Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel And The LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin
About the Concert

Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock launched the LA Phil’s 2011/12 season with a sparkling George Gershwin gala at Walt Disney Concert Hall in September. “This is the first time as a professional musician that I’ll be playing a piece that’s essentially classical music with jazz overtones with a symphony orchestra, and what a symphony orchestra it is!” marvels Hancock just before the concert, referring to his keyboard work in Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin, featuring that classic piece as well as “An American in Paris” and Hancock’s unique improvisation on the great standard “Someone to Watch Over Me,” airs on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Friday, January 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

Watch a preview:

Since his early teens, Gershwin had been enamored with the music he heard uptown in Harlem, quickly becoming the center of the jazz universe. His first attempt at a serious composition, the mini-opera Blue Monday, a story about characters in a Harlem nightclub was a flop and received only one performance.

Upon seeing the opera, band leader Paul Whiteman was enthused enough to commission Gershwin to write a concert piece in the jazz idiom for a program of American music, and Gershwin, was emboldened to take it on. As he later explained, “I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America – of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness.”

Rhapsody was introduced on February 12, 1924, with the composer as soloist in Ferde Grofé’s orchestration for jazz band. The piece made an indelible mark on the history of American music, on the fraternity of serious composers and performers – many of whom were present at the premiere – and on Gershwin himself, for its enthusiastic reception encouraged him to other and more serious projects.

It was a trip to Paris that inspired Gershwin to work in earnest on a recent commission he had received from the New York Philharmonic, one that would capture in music the tumult of Paris’ streets with their distinctive taxi horns, and create a concert work that didn’t center on the piano.

Back in New York, Gershwin finished An American in Paris, which he subtitled “A Tone Poem for Orchestra.” In an interview in the August 18, 1928 edition of Musical America, he said of the work: “this new piece, really a rhapsodic ballet, is the most modern music I have ever attempted.” He also gave a brief “program note” of the work:

An American in Paris was wildly successful with audiences – and Hollywood – and established Gershwin as an original voice in concert halls worldwide, a voice that resonates to this day.

“Someone to Watch Over Me” was composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin for the musical Oh, Kay! (1926), where it was introduced by British star Gertrude Lawrence. It has been performed by numerous artists in both popular and jazz versions.
The Los Angeles Times noted admiringly, “The L.A. Philharmonic is noted for its flexibility, and the solo riffs were jazzy, authentic and unself-conscious, all of which is a real rarity in the symphonic world.”

Concurrently serving as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (his third season), the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Dudamel’s musical leadership spans three continents.

Beyond the forty-three weeks of his yearly schedule, he also guest conducts with a few of the world’s greatest orchestras each season. This season he returns to the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic, along with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris and the Israel Philharmonic. He also returns to La Scala, where he regularly conducts, for a performance of Mahler Symphony No. 2.

Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres. His illustrious career has spanned five decades and 14 Grammys, including Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters.

Hancock also maintains a thriving career outside the performing stage and recording studio. Recently named by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Creative Chair for Jazz, he currently also serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and he’s a founder of The International Committee of Artists for Peace. Hancock was made a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in July of 2011.

In 2010, Hancock released the critically-acclaimed, multiple Grammy-winning CD, Herbie Hancock’s The Imagine Project. Utilizing the universal language of music to express its central themes of peace and global responsibility, the ‘Imagine’ project features a stellar group of musicians.

Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET, Bernard Fleisher Moving Images, WDR in cooperation with ARTE, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and C Major.

Great Performances is funded by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Vivian Milstein, Jody and John Arnhold, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, public television viewers, and PBS.

Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil Celebrate Gershwin is directed by Enrique Sanchez Lansch. Producer: Bernhard Fleischer. Producer for WDR/ARTE: Lothar Mattner. For Great Performances, John Walker is producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

  • sophie

    Mr. Hancock is a classy remarkable artist, and an American treasure, how fortunate for Gustavo to be in the presence of a proficient, credible artist with true talent. I look forward to watching the concert on PBS.

