Show artwork for The Music of Elton John Featuring Michael Cavanaugh
DSO Presents

The Music of Elton John Featuring Michael Cavanaugh

{{ vm.availability_status }}
Buy Tickets

The Music of Elton John Featuring Michael Cavanaugh

Wednesday, July 19, 2023—7:30pm

Wednesday, July 19, 2023—7:30pm
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

The New York Times calls him “amazing.” Variety says he’s “brilliant.” You stood and cheered after his Music of Billy Joel show with the symphony. Now, Michael Cavanaugh returns to the DSO to perform the music of the other great piano man, Elton John. Beloved tunes include Your Song, Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man, and many more. Whether you loved his last show or missed it, be sure to join Cavanaugh and the symphony for a Crocodile Rockin’ night.


Jason Seber


Jason Seber recently completed his six-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony. He led the Symphony in over 300 concerts on the Classics Uncorked, Pops, Family, Film + Live Orchestra, Young People’s Concerts, KinderKonzerts, and Link Up series, as well as Christmas Festival, Symphony in the Flint Hills, and many other programs. In October 2019, he made his debut on the Classical Series and recently led another Classical Series program in the spring of 2021. He also served as a co-host for the Symphony’s podcast, "Beethoven Walks into a Bar."

Prior to his appointment with the Kansas City Symphony, Seber served as Education and Outreach Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra from 2013 to 2016 and Music Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra from 2005 to 2016. Seber has guest conducted many leading North American orchestras, including the Charleston Symphony, Cleveland Pops, Colorado Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Nashville Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and the Windsor Symphony. This summer includes return engagements with the Louisville Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado Symphony and Houston Symphony, and a debut with the San Diego Symphony.

A passionate advocate of music education, Seber recently has led the Honors Performance Series Orchestra in performances at Carnegie Hall (2018 and 2022), Royal Festival Hall in London (2019), and the Sydney Opera House (2017). In November 2019 he led the APAC Honors Festival Orchestra in Seoul, Korea. He has served as the All-State Orchestra conductor for Georgia, Missouri and Pennsylvania, and will be the conductor for the Kansas All-State Orchestra in 2024.

Seber has performed with classical artists Jinjoo Cho, Paul Jacobs, Conrad Tao, and Joyce Yang, and a diverse range of pops artists including Patti Austin, Andrew Bird, Boyz II Men, Ashley Brown, Melissa Etheridge, Ben Folds, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Lyle Lovett, Brian Stokes Mitchell, My Morning Jacket, Leslie Odom, Jr., Aoife O’Donovan, Pink Martini, Doc Severinsen, Bobby Watson, and Wynonna. He earned his master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his bachelor’s degrees in violin performance and music education from Baldwin Wallace University.

Michael Cavanaugh

Michael Cavanaugh is the new voice of the American Rock & Roll Songbook and a charismatic performer and musician made famous for his piano/lead vocals in the Broadway musical Movin' Out. Handpicked by Billy Joel to star in Movin' Out, Cavanaugh evokes a style rivaling the Piano Man. He appeared in the show for three years with over 1,200 performances and received multiple accolades. The show culminated in 2003 with both Grammy and Tony Award nominations. 

Cavanaugh began playing at age seven, when his parents bought their first piano. Encouraged by family and friends, and inspired by his hero Billy Joel, Cavanaugh formed his first band at age 10 and began playing local functions, fine-tuning the craft that would become his chosen career. His first full-time gig as a musician was an extended engagement in Orlando, Florida, at a piano bar called Blazing Pianos. In January of 1999, Cavanaugh received an offer that would unknowingly change his life: an opportunity to play Las Vegas at the famed New York, New York Hotel and Casino. It was there that Billy Joel spotted Cavanaugh and joined him on stage one fateful night of February 2001. It only took two songs before Billy was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man: Michael Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh closed up shop at New York, New York and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp to shape the Broadway Musical that would be called Movin' Out. In the lead role, he received both Tony and Grammy Award-nominations. 

With the close of Movin' Out at the end of 2005, Cavanaugh began touring in his own right, creating a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook. Cavanaugh soon became one of the hottest artists in the private events market, and he continues to perform worldwide for company and charity events as well as sporting events including many PGA tour events, the SuperBowl, and the Indy 500. His interpretation of the modern rock/pop songbook led to Billboard calling him "The New Voice of the American Rock and Roll Songbook," and he was recognized by Reuters as Entertainer of the Year for the private events market. 

It wasn't long before symphony orchestras discovered Cavanaugh's talents and audience appeal. He accepted his first orchestral booking, "Michael Cavanaugh–The Songs of Billy Joel and More," which debuted in April 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony and continues to tour today. In October 2008, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD, In Color. In June 2010, Cavanaugh debuted his second symphony show in the Generations of Rock series titled "Michael Cavanaugh: The Songs of Elton John and More" and then debuted his third symphony show, "Singers and Songwriters: the Music of Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Taylor," in 2012. In 2015, he debuted his fourth symphony show: "Rockin' Christmas with the Pops." He continues to tour all four symphony productions along with performing with his band in performing arts centers and other public venues. 

"The Way I Hear It", his second commercial album, was released in April 2017, and it debuted at #17 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. 

In 2020, Cavanaugh reached the POLLSTAR Live75. The top 75 active touring acts in the country. 

Rocket Man (Michael Cavanaugh Cover)

New Voice of the American Rock ‘n Roll Songbook. ”

-Billboard Magazine



Your generous gift makes world-class music at the DSO possible, fueling the community connections, life-changing education and captivating programming that impacts more than 500,000 people a year!

Artwork for Orchestra Hall
Presented at
Orchestra Hall
3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI
Venue Information

Our Stories

View All
Artwork for New John Williams Recording

New John Williams Recording

Explore Story
Artwork for Sing Me a Story taps DSO for New Composition

Sing Me a Story taps DSO for New Composition

Explore Story