In January 1924, George Gershwin reportedly learned from a newspaper article that he was meant to be writing a “jazz concerto” for a concert of new American music to be performed a month later by the popular dance band leader Paul Whiteman. Writing at manic pace, Gershwin composed a two-piano version, which was then orchestrated by Whiteman’s arranger. Rhapsody in Blue, with Gershwin as soloist, was a triumph and is considered a landmark in American music.
We celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rhapsody in Blue in a performance by the Shout Section Big Band, directed by Brett Dean and featuring pianist Jeffrey LaDeur. The concert also will include classic tunes from the “Great American Songbook,” the most important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards from the early to mid-20th century that have stood the test of time.
Founded in 2007 by Brett Dean, Shout Section Big Band makes big band swing come alive with excitement. Rivaling some big-name orchestras in sound, and staffed by some of the best musicians in the Chicago area, SSBB delivers music you love for both listening and dancing. The band, with Brett Dean still at the helm, holds prestigious residencies at such storied Chicago venues as Andy’s Jazz Club and Fitzgerald’s Nightclub.
Pianist Jeffrey LaDeur, a St. Charles native now based in San Francisco, has established himself as a mainstay of the Bay Area music scene. He is in demand as a soloist, chamber musician and concerto artist with orchestras. LaDeur is founder and artistic director of the annual San Francisco International Piano Festival. This concert marks his third Rhapsody in Blue performance of the work’s centennial year.
Your ticket includes three complimentary beverages (wine, beer, soft drinks) and light snacks.