  • Albert

    They’d better show this on our local PBS Atlanta stations! Knowing them, they won’t.

    Wake up Channel 8 and Channel 30. Not all PBS concerts are available online!

  • Luciano

    I would say that the inverse is also true, Sophie: Dudamel is a Venezuelan treasure, how fortunate for Hancock to be in the presence of an equally “proficient, credible artist with true talent.” I would say they are both very lucky. I look forward to watching the concert!

  • josh

    Love Herbie, and look forward to watching the concert. I still think the Dude is overrated, but the price of oil is high and hollyweird is all about money and fantasy. The young american conductors who far excel the dude in every catagory don’t need all the expensive publicity, you see real maestros don’t have to roar.

    We americans are sick of this over exposed jumping jack, it takes more than memorization of a score to be a credible conductor, enough PR people save your money, we are not buying it and this will come back tobite you, Debra can’t be his babysitter forever, this on going pseudo hype is nauseating and a disservice to the classical concert goer ENOUGH.

  • Albert

    I was right. They are showing the Harry Connick, Jr. program, but not this.

  • Albert

    Hmm…do I detect a bit of jealousy, perhaps professional? They said much the same thing about Leonard Bernstein when he was young.

  • Paul

    Bernstein was a narcissistic, theater- movie composer (at best) let us be clear, it was a different time, the childrens concerts were for him (not the children) he loved the limelight, i assume it went with his shady, septic tank, life style.

    Jealous? no my friend ,realistic, during Linda’s lifetime, oh i’m sorry Leonard’s lifetime his love of self and lifestyle ruined him and countless young male musicians, with his lifestyle much like Pletnev today, classical music (some of it) is beautiful but some try to pretend it is elitist, please, play the music and pay the orchestra exactly what you pay the conductor because w/o the orchestra he is nothing. Oh and Lenny, was not the genius it was GG, he had the 411 on the phoney, boring smudges of his profession.

    Try seeing Daniel Stewart one of many young conductors, perhaps you will get it.

  • Albert

    Bernstein was bisexual, but he was by no means a pedophile. You must have read Joan Peyser’s awful, lurid biography. Peyser was a phony whose reputation deservedly went down the drain after she published a biography of Gershwin, in which she claimed (with nothing to back it up) that George Gershwin had an illegitimate son that he never acknowledged.

    I happen to think that Bernstein was the greatest American-born conductor of the twentieth century, maybe of all time. I loved his Young People’s Concerts and I grew u with them, and I rewatched them when they were telecast again about nine years ago, so I am not relying on nostalgia. Whatever YOU may think of them, they introduced millions of children (including myself) to famous pieces of classical music, and Bernstein was perhaps the most eloquent and articulate lecturer on music there has ever been.

  • Albert

    Sorry, that should have read “grew up with them”.

  • Dee

    Boys, boys, boys, stop your haggling and just enjoy the music.

  • Juanpa

    It was a great concert !!! I did enjoyed RHAPSODY IN BLUE with Mr. Hancock and Mr Dudamel together, and also the rest of the evening. Hope you enjoy it too

  • dana

    i’ve skimmed some of these comments….i’m surprised at the subject matter….can’t there be another site for his garbage? I was looking for commentary on this wonderful concert…..the performers and the music. I was so uplifted until I read some of this nonsense. What are your preoccupations and concerns here? Some of these commenters must be habitual daytime tv watchers, and must bring that sensibility no matter what the art form at hand.

  • Musician

    Way off, Sophie. WAY WAY off!

  • Patrick Hinely

    By all rights, George Gershwin is grinning in his grave.
    This is as good as it gets.

  • Sharon, NY

    A wonderful concert, with a beautiful interpretation of Gershwin by Dudamel, especially in American in Paris. Lyrical, a little more romantic than usual in places, with lots of energy. By the looks of it at least, Hancock and Dudamel enjoyed working together–they had a great connection on stage.

