Terry Mike Jeffrey has become a fixture at the Memphis Symphony Orchestra's perennial salute to Elvis Presley.
Jeffrey is a singer, Emmy-nominated songwriter, actor, entertainer, musical director, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. He and his band tour the world performing a variety of arrangements of popular songs, but particularly of Elvis tunes.
This year's MSO Pops Concert celebration — titled Aloha Elvis! — is one of the birthday celebration events presented over the next few days by Elvis Presley Enterprises. The entertainer would have turned 78 on Tuesday.
The concert is a tribute to the legendary "Aloha from Hawaii" concert 40 years ago this month. Jeffrey says the $2.5 million TV special from Honolulu was seen by some 1 billion viewers in its satellite broadcast.
Most of Saturday night's show at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts will be highlights from that concert, starting with what's called the 2001 Intro — from Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra," best known as music from the film "2001: A Space Odyssey."
Some of the other tunes include Elvis favorites "See See Rider," "Burning Love" and "Suspicious Minds."
The first part of the concert will be familiar songs from Elvis' films, but done with new arrangements, although, Jeffrey says, there are a couple of interesting exceptions.
In 1975, Glen Hardin (who was in Elvis' TCB Band and performed at the Hawaii concert) wrote an arrangement of "Young and Beautiful" that had originally been featured in 1957's "Jailhouse Rock." Unfortunately, Elvis never performed it, so Jeffrey brought it out of the archives and will perform it with the MSO.
Another tune from "Jailhouse Rock" was "Baby I Don't Care." Jeffrey says, "I wanted to do a remix, but not a dance version, but more like an R&B or soul arrangement." So he cobbled together his rendition of the popular tune and it will be performed Saturday.
"We're always looking forward," Jeffrey says. "There's always room to do something new and fresh."
Jeffrey and his band have performed off and on with the MSO since 1996, but they've been regulars at the Elvis Pops Concert for the last 10 years. "It's always a good vibe in the Cannon Center," he says, "and everybody has a good time."
The guest conductor for Aloha Elvis! is Grammy-nominated James Lowe, who led the MSO in a lively Stax-themed pops concert in October.
Lowe has wide experience on the podium from opera to pop to musical theater, having worked with Sutton Foster and Joel Grey in "Anything Goes." He's also done orchestrations and arrangements for Elton John and Betty Comden.
Memphis Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert featuring Terry Mike Jeffrey and the TMJ Band, with guest conductor James Lowe. 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main. Tickets begin at $15: student tickets $5. Call 901-537-2525 or go to memphissymphony.org
Other Elvis Birthday Events
Opening of “Elvis’ Hawaii: Movies, Concerts and More!” New exhibit: 10 a.m. 4 p.m., Graceland Crossing (included as part of the Graceland VIP and Platinum tour). 3727 Elvis Presley Blvd. Call 901-332-3322.
Fan Club Presidents’ Event honoring work of fan clubs: Special guest Anita Wood Brewer and her daughter, author Jonnita Brewer Barrett: 10 a.m.-noon. Memphis Marriott East, 5795 Poplar Ave. Tickets $12. Call 800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322.
Graceland Stable Tours: See the Graceland Stable and artifacts on display. Tours at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets: $15, available Monday at Graceland. Weather permitting. Call 901-332-3322.
Elvis’ Tupelo Exhibit with conversations emceed by Memphis Jones with Tupelo historian Roy Turnere and Elvis friends Guy Harris and Sam Bell. Also a screening of Mike McCarthy’s “Tupelove” and performance by Tupelo Unity Choir. 1 p.m. at Bijou Theatre, Graceland Plaza in Tupelo, Miss. Free. Tickets available Saturday at Graceland Guest Services. Call 901-332-3322.
Graceland Trivia Tour of the mansion and the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum while simultaneously answering trivia questions: 4:30 p.m. Tickets $33 for adults; children 7-12 are $16; younger children are free. Call 800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322.
Club Elvis: Deejay and cash bar. 8 p.m.-midnight. Elvis Presley Car Museum, Graceland Plaza. Tickets $25. Call 800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322.
D&N’s and Elvis Meetup’s Gospel Tribute to Elvis: Annual midnight meeting of D&N’s Elvis Presley Fan Club and the Elvis Meetup Fan Club to sing gospel songs: 11:59 p.m. at Graceland gates. Free.
Elvis Presley Day Ceremony with Graceland/EPE officials and a birthday cake: 9:30 a.m. Free.
Live Elvis Music by Brad Birkedahl: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free.