‘S Wonderful: The Music of George Gershwin

‘S Wonderful: The Music of George Gershwin

APR 14 | Cobb Great Hall

This performance is sponsored by

Michigan Radio




with Teddy Abrams and Morgan James

Overture to Porgy and Bess

Summertime from Porgy and Bess

It Ain’t Necessarily So from Porgy and Bess

My Man’s Gone Now from Porgy and Bess

Rhapsody in Blue


’S Wonderful from Funny Face

I’ve Got a Crush on You from Strike Up the Band

Nice Work If You Can Get It from A Damsel in Distress

Overture to Of Thee I Sing

Embraceable You from Girl Crazy

I Got Rhythm from Girl Crazy

This performance will run approximately an hour and a half, with a 15-minute intermission.



An unusually versatile musician, Teddy Abrams is the widely acclaimed music director of the Louisville Orchestra, where he has fostered interdisciplinary collaborations across the city, including as leader of Louisville's cultural response to the pandemic with the Lift Up Lou initiative. Among other works, the 2021-22 season includes the world premieres of Teddy's new piano concerto written for Yuja Wang and a concerto for timba band and orchestra composed by Grammy winner Dafnis Prieto. His rap-opera, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, premiered in 2017, celebrating Louisville's hometown hero with an all-star cast that included Rhiannon Giddens and Jubilant Sykes, as well as Jecorey "1200" Arthur, with whom he started the Louisville Orchestra Rap School. Abrams' work with the Louisville Orchestra has been profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, PBS's Articulate, and the PBS NewsHour. In recognition of his groundbreaking work, Teddy Abrams is Musical America's 2022 Conductor of the Year.

Teddy Abrams is the music director and conductor of the Britt Festival Orchestra where, in addition to an annual three-week festival of concerts, he has taken the orchestra across the region in the creation of new work, including: Michael Gordon's Natural History, which was premiered on the edge of Crater Lake National Park in partnership with the National Parks Service, and was the subject of the PBS documentary Symphony for Nature; and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw's Brush, an experiential work written to be performed on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trail system.

As a guest conductor, Teddy has worked with such distinguished ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Chicago, San Francisco, National, Houston, Pacific, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Colorado, Utah, and Phoenix symphonies; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Sarasota and Florida orchestras. Internationally, he has worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and the Malaysia Philharmonic. He served as assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2012 to 2014. From 2008 to 2011, Abrams was the conducting fellow and assistant conductor of the New World Symphony.


"A phenomenal talent whose feel for classic soul music is bone deep...This woman is on fire."—The New York Times

Morgan James is a Juilliard-trained singer, actress, songwriter and recording artist in New York City.

As a soloist with orchestras around the world, Morgan has appeared with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Chicago Symphony at Ravinia Festival, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, Louisville Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and many more.

Her most recent studio albums, A Very Magnetic Christmas and Memphis Magnetic, are full of classic and original soul music recorded to analog tape In Memphis, TN. Other releases include Reckless Abandon, covers of The Beatles' iconic White Album and Joni Mitchell's seminal Blue, and two full-length albums with Epic Records: Hunter and Morgan James Live, a celebration of Nina Simone. Morgan also produced and starred in an all-female concept album of Jesus Christ Superstar entitled She Is Risen. Her music is available on all streaming platforms.

On Broadway, Morgan was in five back-to-back original companies: The Addams Family, Wonderland, Godspell and Motown: The Musical, and Kristin Chenoweth's For The Girls.

With Postmodern Jukebox and with her own channel, Morgan's music videos have accumulated more than 250 million views.

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