  • Carolyn in Dutchess

    That was brilliant! What a treat to listen to! Thank you, PBS!

  • Uncle Phil

    I do not know if my ear is keen, but I know what I like and this performance gave me the opportunity to indulge in a rare dalliance into the classical. Was it technically good? I have no idea but it connected with me in the way in which the composer would have been appreciative. Gersh, Herb, Dude and the Band. Job well done!!! Bravo!

    Their performances inspired me, so say what you will. But in my book they were brilliant and lived up to the accolades which follow them!

  • Vic Gallis

    I’m with you, Dana! It was an amazing concert with outstanding performances by Herbie Hancock, Dudamel, and the LA Phil. Gershwin (and the much maligned Bernstein as well) would have loved it.

  • Peggy ,Knoxville

    Hancock’s rendition of Rhapsody in Blue left me awestruck! Dudamel was enjoying Hancock’s performance as much as the audience. Play it again Sam!

  • Rikke in Columbia

    Came in late but caught Hancock’s incredible interpretation of Rhapsody in Blue — and it was thrilling. Still can’t get over it. I want to see and hear it again and again….. Are you listening PBS, let’s run it again real soon. Bravo.

  • Andrea

    Yes, please PBS!

  • Andrea

    Just realized….check your local listings and sign up for the email notification. There are other re-broadcasts!

  • Beatrice Beccari

    I just watched the concert and Josh’s comments are just petty and completely unwarranted. It does sound like sour grapes. Dudamel is a wonderful, passionate interpreter and performer. A true joy to watch and listen to. He is young and will continue to improve, but who he is now and what he stands for are undeserving of such a put down. And enough about American excellence! Just look around you, Josh, and at the dismal shape this country has been brought down by its own elected (and unelected) representatives. Thank god for new, eager, young and talented blood coming to this country, just as it has always been, since its inception.

  • Dahveed

    Fantastic fantastic fantastic!!!! Saw the broadcast on Nashville PBS station. Just wonderful!

  • Barboo


  • Tom

    when & how with the recording be available for purchase. What an incredible concert. On DVD? CD?

  • Jean-Francois

    Que celui qui n’a jamais péché lance la première pierre. Les artistes sont des êtres bien souvent traumatisés et déséquilibrés. Je me prends en exemple. Ceux qui le sont le plus sont rongés par des pathologies intenses qui deviennent des sources d’inspiration majestueuses. Laissez les démons là où ils reposent et encensez la beauté de ce qu’ils ont laissez en héritage.

  • Trebor

    This was a truly magical performance. My favorite part was watching Gustavo listening to Herbie, getting swept up along with the audience in his mesmerizing playing. It is something special to watch when music casts a spell over the room and holds everyone from the musicians to the audience in its thrall.

    For anyone who enjoyed this performance I would also highly recommend another Great Performances performance of this piece where Marcus Roberts was accompanied by an ensemble led by Bobby McFerrin. This was another magical pairing of music director and soloist, reminded me very much of the wonderful connection we saw between Gustavo and Herbie.

  • Jose Lepe

    Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil is truly one of the Greatest Performances ever!!!! Thank you!!!!

  • David Coverdale

    I caught this just as the opening clarinet line began in Rhapsody in Blue, saw that Herbie was the soloist and thought that I must have fallen asleep and was having one of those dreams that are beyond what normal imagination could conjure up. All of the soloists were imaginative and inspiring and the connection between Gustavo Dudamel and Herbie Hancock was electric. This was a potentially ho-hum day that ended with a most memorable upbeat.
    Thank you PBS.

  • Christie Nelson

    I’ve loved this piece (Rhapsody) for decades but I’ve never heard it played like this! Bravo! Exquisitely nuanced by Herbie Hancock, with wonderfully energetic orchestration — what a fabulous performance by all!
    Thank you!!!

  • Funkster

    Tell me where can I watch the full episode online?

