Prince-less! Licensing issues force Windsor Symphony to change upcoming concert

It was supposed to be an homage to two music icons — but it turns out it’s easier to pay tribute to the Space Oddity than the Purple One.

Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s Bowie and Prince concert planned for Feb. 22 has been retitled “Bowie Got Soul” due to the sudden elimination of all Prince material from the evening’s set list.

WSO executive director Sheila Wisdom said the revision was necessary because of ongoing licensing issues concerning songs written by Prince. “We’ve had to make some changes to the lineup.”

Since Prince’s death in April 2016, his estate has been in turmoil, as he did not leave a will and a battle is brewing over ownership of his music.

Jeans ‘n Classics, WSO’s partners on the show, notified the symphony on Tuesday that half of the concert’s content would need to change.

The show had been in the works for months.

“We’ve had to kind of turn on a dime,” Wisdom admitted.

But Wisdom assures that it’s still going to be a standout event.

Along with WSO treatments of famous David Bowie songs, the revised concert will include renditions of popular songs by a variety of other artists: Pharrell Williams, Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Outkast, Gnarls Barkley, The O’Jays, The Trammps, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

“Complications happen. We’re rolling with it,” Wisdom said. “That’s the beauty of our musicians. They’re amazingly talented — They can move from playing a Gershwin concerto this weekend to the rock music next weekend. They’ll deliver and it’ll be a great concert.”

For those who really wanted to hear WSO play Prince — ticket refunds are available. Call the WSO Box Office at 519-973-1239 ext. 2.

Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s Bowie Got Soul concert takes place Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. in the Capitol Theatre (121 University Ave. West).

Ticket prices start at $32 for adults, $27 for seniors, $15 for students, $14 for youths. Order online via www.windsorsymphony.com.

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