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Costello Formalizes Symponic Tour, Album Plans

Initially expected to begin sometime this month, Elvis Costello’s orchestral tour will instead open March 27 in San Francisco. The artist and frequent collaborator Steve Nieve will perform with local orchestras on the 13-date trek, which concludes May 13 in Atlanta. Only 10 cities appear on the itinerary, including two shows in Honolulu and one in Maui, as well as three in Baltimore.

As previously reported, Costello will perform a suite from his inaugural symphony composition, “Il Sogno” and material heard on “My Flame Burns Blue,” due Feb. 28 via Deutsche Grammophon. Captured at the 2004 North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the latter features performances with the Metropole Orkest of reworked Costello favorites, as well as music composed by Charles Mingus and Billy Strayhorn.

Finally, Costello’s recent collaborations with Allen Toussaint will appear on “The River in Reverse,” due in May via Verve Forecast. As first reported here, the material on the set includes new songs co-written by Costello and Toussaint, as well as fresh versions of several vintage Toussaint songs.

With producer Joe Henry, the pair recorded in November in Toussaint’s native New Orleans with Costello’s band, the Imposters, and several members of Toussaint’s band. Conducted amid the city’s massive recovery effort, the sessions are thought to be among the first there since Hurricane Katrina struck in late August.

Here are Costello’s tour dates:

March 27: San Francisco (Davies Symphony Hall)
March 31-April 1: Honolulu (Neal S. Blaisdell Center)
April 2: Maui (Maui Arts & Cultural Center)
April 11: Austin, Texas (Bass Concert Hall)
April 13: Houston (Jesse H. Jones Hall)
April 18: Chicago (Orchestra Hall)
April 20: Baltimore (The Music Center at Strathmore)
April 21-22: Baltimore (Meyerhoff Symphony Hall)
May 10: Boston (Symphony Hall)
May 12: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
May 13: Atlanta (Fox Theatre)