  • Guillermo Mendoza

    Herbie graduated from Grinnell College in the early 60’s when I was a college brat and in jr high school.at Grinnell. I still remember his playing at various student music productions and we all knew he would do well in music. Over the years we’ve followed his success but tonight was something unexpectedly ethereal… Just happened to be crusiing the TV listings and caught the promo just 5 min before the show went on. Can’t believe I almost missed the highlight of my musical life.

  • Alex Kass

    I just watched / listened to this broadcast. Great. And Rhapsody was awesome with an incredible performance by Hancock on the piano. So good, it made me cry.

  • Tim Robinson

    I loved the broadcast. I especially liked the moments when Herbie was playing and the conductor would smile knowingly. I don’t know anything about music, but I know that there was something special going on…and being played…during this concert.

  • Marj Bard

    I just happened upon this performance as it began, tired of the constant NH Caucus news. My background was in classical music, terrible on the piano given to me by “Kousy” of the BSO (that’s Boston!), but nevertheless born to love classical more than any other music. I have heard most of the conductors and orchestras all of my long life, and I am appalled at the comments here re the personal habits of impressive musicians. What the heck does that have to do with their talents? Dudamel was wonderfully dynamic, the musicians were obviously top drawer, and while I’m not a fan of Hancock, his rendition with Dudamel of Rhapsody in Blue was stunning.

    I was curious about the seating of the string section since I’ve heard that it has changed from the traditional in America, at least. Anyone know about that topic?

    I went to Google to find out who the first violinist, first violist, and marvelous clarinetist (?) were. (That is how I ended up here!) I want to hear more from her — and I’m not even positive what her instrument is! She, to my ear, was superb and animated to watch and hear. Would someone tell me what Google couldn’t: the names of these musicians?

  • David

    WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, AMAZING, AWESOME Rhapsody in Blue has allways been a favorite of mine. This is one of the best I’ve heared!!!

  • aron

    The loved how Gustavo and Herbie connected musically, it made for a delightful concert. BRAVO

  • Dayvid

    S’wonderful! A true celebration of two American musical geniuses. And Gustavo wasn’t bad either :)

  • Martha

    Thank you, Mr. Hancock, for this breathtaking performance. Your thoughtful, heartfelt interpretation of the Rhapsody was a gift. And as for “Someone to Watch….”, well, Mr. Gershwin would be delighted.

  • Matt

    Fantastic, I was alone in the house and sill stood and clapped for the performance. I need to experience this again.

  • Susanna Hahn

    Where can I purchase the January 6, 2012 concert recordings of Hancock, Dudamel and The LA Philharmonic celebrating Gershwin? Please help me with this.

  • Karla

    Thank you PBS for this wonderful treat! Hope to see it again online on PBS. Gustavo and Herbie, simply brilliant.

  • Linda Hilliard

    Same wish as above…Will this performance be available for purchase as a DVD, CD or mp3 on itunes????
    I slept through it and now need to stay up til the wee hours to see a repeat —on at 2 or 4 AM here.
    My husband was so enthralled that he has sent me out to find a recording…..

  • CK Dexter Haven

    @Marj Bard – The names of the stellar musicians you were asking about:
    Principal Clarinet – Michele Zukovsky. She is a clarinet legend and a Los Angeles treasure. She has a number of solo CD’s, and also happened to be the soloist in the world premiere of the John Williams Clarinet Concerto performed with the Boston Pops and with many other orchestras.
    Principal Concertmaster – Martin Chalifour
    Principal Viola – Carrie Dennis

    BTW: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two trumpet principals from the night. Tom Hooten played in “An American in Paris” (and in the “Cuban Overture” which wasn’t broadcast on TV). Jim Wilt played in “Rhapsody in Blue”

    Regarding seating of the strings: When Esa-Pekka Salonen was music director, he changed the seating of the orchestra from the more typical high-to-low ( v1-v2-viola-cello) to a split of the violins (v1-cello-viola-v2). Since Dudamel has taken over, he’s alternated between Salonen’s preferred arrangement and the seating you saw in the Gala broadcast (v1-v2-cello-viola). This season, the newest seating arrangement has become more common.

