keep them in my pocket at all times. You never know when you’re going to be attacked by a banjo. You have to be ready!  … I’ve got picks that I’m really fond of, so I always like to have them on me.

I also always travel with my own computer mouse. It’s a Logitech Marble. I can’t work on Pro Tools without it. If I have work to do that’s remote, I won’t hesitate to take it out.


Excerpt from TravelandLesiure.com  “Zac Brown Band’s John Driskell Hopkins Talks Life on the Road” by Caroline Hallemann (find her on Twitter / on Instagram)