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On The Corner Masthead

Bernstein Meets Jazz

January 30, 2018 | by SFJAZZ

Leonard Bernstein (Photo by William Gottlieb)

The longtime director of the New York Philharmonic who became a household name with his 1957 score to West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein built a uniquely inclusive, modernist approach to composition that fully embraced the popular song forms of the day, making him the most jazz-influenced “classical” composer of the 20th century, and among the most innovative of all time.

With SFJAZZ and Opera Parallele presenting a mashup of his 1952 classic jazz-influenced opera Trouble In Tahiti with composer Jake Heggie's At The Statue of Venus over Valentine's Day week (February 14-18), we explore Bernstein's jazz-influenced works as well as jazz renditions of Bernstein's classics in a curated playlist.