Emmys: Live Band Tunes Up For Telecast

Mischer shakes up telecast with live music

Emmycast producer Don Mischer hopes to shake up the status quo -- along with the audience at the Nokia Theater on Sept. 20 -- by reinstating a long-held but recently forgotten Emmy tradition: live music as part of the broadcast.

And what's more, Mischer says, the band -- an all-star ensemble from the worlds of jazz and rock -- will be onstage throughout, not relegated to the pit or some offstage location during the show. It will be the first time since 2004 that the Emmys will feature live music.

"The show is three hours, and when you have live musicians up there, it adds electricity to the room," Mischer told Daily Variety. The 17-piece band includes some of the most respected session players and sidemen in the biz, from guitarists Dean Parks (America, Steely Dan) and Ray Parker Jr. ("Ghostbusters") to keyboardist Michael Bearden (Michael Jackson's last music director), Grammy-winning saxophonist Tom Scott, Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones and percussionist and former Eric Clapton sideman Lenny Castro.

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