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Grand Rapids Public Museum Hosts Pizza Parlor Classics Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Concerts

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) is hosting Pizza Parlor Classics on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ Concerts on November 16 and 17, as part of the 2018 Organ Concert Series.

The November concerts will feature Brett Valliant playing classic “pizza parlor” organ music including Maple Leaf Rag, In the Mood, Phantom of the Opera and Rock Around the Clock.

The November concerts will be taking the Wurlitzer Organ back to its roots. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ spent two decades entertaining customers at the Roaring 20’s Pizza Parlor on 28th Street in Grand Rapids before it was moved to its current location at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Brett Valliant is an American organist who is in high demand for his ability to perform many different genres of music on the instrument he loves. At fifteen, he played his first Wurlitzer and exhibited a natural talent for the popular music loved by fans of the theatre organ. He plays annually for several film festivals including the International Film Festival hosted by the American Film Institute, and has been a featured performer at national conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the American Theatre Organ Society. He has toured extensively as a solo artist, featured soloist with orchestras, and film accompanist abroad and throughout the United States. Critics have defined his performances as “exciting,” “refreshing,” “unorthodox” and “astonishing.”

Shows will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 16 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 17 in the Meijer Theater at the GRPM.

Tickets for individual concerts are $8 for Museum member adults, $4 for Museum member children, $10 for non-member adults and $5 for non-member children. Tickets are available by visiting www.grpm.org/Organ or by calling 616.929.1700.

The third and final concert of the series will feature Lance Luce performing holiday songs, which includes favorites such as White Christmas, Silver Bells, and Let it Snow, on Friday, December 21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 22 at 2 p.m.

The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

The Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York, manufactured and shipped Opus #1836, a “3 manual special”, to the Stanley Theater of Jersey City, New Jersey, on February 9, 1928. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ spent two decades entertaining customers at the Roaring 20’s Pizza Parlor on 28th Street in Grand Rapids before it was moved to its current location at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region and is responsible for protecting The Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees, and exhibit/event listings, please visit www.grpm.org.