John Alcorn

The Jerome Kern Songbook

Following on the heels of our standing-room-only Cole Porter tribute, we’re offering the second performance of our new Songbook Series on Wednesday, September 12, at the Flying Beaver Pubaret with a celebration and exploration of the words and music of another 20th century legend – Jerome Kern.

My pals, Canadian jazz lions Reg Schwager (guitar) and Steve Wallace (bass) will share the stage with me again for this very special evening.


Jerome Kern (1885 – 1945) was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music.

One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, including such classics as Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, All the Things You Are, Long Ago (and Far Away), Yesterdays, Pick Yourself Up and The Song Is You. He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, and Ira Gershwin.

A native New Yorker, Kern created dozens of Broadway musicals and Hollywood films in a career that lasted for more than four decades. His musical innovations, such as 4/4 dance rhythms and employing syncopation and jazz progressions, built on, instead of rejecting, earlier musical theatre tradition. He and his collaborators also employed his melodies to further the action or develop characterization more extensively than in the other musicals of his day, creating the model for later musicals.

In 1927, Kern teamed with Oscar Hammerstein II and the two adapted Edna Ferber’s novel into one of the greatest of all American musicals: Show Boat. Show Boat pioneered the concept of the fully integrated musical, with all aspects of the show working together toward a single artistic unity.

In 1935, Kern went to Hollywood, where he spent most of the rest of his career, writing some of his very best music, including I Won’t Dance,  A Fine Romance and The Way You Look Tonight (Academy Award for best song in 1936).

In the course of his career, Kern’s style showed a remarkable evolution toward greater and greater sophistication and a more and more American style. He was in many ways a link between the European operetta tradition and the Broadway musical style.

6:30PM – Doors Open
7:30PM – Performance Begins

$10.00 adv/$15.00 door
*Dinner reservations get priority seating*

Dinner available, before, during, and after the show.


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