    @Susanna Hahn – I had asked the LA Phil if the concert would be released on DVD (as the two previous season-opening galas had been), and they unfortunately said that there were no plans for a DVD release at this time. That said, I did not ask about audio-only release on iTunes or CD, so perhaps there is hope for that. If I learn anymore, I’ll share.

    Hope that helps.

    CK Dexter Haven

  • CK Dexter Haven

    The names of the soloists you asked about:
    Principal Clarinet: Michele Zukovsky. She is clarinet legend and Los Angeles treasure. She has many solo CDs if you’re interested to hear more from her. She also was the soloist in the world premiere of the John Williams Clarinet Concerto (with the composer conducting the Boston Pops).
    Principal Concertmaster: Martin Chalifour
    Principal Viola: Carrie Dennis

  • Karla

    I believe the the first violist is Martin Chalifour and the clarinetist is Michele Zukovsky.

  • CK Dexter Haven

    As far as string seating:
    Before the LA Phil moved into Walt Disney Concert Hall, they were seated in the typical v1-v2-viola-cello arrangement. After the move, Esa-Pekka Salonen (the LA Phil’s previous Music Director), decided to re-seat them and split the violins: v1-cello-viola-v2.

    When Gustavo Dudamel took over, he started alternating between Esa-Pekka’s preferred arrangement and the string seating you saw on TV: v1-v2-cello-viola. They have been using this newer seating arrangement more often this season.

  • fred

    Loved the mutual affection the conductor and pianist had for each other, it made the evening that more enjoyable. With Hancock in charge of the LA. Jazz dept and Gustavo the L.A. Phil director, Wow! there are going to be alot of BRAVO’S heard in Disney Hall.

  • CK Dexter Haven

    I asked the LA Phil if the concert would be released on DVD (as the previous two season opening gala concerts had been), and they told me that, unfortunately, there are no plans to release this year’s all-Gershwin concert on DVD.

    That said, I didn’t ask them about an audio-only mp3 or CD release. So perhaps there is still hope. If I here anything else, I’ll post it on my blog (www.allisyar.com)

  • Charles Nuetzel

    when will this be released on DVD?

  • paul coe

    How can a copy of this great classic be purchased ? I’ve searched all that I can anc still can’t find a answer.

    Would like to offer support but do not want to be “hounded” for more that I’m willing to give and that’s seems to be the history of donating to PBS (in general). Looking forward to your reply.

  • Jazzuks

    This MUST be available someway on a recording (ANYTHING…CD, iTunes, mp3…I HAVE to have it! Thank youPBS for one of the best Great Performancse ever!!!

  • anja pat

    Amazing, stunning, unforgettable!! I so agree with all the positive comments earlier. But with out the Orchestra ?: Each members’ contributions and talents (hard work?) so, so much appreciated. A beautiful memory to fall asleep with…

  • Don Gray

    Just saw/heard this magnificent performance in the last hour, (it’s winter here in Fairbanks, Alaska and KUAC, our local affiliate doesn’t always play a live feed–but we still appreciate the opportunity to enjoy the top quality of Great Performances, even if it arrives a day later than the rest of the country).

    I’ve enjoyed Herbie Hancock’s jazz piano since the early ’70’s. His versatility with the classical genre was both surprising and pleasing. Enjoyed being able to see Gustavo Dudamel in action for the first time. It’s gratifying to see a new generation of talent come forth. Thank you PBS!

  • Tina Pool

    Enthralling, mesmerizing, what a joy to hear and see! The most amazing interpretation and arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue – it had me dancing around the living room. I don’t think anything will top it. Herbie Hancock is an inspiration to me as a novice pianist, and in addition to being a great conductor, Gustavo Dudamel is fun to watch. Their exchanges were delightful. The LA Philharmonic is awesome!

