VILLAGE OF LIVERPOOL – Composer George Gershwin died an untimely death after suffering from a brain tumor at age 38 back in 1937. Although his life was cut tragically short, he packed plenty of music into his 20-year career, composing countless symphonies, musicals, operas and many of the most memorable melodies that comprise the Great American Songbook.
Some of those standards include “Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Summertime,” “They Can’t Take that Away from Me” and “S’Wonderful.” In 1924, he teamed up with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra to present his masterful jazz-classical concerto, “Rhapsody in Blue.”
At 2 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 15, the Anthony Joseph Swingtet will celebrate the marvelous music of George Gershwin at the Carman Community Room, Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St.
Sunday’s performance is the second event in the library’s fall concert series titled “Resounding Reeds.”
One of Central New York’s most gifted clarinet players, retired Oswego educator Tony Joseph explained why he decided to focus on Gershwin.
“Every so often I really enjoy presenting tribute/theme shows,” he wrote in an email.
His Swingtet previously performed musical salutes to songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen, bandleader Duke Ellington and clarinetist Benny Goodman.
“The inspiration for choosing Gershwin’s music came to me as I was revisiting the movie ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus’,” Joseph reported. “During the scene where they do a ‘Gershwin Revue’ show as a fundraising event, it occurred to me that we’ve never performed an actual tribute to Gershwin’s music, even though our set lists include many of his songs.”
Accompanying Joseph on Sunday will be pianist Barry Blumenthal, drummer Jimmy Johns and bassist Mike Solazzo.
“These are three of the most highly regarded jazz musicians in the area,” Joseph wrote.
The Swingtet will perform a dozen Gershwin tunes such as “Someone to Watch over Me,” “I Got Rhythm” and “Our Love Is Here to Stay.”
Sunday’s free concert is presented by the library in collaboration with the Liverpool Is The Place Concert Committee. The “Resounding Reeds” series continues at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 when saxophonist John Rohde’s leads his Pastabilities Trio into the Carman Room.