An evening of beautiful music; instrumentals, solos, duets and four part harmony featuring the song stylists Jeanne Ragonese, Sara Conway, Anthony King, Joerg Witzsch, pianist Florian Eisentraut, narrator Derrick Jenkins, and a story by Jadi Campbell.
Ira Gershwin is the lyricist to musical composer and younger brother George Gershwin. This brotherly collaboration created some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. The compositions of George & Ira Gershwin are among the masterpieces of THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK; which is the most popular source of material for singers and musicians today. After George’s untimely death at an early age, Ira went on to work with other composers, such as Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen and Kurt Weill; with whom he continued to write many successful Broadway Musicals.
With this musical project we aim to celebrate the 120th Birthday of Song Lyricist Ira Gershwin; whom many consider to be a Modern American Poet. Heartfelt, high-spirited, sparkling with vernacular eloquence, the lyrics of Ira Gershwin defined the spirit of an era and have lived on as part of the American tradition. Ira distilled ordinary American speech into indelible verse; embodying his wit romance and dazzling virtuosity.
Ira Gershwin had a sharp eye and an ear for the minute details of daily life and was a joyous listener to the sounds of the modern world. He managed to translate an elevator’s purr, telephone’s buzz, a baby’s moan, a shout of delight, a screech from a flat wheel, car honks, a hoarse voice, a tinkle, a match scratch on sandpaper, a deep resounding boom of dynamite in the impending subway, iron hooks on the gutter into lyrical musical terminology.
Often compared with American Poets Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg as being a voice of the people; Ira Gershwin once remarked that he always tried to “capture the way people spoke to each other – their slang, their clichés, the catch phrases.” In this he was successful like no other.
Tonight’s selections will include many popular tunes and a few rarely performed songs: SUMMERTIME, SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, THE MAN THAT GOT AWAY, THE MAN I LOVE, THE SAGA OF JENNY, BUT NOT FOR ME, HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON, OH, LADY BE GOOD, BIDIN’ MY TIME, I’LL BUILD A STAIRWAY TO PARADISE, S’ WONDERFUL, LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF, THEY ALL LAUGHED, THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME, EMBRACEABLE YOU, FASCINATING RHYTHM, LOVE IS HERE TO STAY, I GOT RHYTHM, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH
Monday, JUNE 6 at 20:00 hrs in MERLIN