Saturday, May 05, 2007

A jazzy 'Rhapsody in Blue'

My wife and I just went to see a Saturday night performance in Dover, Ohio, of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, which found a fresh way to present Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." The piano soloist was Cleveland jazz musician Jackie Warren. My friend Phil, principal bassoonist with the orchestra, introduced me before the show to the conductor, Eric Benjamin. After Phil explained that "Rhapsody in Blue" is one of my favorite pieces, Benjamin remarked that while a performance of "Rhapsody" usually features a classical pianist playing a jazz-influenced piece, his concert would feature a jazz pianist. Indeed, Warren played well with the orchestra and obviously knew the score but brought her own improvisations to the piano parts. She showed off her chops with an encore performance of "Our Love is Here to Stay."

The Tuscarawas Philharmonic, which performs at Dover High School, has been in continuous existence since 1935.


Jeffrey quick said...

Ha! I went to school with Jackie...I'll bet that was fun.

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