Gershwin’ activity took place at a time when there was a significant amount of experimentation. So many people were looking to find what a new sound looked like, what an American sound looked like. What is jazz for example? How do we express it? How do we put it on a stage?
Gershwin held onto not just jazz, but also to what we would conside the great western traditions. He sought to find ways to bring them together and to be able to allow people not just to experience them, but to see those kinds of experiences as part of their lives, as a way for them to reflect on who they were at this time and what it meant to be American.
IU faculty member, Judah Cohen