New West Symphony Presents Inaugural Summerfest 2023

Inaugural Summerfest 2023 | Moorpark College, California Presented By New West Symphony

Jason Scheff and Chicago Nights photo June 24

Jason Scheff and Chicago Nights will perform with a 50-piece live orchestra. Jason stepped into Chicago with the mega-hit “Will You Still Love Me” in 1986 and became the longest vocalist/bassist in the band’s history.

Grammy - winning conductor Michael Christie New West Symphony Music Director

Michael Christie, Grammy Winning Music Director | New West Symphony

Weekend Highlights include Jason Scheff and Chicago Nights, Blanco Brown and “The Git Up” plus Raiders of the Lost Ark film with live symphony

THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, May 9, 2023/ — New West Symphony will present their inaugural summer outdoor music festival, Summerfest 2023, on June 24 and 25 at Moorpark College. Summerfest is a 2-day music event, first conceived by the Board of Directors to create a high caliber outdoor concert experience in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, and accessible to Southern California residents and tourists.

Artistic and Music Director Michael Christie has curated an exciting, family-friendly weekend of multi-genre entertainment ranging from classic rock, country, and jazz, culminating with a screening of the 1981 original Raiders of the Lost Ark film, performed live by the full orchestra. “The vision driving Summerfest is creating exceptional music experiences in a fun, festival format that welcomes our community and amplifies the power of music in people’s lives,” says Artistic and Music Director Michael Christie.

Dr. Julius Sokenu, President of Moorpark College says, “We are thrilled to be hosting the New West Symphony’s Summerfest at Moorpark College. This is an incredible opportunity for us to showcase the exemplary musicians in our community.”

Headlining the Saturday, June 24th line-up is one of classic rock’s biggest stars, Jason Scheff, with Chicago Nights. The music of Chicago is synonymous with legendary and iconic, hearkening to one of the greatest contemporary music periods for originality in songwriting and bands.

In a class by itself, Chicago is a combination of classical music, jazz, R & B, and pop music. Jason and his show Chicago Nights performing with New West Symphony’s 50 piece-orchestra takes this concept to that ultimate level. Jason Scheff stepped into Chicago with the mega-hit “Will You Still Love Me” in 1986 and became the longest vocalist/bassist in the band’s history. He composed several original hit songs and will perform many of these with New West Symphony and his band, including drummer Steve Ferrone (Eric Clapton, Bee Gees, Duran Duran, George Harrison, Peter Frampton), guitarist Errol Cooney (Janet Jackson, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Christina Aguilera), and keyboardist Brandon Coleman (Babyface, Alicia Keyes, Kamasi Washington, Flying Lotus).

“As a resident of Moorpark, I am honored as a member of the community to be part of building the future for this significant venue and annual music festival. I couldn’t be more excited to bring the hits I’ve created with Chicago such as “Will You Still Love Me,” What Kind of Man Would I Be,” “Look Away,” as well as all the classics before me; “If You Leave Me Now”, “You’re the Inspiration,” “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” and many more. It promises to be an incredible night,” says Jason Scheff. Among his many accolades, he will be inducted into the California Music Hall of Fame in September 2023.

Blurring the lines between Country and hip-hop music, Blanco Brown will make a debut in the Los Angeles area with his southern sound that he proudly calls “TrailerTrap.” It’s a boundary-breaking, multicolored genre of his very own – which draws upon the rawness and storytelling abilities of his two biggest musical influences, Johnny Cash and Outkast. The world got its first taste of this exciting fusion with the worldwide PLATINUM-certified hit (3X US, 4X Canada, 4X Australia) “The Git Up.”

On Sunday, June 25 New West Symphony will perform live to the original 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark. With music composed by the prolific John Williams, it received an Academy®Award nomination for Best Original Score, and won 5 others. It was the highest-grossing film of 1981, and launched a franchise that will be completed with the upcoming theatrical release Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in June 2023.

Summerfest 2023 will also feature some of the best food provided by local vendors, from BBQ to vegetarian gluten-free options to carnival style favorites. Local craft beers and many other beverage

selections will be available.

More announcements to come.


Tickets $20-$275



Dates & Venue

Saturday, June 24 & Sunday, June 25 | Moorpark College

Schedule for SUMMERFEST 2023


3:00PM – Gates Open – Food & Drink Vendors open

4:00PM – Jazz Extravaganza with Ilya Serov and popular guest artists

6:00PM – Blanco Brown “The Git Up”

8:00PM – Jason Scheff with Chicago Nights and the New West Symphony Orchestra


3:00PM – Gates Open – Food & Drink Vendors open (VIP Pass holders have an option to attend Moorpark Zoo)

4:00PM – World Music, Live DJ and Entertainment (main stage)

4:00PM – VIP Dinner honoring Hugh and Keets Cassar & James Thatcher (EATM Terrace)

7:30PM – Raiders of the Lost Ark – Disney in Concert LIVE with the New West Symphony Orchestra

About the New West Symphony

The upcoming 29th season includes the dazzling exploits of Cirque de la Symphonie, feats of human skill synchronized to live symphonic masterpieces. We celebrate the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s popular Rhapsody in Blue and Ottorino Respighi’s spectacular Pines of Rome. Also making their New West Symphony main stage debuts are pianists Daniel Vnukowski playing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Lara Downes playing Scott Joplin’s Four Rags for Piano and Orchestra. Tony® and GRAMMY® Award-winning Jennifer Holliday will be the special guest for the Holidays with Jennifer Holliday concert on December 2 & 3, 2023. For more information, visit

About Michael Christie

Named Artistic and Music Director of the New West Symphony in December 2018, GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Michael Christie is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience at his performances entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. Deeply committed to bringing new works to life, he has championed commissions by leading and emerging composers alike.

For further information, visit and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Eileen Roberts
New West Symphony
+1 805-497-5800
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SUMMERFEST is a new outdoor concert experience on the beautiful amphitheater lawn site of Moorpark College. 2-day multi-genre high calibre entertainment/

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