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Donald Fagen Says Steely Dan’s First Orchestral Show Will Be a Surprise to the Band and Its Fans


Credit: Danny ClinchSteely Dan will play its first-ever concert with an orchestra tonight, when the jazz-rock legends perform at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The band will be accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the show, which kicks off the famous venue’s 2016 summer season.

In a new Los Angeles Times interview, frontman Donald Fagen discusses his feelings about the special performance, saying, “It’s gonna surprise us as much as anyone else, really.”

Regard to the band’s preparation for the gig, Fagen explains, “We talked to the arranger, Vince Mendoza, and we tried to give him some clues as to what might work and what might not work.”

As the newspaper points out, Steely Dan always has been very protective about their sound, which makes it surprising that they would decide to play an orchestral concert while allowing someone outside of the band to create arrangements to their songs.

“That’s why we haven’t done this type of thing before,” maintains guitarist Walter Becker. “I don’t know if we’ve ever been offered one, frankly. But for some reason we decided we were gonna do this one. I’m not sure why or why not.”

“We just like to live on the edge,” Fagen interjects.

The Hollywood Bowl concert is part of the summer leg of Steely Dan’s The Dan Who Knew Too Much tour, which runs through a July 17 show in Pittsburgh. Steve Winwood is opening most dates on the trek, although he won’t appear at the Hollywood Bowl.

Meanwhile, Steely Dan has added two new fall dates to its 2016 itinerary, shows on October 8 in Rochester, New York, and October 9 in Syracuse, New York.

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