  • David Blumberg

    The Musicians of the LAPO absolutely LOVE Dudamel. I produce recordings of one of the Principal players, as well as know several other members (one was my Piano Accompanist in College), and they really, really love him. Fantastic musician, and person is what I hear from them. He’s great for LA.

  • Jeremiah

    I’m guessing a greater resistance to making the concert available on DVD, or as easily or readily available as other concerts might be in general, is because music written by a person of the recent past, which includes George Gershwin, involves royalties and having to deal with even more lawyers than normal.

    So one advantage of performances of pieces written by, for example, Beethoven or Mozart? No royalties to the composer or his family! So less cost, fewer legal headaches. However, there still remains the matter of dealing with the unions of musicians and stagehands.

    I’m sure all of this, in turn, affects the non-finite budget of PBS too.

  • Dan Coronado

    What a fantastic concert!!!

    The Bernstein argument…….bhaaaaa, I’d rather listen to Dudamel.

    I love the conspiratorial look that Dudamel gives to both the orchestra and to Hancock during the pieces. The lucky audience are the marks in this wonderful scheme. I would have loved to have been one of the victims in the audience!

    Speaking for myself, I felt this was THE best version of the Gershwin pieces I have ever heard or felt.

    Thank You for beginning a new year with this incredible performance!

  • Joel Bodz

    WTVS in Detroit put the one hour concert on at three pm on Sunday. It deserved a better life. The concert was spectacular.

  • nancy hudgins

    Beautiful music elevates the mind from the mundane. Thank you pbs.

  • Julie

    It’s playing again tonight! I didn’t catch it the first time so I’m excited to see it!

  • frosty7530

    To Albert: Thank U for articulating my own thoughts re this concert, the review & the some of the unbelievably disgusting comments here. I also grew up listening to Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts; even my father, whose tastes were more towards SportsTV 24-7, listened & enjoyed. I especially remember Bernstein’s conducting The Cuban Ovature, what an elegant piece of music that was! Bernstein would have LOVED conducting with Hancock at the piano/keys. He always stressed the importance of being open to many types of music. Were he alive today, he would have enjoyed bringing rock/rap/country&western musicians into the fold.

    Tonight was the first time I’ve seen Dudamel conducting, and I sure hope it’s not the last:). What a stunning performance from all these gifted musicians. Herbie Hancock was truly eclectrifying. . .I hope Dudamel invites him back as the chemistry between Conductor/Orchestra/Pianist was exceptional I thank PBS for gifting us with this wonderful hour of music.

  • Alex

    Where is the archive? Please.

  • Lori

    …wonderful :)

  • ben

    Yes Sophie but what do you mean Credible? hes not some college grad- The man is one of the greatest living pianists of our time.

  • George

    We this program go into the archives and be watchable from the website like the others I see?

    If so, when? they didn’t show it in my city.


  • Linda

    I was fortunate to see this concert in the tv listings so I DVR’d it. I have watched twice and it leaves me on the cverge of tears each time. Hancock’s piano is compelling and though not techinical perfection ( not that I would know), it captures your heart and soul.

    I have been wondering about the sound this orchestra produces…one word I can use is mello, though silken, creamy and velvety also come to mind. Reminds me off all the old movies I grew up with only more so. Why is this? Great muscians? Great instruments? Seating arrangements or a balance of the number of instruments in each section?

    After watching the NY Philharmonic’s salute to Gershwin I think it fell far short of this concert!

    Hope those who attended aprreciate how very lucky they were to be there wrapped in all that delcious sound and talent!

  • A.J.

    I have watched this performance FOUR TIMES sometimes getting out of bed at 4 AM … and I want to see it again! I can’t get enough!

    I’ve loved “Rhapsody in Blue” and “American in Paris” since I heard them in college 4 decades ago … but I’ve never heard the piece interpreted quite the way Herbie Hancock did … practically every nuance was brilliant … Hancock occasionally separated the notes like no prior painist I know of … but I’m not surprised at all that Hancock got the jazz-syncopated passages more perfectly than I’ve ever heard them before!

