Kevin Cole is a friend of a friend of George Gershwin. Several friends, in fact. Prior to his appearance with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Cole tells Cara Lieurance that as a teenager growing up in Bay City, Michigan, he introduced himself to Gershwin's friend and biographer, Edward Jablonski. From there, he met most of Gershwin's surviving inner circle. He says they gave him all the encouragement he needed to become a Gershwin specialist.
Cole and Kalamazoo Symphony resident conductor Daniel Brier talk about the Rhapsody in Blue and the Second Rhapsody, as well as the works that round out the program, Ligeti's Romanian Concerto and the Capriccio espagnol by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Cole also shares the story of his near-miraculous recovery from brain tumor surgery in 2018. He was back playing Gershwin for audiences in 8 weeks.
The concert is at 8 pm Saturday, Oct 26 at Miller Auditorium.