Ep. #61: Featuring Alan Steinberger and Michael Valerio
"I Loves You, Porgy"
From its very inception 85 years ago, Porgy and Bess challenged convention and ignited cultural conversation; it has continued to do so since. The jazz-influenced musical opera, which explores the African-American experience of the early 20th century in The South, originated on Broadway and ran for 124 performances. George Gershwin considered it his best work.
Determined to avoid using artists in blackface, Ira and George Gershwin and their collaborators, Dorothy and DuBose Heyward, demanded that only Black performers be cast, which created extraordinary opportunities for artists of color and encouraged the integration of theaters. This requirement remains in effect today.
“I Loves You, Porgy”, first performed by Anne Wiggins Brown and Todd Duncan, has been recorded by pioneers like Nina Simone who sang it on her very first album, Bill Evans who recorded it on his Village Vanguard release, Miles Davis on his studio album Porgy and Bess, and James Brown who included it on both his Out Of Sight and Cold Sweat albums.
MUSE/IQUE’s Michael Valerio and Alan Steinberger return with this poignant Broadway song.