I Like New York in June, How About You?

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After our first successfull attempt at celebrating a lyricst of the GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK in a project called LYRICALLY SPEAKING and dedicated to the Poetry & Music of Cole Porter, this second installment in the series is devoted to the Pulitzer Prize Winner Ira Gershwin.

Ira Gershwin not only collaborated with his brother George in the writing of countless popular songs but, after George’s early death, went on to work with other talented composers; creating what amounts to the most popular songs of the Twentieth Century.

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 122th 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.

The show will feature Instrumentlas, Solos, Duets and Four Part Harmony Tunes. To make the evening even more unique and entertaining we have asked published author Jadi Campbell to write a storyline to connect the twenty songs featured in the performance!

The Gershwin Singers are Sara Conway, Denise Woodmansee, Joerg Witzsch, Anthony King and will be accompanied by Paul Scharz at the Piano. Actor Derrick Jenkins will be reading the text by Jadi Campbell.

Performance: Sunday, July 8 at 19:00 hrs in CENTRAL THEATER, Esslingen; Roßmarkt 9


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