December 08, 2023

Lara Downes and the SFCM Orchestra present: ‘Rhapsody in Blue Reimagined’ (EP)

Pentatone releases Edmar Colón’s Rhapsody in Blue Reimagined, together with Lara Downes, SFCM and Edwin Outwater, in February 2024.

In February 1924, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was premiered in New York City, capturing the exuberant essence of what Gershwin called “a musical kaleidoscope of America.” 100 years later, American pianist Lara Downes reimagines Gershwin’s masterpiece to reflect on a century of immigration and transformation. Downes has commissioned a radical new arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue by Puerto Rican composer Edmar Colón that reverberates with the multicultural, kaleidoscopic sounds of America today. Rhapsody in Blue Reimagined, a 30-minute piece featuring Downes at the piano, was recorded with the dynamic young musicians of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra.

An iconoclast and trailblazer, Lara Downes’s dynamic work as a sought-after soloist, Billboard chart-topping recording artist, radio show host, producer, curator, arts activist and advocate positions her as a cultural visionary.

“One day when we were in the studio working on this recording, my producer Adam Abeshouse said to me “Hey Lara, do you know what this is? It’s something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.’ And he was exactly right!

This re-imagination of Gershwin’s beloved masterpiece reflects his original vision through a modern lens, building a bridge between the past and the present, the known and the new, the timeless and the timely. I think Gershwin himself would be so thrilled to know that his music is still part of the colorful, beautiful, multicultural musical kaleidoscope of America, now and for generations to come.”

APPLE MUSIC BONUS TRACK: Study in Blue, a duet for saxophone and piano with Edmar Colón and Lara Downes, is available from today!

Lara Downes

Digital Release Date: 2 FEBRUARY 2024

Physical Release: FEBRUARY 2024

Released in digital formats for streaming and high-resolution downloads.