“All Gershwin,” a musical tribute to George Gershwin, recently played to a packed house at Crowder Hall on the University of Arizona campus. At 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 23) the Arizona Senior Academy will host an encore performance of the show, which features pianist Angelo Versace and Jason Carder on trumpet.
Versace is director of Jazz Studies at the UA’s Fred Fox School of Music, and Carder is an adjunct instructor of trumpet there.
Versace explains that Gershwin’s compositions have a personal place in his heart, as his mother often filled the house with his music, making it part of the soundtrack of his life. Further, Gershwin’s gift for understanding how jazz musicians think and play allowed him to compose with musicians in mind. This, in turn, allows the performers to play at their finest, adding further beauty to the sophisticated but timeless familiarity of tunes such as “I Loves You Porgy” and “The Man I Love,” both on the program.
In addition to overseeing Jazz Studies at the UA, Versace sets an example by maintaining an active public performance schedule. A performer, teacher, composer, arranger, producer, and music director, he has worked around the globe and currently tours extensively and plays regularly at local jazz venues as well.
Carder grew up in Arizona and tours extensively as the trumpet soloist with Yanni. He has toured globally with more than a dozen groups, and his superb talent appears in over 80 recorded albums with a variety of artists.
Together, Versace and Carder promise an inspired and unforgettable performance of music perhaps you’ve forgotten how much you love. You don’t have to be a jazz aficionado to be enchanted by the music of Gershwin.
Written by John Evans, Academy Village Volunteer