Saturday, 26 September 2015

George Gershwin and African American Music

Maurice Peress

This chapter details Gershwin's early contacts with African American music and musicians. His Blue Monday Blues of 1922, a failed attempt at writing an operatic scene about Negro characters, is sung by whites in blackface. The chapter also discusses his thoughts on Jewish artists and African American music. Fifteen years later, Gershwin's masterpiece, a folk opera, Porgy and Bess, comes to Broadway and receives mixed reviews. The orchestration question is resolved at the end of the chapter.