Gustavo Dudamel and Herbie Hancock in Los Angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall

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Los Angeles Philharmonic

Gustavo Dudamel — Conductor

Herbie Hancock — Pianist

Program notes

Gustavo Dudamel and jazz superstar Herbie Hancock meet at the crossroads of jazz and classical music in a concert dedicated to American composer George Gershwin.

In 2011, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) and its music director Gustavo Dudamel kicked off their season with a celebration of George Gershwin's music. Although Gershwin's An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue are performed relatively regularly, other great works by this beloved American composer still await rediscovery. Enter Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil, and their season opening concert, which featured some of these lesser known musical gems. A highlight was Gershwin's Cuban Overture, a piece inspired by the Cuban pop music standard, Echale salsita. To prepare for the performance, "I went backstage to drink a little mojito," said a laughing Dudamel, "to create a little bit more the real atmosphere that we will have tonight with this amazing music." Gershwin's protean music is strongly influenced by jazz, but, as Gustavo Dudamel cheerily reminded the public, it also contains some distinctly Latin American features.

For this magical evening celebrating George Gershwin's music, the musical artists truly pulled out all the stops! In Rhapsody in Blue, a masterpiece of the orchestral repertoire, jazz superstar Herbie Hancock took the stage, and his performance was soon greeted with the raucous applause from the Walt Disney Concert Hall audience. Next came two rare Gershwin pieces for solo piano, Embraceable You and Someone To Watch Over Me. Time seemed to stand, with musicians and audience listening raptly in the hall's moody blue light...

© Picture: Mathew Imaging.

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