Arboretum kicks off Music Series Nov. 14

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Irv Williams, shown here, is one of three musicians featured in the “Gershwin in Paris” concert at the Arboretum on Nov. 14. (Submitted Photo)

“Gershwin in Paris,” featuring acclaimed Twin Cities jazz musicians, will kick off the new Seasons of Music concert series at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14.
The concert, with vocalist Bruce Henry, saxophonist Irv Williams, pianist Denis Evstuhin and Dan Newton, among others, will take place in a “cafe setting” in the MacMillan Auditorium of the Arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center. Paired with the music will be images of Paris, the romantic “City of Light.”
A tribute to the great American composer George Gershwin, the concert will feature two of Gershwin’s most beloved works – An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue, both performed in their original two-piano, four-hand versions, as arranged by Gershwin himself. Rounding out the program are: “I’ve Got Rhythm,” “Embraceable You,” “S’Wonderful,” “Our Love is Here to Stay” and more.
More on the performers:
• Bruce Henry: Vocalist, performer and educator Bruce Henry possesses an eclectic style influenced by such legends as John Coltrane, Leon Thomas, Gil Scott Heron and more. With his pure voice and three-octave range, Henry has performed on five continents and appeared with the likes of Doc Severinson, Roberta Flack, Chris Botti and more.
• Irv Williams: One of the true living legends in the history of Minnesota music, saxophonist Williams has been wowing audiences since the Big Band Era of the ‘30s and ‘40s when he played with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Eckstein. Settling in the Twin Cities after World War II, he has played all the great clubs, often with such stars as Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie and more.
• Denis Evstuhin: Hailed as one of the finest young pianists, Evstuhin has earned international acclaim for his artistry, remarkable sound quality and virtuosity. He has performed in Europe and the United States and, closer to home, he has soloed with the Minnesota Orchestra and played on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion.”
The Seasons of Music series is presented by Essential Sessions Studio and Wells Pianos. Fee for concert: $25 Arboretum members, $35 for non-members. Cash bar and light refreshments at 6 p.m.; seating begins at 6:45 p.m. (Meet performers & enjoy after-concert dessert and coffee for an extra $15.) Details & reservations: www.arboretum.umn.edu/seasonsofmusic.aspx
Mark your calendar: The second “Seasons of Music” concert will feature Twin Cities favorite Debbie Duncan and her band performing romantic favorites on Thursday, Feb. 13. Details to follow.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the largest public garden in the Upper Midwest and a premier northern arboretum, is part of the the University of Minnesota and located in suburban Chanhassen on Hwy. 5, nine miles west of I-494.

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