On Sunday, March 21 at 3:00 p.m., Stephen C. Widom Cultural Arts at Emanuel will present a virtual concert, “S’Wonderful, S’Marvelous, S’Gershwin!” featuring composer and pianist Jimmy Roberts, who will perform selections of the music of George Gershwin.
Jimmy Roberts, composer of the second-longest-running Off Broadway show in history, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” is also an entertainer who has delighted audiences with his wit and his special way with a song.
Recent engagements include Merkin Concert Hall, the Time Warner Center, the 92nd Street Y, Steinway Hall, and the National Arts Club. For seven years he was featured pianist at the Drake Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
For Jimmy Roberts, the eternally modern Gershwin sound is all about rhythm. Gershwin absorbed the rhythms of “modern” America: speeding trains and planes, jazz joints in Harlem, the jagged syncopation of life in New York City.
Is it any wonder that two of his most famous songs are “I Got Rhythm” and “Fascinating Rhythm”? One of Gershwin’s many gifts was blending those jazzy rhythms with traditional forms of classical music: rhapsodies (“Rhapsody in Blue”), concertos, symphonic poems (An American in Paris), and, of course, operas, with his masterpiece, “Porgy and Bess.”
But when it came to songs, it took two Gershwin brothers to make the magic, and it was older brother Ira who devised the witty and touching lyrics that go hand in hand with George’s melodies. In fact, they were awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1930 for their satirical operetta, “Of Thee I Sing.”
All of this was accomplished in a mere two decades before George Gershwin’s untimely death at the age of thirty-eight. Jimmy Roberts, who has long been a Gershwin devotee, will relate fascinating anecdotes as he performs selections that are among America’s proudest treasures.
The truth is, the whole world knows and loves the music of that street kid from Brooklyn. And all would agree, in his brother’s colloquial parlance, “S’Wonderful, S’Marvelous, S’Gershwin!”
This concert is funded by the Kisner-Levien families in memory of Donna Levien.
Registration for this virtual event is $10.
For further information, to register and purchase a ticket, go to:
Call 516.482.5701 if you have questions.