What’s he done? Gershwin dropped out of high school at age 15 and began his career working as a “song-plugger” in NYC’s Tin Pan Alley. He started composing Broadway theater works alongside his brother, Ira Gershwin, and Buddy DeSylva in the early 1920s. His most well known compositions are Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, and Porgy and Bess. Porgy and Bess is considered one of the most important American operas of the 20th century.
Why is he an icon? Gershwin is one of the most significant American composers known for both his classical compositions and his popular stage and screen compositions. His legacy lives on through his now-standard music and the Gershwin Theater, named in honor of Gershwin and his lyricist brother, Ira.
Quote: “Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise.”
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