Strike Up the Band!

The papers, original scores, and more written by George and Ira Gershwin are being made available to music scholars, performers, audiences, and students through The Gershwin Initiative at the University of Michigan. A “listening gallery” is at the U-M website link. The school will create new, definitive scores for the brothers’ many compositions, which include Porgy and Bess, Rhapsody in Blue, and An American in Paris.

The Gershwins were pivotal in developing what is now called The Great American Songbook, recently brought to a broader (or renewed) audience by Michael Feinstein, who is not only an entertainer, but relentless in his effort to preserve this era of musical history and an avid supporter of the next generation of vocal talent. No surprise, one of Feinstein’s early jobs was as assistant to Ira Gershwin, which inspired his recent book, The Gershwins and Me.

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