    Dudamel almost falls over the piano watching Hancock’s execution of his solo passages … Herbie, that “someone watching over you” is Dudamel himself!

    (Hey PBS, you see the demand here yourself … if you don’t want us to start an “Occupy PBS” protest movement, you better put this concert out on DVD! … Herbie! ,.,, Herbie! ,,, Herbie!)

  • Sharon

    I’m sorry. I hope you get to see it. I believe it was everything Gershwin would have wanted it to be, if he wasn’t playing himself.

  • Martin Miller

    I would have paid to see this concert on Pay Per View (PPV). It was that good. PBS and the LA Phil could have earned $$.

  • joice

    I’m watching it right now! just amazing!!!

  • Dr. Marc Blosveren

    When will the DVD or CD be released. As someone who owns the original “78″ recording with Oscar LeVant on the Piano and numerous [including the definitive Bernstein version] other recordings of Gershwin masterpieces.
    I have to say that this Playful, Bluesy, Jazzy, Soulful but very much true to the original Gershwin version was absolutely a pleasure to hear and see.
    Although not of the “instant gratification generation/I want it now!! [Verulka Salt in Willie Wonka"] I do want it soon!
    Three geniuses in one! Doesn’t happen that often

  • Mondo Fuego

    Sophie & Luciano: What a silly argument as to who is more fortunate, Herbie or Gustavo. You totally missed it. *WE* are the fortunate ones … to have the opportunity to hear these world-class musicians and entertainers perform for us. Now, grow up.


  • Steve

    I watched this performance and was moved to tears, what a treat it was! I had to watch it two more times in the wee hours, wow. I saw where it is going to be in local theaters for one day only on March 18. I noticed that when Mr. Hancock came back out for the Rhapsody that he had plastic wrist bands on his right hand and found myself being distracted trying to read them. Does anyone know what that was about? Dudamel’s interpretation of American in Paris was incredible. My father introduced me to Gershwin and he preferred Paul Whiteman’s versions of these works, I’ve always listened to Bernstein’s 1959 version. Does anyone suggest some other recordings of these pieces?

  • JOHN E



  • Niki

    I heartily agree with you! Herbie! Herbie! Herbie!

  • Ron

    I have been an unapologetic Gershwin fan for most of my life, and I suppose as well that I have been captivated by the passion and depth of what he (and Ira) generated from the relative misery of the Lower East Side, and in George’s case – a short life largely devoid of the love his music is now synonymous with. As a Canadian, ‘An American in Paris’ and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ have always been interpreted by me as American Anthems that call to mind all that is good, positive, inspiring and admirable about our neighbor to the south, particularly poignant right now as your position on the world’s stage is so severely tarnished by your political deadlocks and partisan bickering. I think the rising crescendo of ‘An American in Paris’ is among the sexiest and most engaging pieces of music ever played, and it almost always over- rides my recollection of the idiots who wanted French Fries banned in the sad days after 9/11. Dudamel is a an inspirational genius, and Hancock’s tender treatment of the genius of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was a real treasure to take in. I watched the concert last night, in the dark with the volume up, and the surround sound in it’s full-on mode……and shed a bit of a tear for the America I once loved, and yearn to see again!

  • Shirley

    Missed this performance on PBS. Will it be aired again??? Please, please and if so, when?

  • Jaclyn Cohen

    They were simply mahvelous – a joy to listen to and watch – inspirational and dreamy – such beautiful music played to perfection by two incredibly talented professional genuises.

  • sailingsam

    I love Hancock’s interpretation of Rhapsody in Blue

  • Tom Prevender

    Is it possible to buy a DVD of the concert “Herbie Hancock, Gustavo Dudanel & the Philharmonic celebrate Gershwin”

  • Rhapsody inBlueLover

    Please put this on DVD!!!

