George versus George. In this case Shearing versus Gershwin. A debate at the English-Speaking Union will pit the ESU’s artist-in-residence James Pearson (and Dartmouth House in Charles Street W1 is one hell of a residence) against Joe Stilgoe.
Have some blurb: “To mark the occasion of International Jazz Day 2014, ESU Artist in Residence, James Pearson has challenged fellow pianist and jazz luminary Joe Stilgoe to join him in a unique musical debate arguing the influence of the US and UK in the jazz songwriting canon. James will represent the UK, leading with the works of George Shearing, and Joe the US with George Gershwin. Each speaker will present their case both verbally and on the piano and the audience will have a chance to listen and cast their opinion. Whether you prefer Lullabies from Birdland or Americans in Paris, come and watch two of the UK’s leading jazz performers and commentators in fearsome musical combat. George vs. George. US vs. UK. The Jazz Debate.”
On a more serious if tangential note, for people who prefer an evening in, America and Britain: Was There Ever a Special Relationship? by Guy Arnold, priced at £20 does sound, very interesting, and costs just £5 more than a ticket for this debate.
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