The Genius of George Gershwin – In Concert

March 5, 2015

On a pleasant first day of autumn a packed house at the Southwick hall was treated to renditions of many of Gerhswin’s finest and well-known jazz pieces. The famous American composer, George Gershwin (1898-1937), is one of the 10 Jewish Geniuses immortalised in the current Andy Warhol’s Jewish Geniuses exhibition at the Jewish Museum. What better way to celebrate the exhibition than a concert to delight in Gershwin’s everlasting contribution to 20th century music? Gershwin brought jazz to the classical concert arena with one of his most famous compositions, Rhapsody in Blue.

First up was pianist Joe Ruberto who delighted the audience with a piano solo before accompanying vocalist, Julie O’Hara. Julie sang her way through 5 songs and the audience was spoiled by her vibrancy in bringing Gershwin to life. Ruberto was then joined by singer Katrina Noela. Noela has often been described as epitomizing the likes of Marina Prior or Sarah Brightman with her varied and sultry jazz styling. A highlight of the late afternoon concert was surely the rendition of the famous I Got Rhythms in Yiddish.

Galit Klas, joined by the energetic Tamara Vasilevtsky on piano, dedicated the well known song to her bubba and was sure Gershwin’s grandmother would be equally proud of her Yiddish version of the song. Tamara performed a piano solo before Katrina came back on stage to sing some songs from Gershwin’s highly acclaimed and popular musical, Porgy and Bess.

An up and coming star of music theatre, Josh Piterman continued where Katrina left off in delighting the audience with more from Porgy and Bess together with Katrina and Galit. The melodies are well known even to those who are not such Gershwin aficionados. Who hasn’t heard I Got Plenty of Nutting and the ballad It Ain’t Necessarily So?

It was a highly enjoyable afternoon celebrating the musical genius of George Gershwin. One could imagine sitting in the lobby of one of New York’s fine hotel lobby’s enjoying afternoon tea whilst being enveloped in the rhythms and classic jazz music that was uniquely Gershwin.

Written by Debbie Herbst