  • Richard Lotz

    Hancock’s interpretation of “Rhapsody in Blue”, played by him at this year end PBS “Great Performances”, was simply and truly outstanding. Hancock brings to the keyboards a playful, jazzy and articulate rendition of this Gershwin favorite. Gershwin himself, I am certain, would have given the pianist a standing ovation for, what I suspect, was one of Herbie Hancock’s, best solo performances with a symphony orchestra. Aside from a few technical keyboard miscues it was simply a great experience to watch and listen to him perform. It was evident that the relationship between himself and conductor Gustave Dudamel absolutely added to this pianist and orchestra performance. I hope to see both of them perform at another venue in the near future.

  • Wayne Watson

    I watched in a movie theater near Westminster last Sunday the Herbie Hancock performance with Dumadel. Apparently, this was shown on Great Performances. Where can I find it? American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue with set up scenes.

  • david ernst

    Hi Wayne,

    We have a selection from the concert available online, which you can find in the “In This Episode” box, towards the upper right hand corner of the page. There’s also a chance that your local station may decide to repeat the program, if they so choose. You can check your local schedule at the website below:


    Hope you find this info helpful. Thank you for your question.

  • Dee

    I loved Dudamet and Hancock. I would love to see it again. It was absolutely beautiful. Hopefully it will be televised again!

  • NevilleW

    What a performance, we just had this on our TV (Studio). I have heard Rhapsody countless times, but this had me enthralled. Dudamel kept his orchestra in check and let Hancock play his interpretation of each theme, yet he also used the orchestra to great effect when it was their turn to shine. I will rush out and buy the DVD or CD whatever is available.

  • Peggy McCune

    Is there any chance that a dvd of the LA Phil concert will be available with Dudamel and Hancock or that it might be replayed on PBS? It was fabulous. I did go to a screening at a movie theatre but I would love to have the dvd of my own to watch it over and over. My PBS station is Ch13 in Oklahoma City. Thanks a lot for this opportunity.

  • david ernst

    Hi Peggy,

    Unfortunately, no DVD was made of this program. We are lucky to have a portion of it available here on our website featuring the LA Phil’s performance of “An American in Paris.” We hope you enjoy that selection and hope you stay tuned for more GREAT PERFORMANCES.

  • shane brown

    What do you mean no DVD was made? It was filmed, so surely with people clamoring for it on DVD it wouldn’t be a difficult process to make a DVD of it!

  • Bob Ewald

    What a shame. This should be made available on DVD, as so many PBS shows are. Put me on the order list if a DVD is ever available.

  • Deb Leksell

    I thought I could order this on Amazon (not) and then PBS (not). It was outstanding!!! Please consider doing what you need to do to produce it. My DVR recording box had to be switched out. No way to re-capture. Bummer

  • Charlie Bono

    I watched the concert yesterday at Film&Arts. The concert was outstanding but the sound and image were very poor. I deeply regret not have the chance to get the DVD.

  • Louis Myers

    Can any-one help me in purchasing a CD of this rather super concert.

  • victoria knight

    can i get a dvd or cd of this?

  • Beverly Dahlen

    There must be a DVD. Make a DVD. This is one of the best shows I’ve seen on Great Performances. Herbie Hancock plays jazz, really, and turns Gershwin into something new and fresh. Give us the DVD. I could play it over and over. I get up in the morning humming Gershwin.

  • Bjorn

    Watching it online here in Sweden right now (on SVT Play) and I’m blown away! This concert must be preserved and made available on digital media for others to enjoy as well!

  • Richard Burti

    I recorded this airing on jan.06,2012. I had it for over a year when my DVR decided to die. Please make this concert available on DVD or at the very least,air it again so I can record it. This music is a large part of the Great American Song Book and should preserved for future generations to see.There must be a way to re-produce it diditally using today’s technology.

  • L. Voorhies

    I missed the original broadcast and happened upon the last 15 minutes of it this afternoon. I see nothing in the local schedule indicating an upcoming airing. Please make this available on DVD. Please.

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