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John Eaton: A 40th Anniversary Celebration
4-Session Daytime Course
Wednesday, May 1 to 22, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Pianist, vocalist, and humorist extraordinaire John Eaton has been delighting Smithsonian audiences with his commentaries and performances for 40 years. As one of the foremost interpreters of American popular music, Eaton has been called a musical treasure by those who work with him and his many, many fans.
In this perennially popular series, John Eaton returns to pay tribute to the composers whose work defines the Great American Songbook. And in his signature style, he always takes requests.
May 1 The Incredible and Improbable Irving Berlin
Born Israel Baline in Siberia, Berlin is often referred to as the founding father of popular music. He composed quintessentially American songs and musicals, including “God Bless America” and Annie Get Your Gun.
May 8 Frank Loesser: A Most Remarkable Fella
Loesser, a composer and lyricist of astonishing versatility, went from Hollywood lyricist to composer of Broadway’s great Guys and Dolls and other classic shows.
May 15 George Gershwin and Friends
Eaton celebrates the masterworks of Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Harold Arlen, Ann Ronell (“Willow Weep for Me”), and Vernon Duke.
May 22 The Art and Spirit of Improvisation
Eaton discusses how and why the spirit of improvisation is always present in good music, whatever the genre. He substantiates his thesis by performing selections he considers among the best among American popular music.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)