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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

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Gualala Arts presents:
A Night of Gershwin
Rhapsody In Blue

Saturday, June 29, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
at the Gualala Arts Center
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Buy tickets

Gershwin concert poster, by PT Nunn Conceived and directed by Fred Adler, this concert will honor George Gershwin, the beloved and revered American pianist and composer of popular songs, semi classical and jazz works.

This very special concert night will feature both local and visiting artists, and will feature the special music created by George and his lyricist brother Ira Gershwin.

Unique and prolific in musical history, Gershwin's compositions from "Rhapsody in Blue" to "Porgy and Bess" to "American in Paris" are frequently named as favorites by music lovers. "Embraceable You," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Swanee," "I Got Rhythm," "'S Wonderful" and countless other gems which have been etched in the pleasure areas of our brain, soul and heart for decades will be performed in this concert.

Highlights of this glowing "Night of Gershwin" will include Eric Kritz's clarinet and Renata Yardumian's piano performing "Rhapsody in Blue," Mary Lynn Preiss enchanting us with her soaring and gorgeous "Summertime" and pianist Carolyn Steinbuck performing the famous Gershwin "Preludes."

George Gershwin, photo by Carl Van Vechten
George Gershwin
photo by Carl Van Vechten
The Fairmont Hotel's long-standing classic jazz pianist, Eric Shifrin, will present a riveting medley of familiar Gershwin standards and Shifrin's lovely Japanese wife, Kotomi, will sing a beautiful Gershwin standard. The dapper and sophisticated Santa Cruz vocalist / bassist Nat Johnson will sing and play selections from "Porgy and Bess," and the passionate San Francisco violinist Evan Price will contribute his elegant mastery to the occasion.

The Mendocino Coast Brass Ensemble, which includes Chris Jorgensen (trumpets, French horn, trombone, and tuba), will conclude this unique concert with a Porgy and Bess medley and the song, "Do It Again."

Fred Adler will narrate this historic "A Night of Gershwin; Rhapsody in Blue." The concert is dedicated to Fred's grandfather, Dr. Joseph Solomon Diamond, who was George Gershwin's New York City physician during the 1930s on East 83rd Street.

No Host bar, champagne, wine & beer available.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $5 more day of performance. Youth 17 & under admitted free with adult. For advance purchase, visit Brown Paper Tickets or call them at 800-838-3006. To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala.


A great night for Gershwin in Gualala

By J. Stephen McLaughlin
Independent Coast Observer
July 5, 2013

It was a great night in Gualala for George Gershwin on Saturday.

Some of our best local musicians and impressive imported talent were brought together at the Gualala Arts Center by local jazz aficionado and advocate Fred Adler for a full evening's tribute to the iconic American composer and his lyricist brother Ira.

Adler, who is known to many as a long-time radio voice on KTDE, The Tide, in Gualala, introduced each performance, beginning with "Rhapsody in Blue," played by Renata Yardumian on piano and Eric Kritz on clarinet.

Yardumian, herself, adapted the full orchestration for performance by the two instruments. The result was especially interesting for those familiar with the orchestral work, as it revealed details and nuances in the score that had been unnoticed before, and showcased Kritz' clarinet chops.

Another long-time coastal piano luminary, Carolyn Steinbuck, performed a charming set of Gershwin's three Preludes.

Yardumian accompanied another local star, Mary Lynn Preiss, in a moving version of "Summertime" and selections from "Porgy and Bess." Her pure voice soared to the rafters of the Gualala Arts Center. In an unexpected comedic break, "By Strauss" featured Preiss, Yardumian and Kritz in a "free 'n' easy waltz, that is Vienneasy," with those inimitable lyrics by Ira.

The Mendocino Brass Ensemble came south to contribute a Porgy and Bess medley plus a couple of other Gershwin songs, and then Adler introduced Eric Shifrin, the in-house jazz pianist from the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Shifrin, a seasoned pro, performed a varied medley, and then accompanied his wife, vocalist Kotomi Shifrin on more Gershwin songs.

Adler assembled a great trio of Shifrin, bassist/vocalist Nat Johnson (who last appeared here in the Whale and Jazz Festival) and violinist Evan Price for the event. They communicated like they had been bandmates for years, but after their set, Adler revealed to the amazed audience that the trio hadn't ever played together. Indeed, they hadn't even met each other until that day.

Adler's family has a special connection to George Gershwin. He told the audience that his own grandfather had been Gershwin's personal physician back in the 1930s in New York, and he shared family lore of his father peeking under the banister as Gershwin played piano at parties.

Adler's tribute to Gershwin gave the full house at Gualala Arts more insight into what the excitement was about downstairs at his grandfather's house all those years ago.

© 2013 Independent Coast Observer, Gualala, CA
Independent Coast Observer

Reproduced with permission.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.