AndersonPonty Band, ex-Yes singer Jon Anderson‘s new group with acclaimed jazz-fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, currently are heading across North America on a spring tour. The group continues to promote its debut CD/DVD, 2015’s Better Late than Never, which features a mix of new tunes and reworked versions of older songs by Anderson and Ponty.
The trek, which launched in late April and runs through a May 27 show in Quebec City, is the band’s second North American outing, following a fall 2015 road trip. Anderson tells ABC Radio that collaborating with Ponty and the group’s other members has been an extremely rewording experience for him.
“Working with him and the guys in the band is like fresh air for me,” he maintains, “’cause these guys are very dedicated to making really good music and very open and very humble and very thankful to be musicians.”
Jon says the set that AndersonPonty Band is featuring on this year’s trek hasn’t been changed much from last year’s, because “there was a certain feel to the show that we’ve all enjoyed, [and] we had standing ovations almost everywhere we went.”
Among the tunes the group performs are rearranged renditions of Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Time and a Word,” “Wonderous Stories” and “Long Distance Runaround,” all of which also appear on Better Late than Never. Another Yes tune that’s included in the set is “And You and I,” which Jon points out is played in tribute to Yes bassist Chris Squire, who died of cancer in June 2015.
Anderson says the reworked song features a violin solo by Ponty takes it to a whole new level.
“That first night that [Jean-Luc] played it…all of a sudden the whole room changed shape and energy,” Anderson recalls. “It’s like Chris [was] looking down and saying, ‘Hi, Jon,’ with a big smile on his face.”
After the North American tour ends, AndersonPonty Band may head to Europe for some shows before Anderson starts focusing on other projects, including an upcoming album and tour with his ex-Yes band mates Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin. However, Jon tells ABC Radio that he and Ponty also have written “four or five” new songs and plan to continue work on a follow-up album during the summer, with an eye on releasing it sometime next summer.
Here are all of AndersonPonty Band’s remaining North American dates:
5/10 — Burnsville, MN, Ames Center
5/11 — St. Charles, IL, The Arcada Theatre
5/13 — St. Louis, MO, The Pageant
5/14 — Madison, WI, Barrymore Theatre
5/17 — North Tonawanda, NY, Riviera Theatre
5/18 — Tarrytown, NY, Tarrytown Music Hall
5/20 — Beverly, MA, Cabot Performing Arts Center
5/21 — Northampton, MA, Calvin Theater
5/23 — Ridgefield, CT, The Ridgefield Playhouse
5/25 — Albany, NY, The Egg – Hart Theatre
5/26 — Montreal, QC, Canada, St. Denis Theatre
5/27 — Quebec City, QC, Canada, Palais Montcalm
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