Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood presents singer Alexis Gershwin, the niece of iconic American composers and lyricists George and Ira Gershwin, in a 75-minute musical journey and salute to her uncles’ music in a show titled “Gershwin Sings Gershwin.” Backed by The Gershwin Singers & Band under the musical direction of Steven Applegate the show will be presented one night only on Tuesday, March 22 at 8:30 p.m.
“It is my privilege to continue the musical legacy my Uncle George and Uncle Ira have left us by bringing their music to new generations,” said Alexis. “Of course the Gershwin songs are at the top of my list, but I also enjoy singing the music of many other talented composers and lyricists. Great music should be passed down from generation to generation like any of life’s precious gifts.”
Alexis was born into American musical royalty, developing an early awareness of her unique musical heritage. Her mother Frances Gershwin was a talented dancer and painter, and the only sister of George, Ira and Arthur Gershwin. Alexis’s father, Leopold Godowsky, was a prominent first violinist with the Los Angeles and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras.
Growing up in Westport, Connecticut, Alexis was always surrounded by beautiful music and mentored by famous musicians. She continued her formal studies majoring in liberal arts at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, which helped her to build a firm foundation for her high standards of song interpretations. While she didn’t have the chance to get to know her Uncle George due to his tragic and untimely passing at the age of 38 of a brain tumor, Alexis enjoyed a loving relationship with her Uncle Ira whom she joined at weekly dinners, and whom occasionally challenged her to a tennis match.
She studied ballet for six years and began vocal training and acting long before she attended Sarah Lawrence College, playing roles in various musical productions. At the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse in New York, Alexis studied drama with Sanford Meisner, Charles Conrad and Sidney Pollack. As a young star in summer stock, she performed under the tutelage of the renowned Eva LaGallien at Westport, Connecticut’s White Barn Theater.
During her 20s, Alexis lived and traveled in Europe – Spain, Italy, Germany and England – where she soon became a celebrated performer in demand to entertain with her live bands at elegant private affairs. One of the highlights of her career has been working with Robert Alexander “Bumps” Blackwell, the legendary American bandleader, songwriter, arranger and record producer who worked with everyone from Little Richard to Lou Rawls. Blackwell was producing an album for Alexis at the time of his passing. Alexis has performed her show, “Alexis Gershwin Live,” throughout the United States.
The program at the Catalina Bar & Grill will include songs like “I’ve Got A Crush On You,” “Our Love Is Here To Stay,” “The Man I Love” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” The Gershwin Singers are composed of soprano Sarah Brandon, tenor Will North and alto Kara Shaw. The Gershwin Band will consist of pianist Steve Rawlins, bassist Randy Landis, drummer Bob Leatherbarrow and saxophonist Rusty Higgins.
Catalina Bar & Grill is located at 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. (just east of North Highland Avenue). There is $20 cover charge, plus dinner or a two-drink minimum per person. Valet parking is available.
Reservations for the show and dinner can be made by calling Catalina Bar & Grill at (323) 466-2210, or buy online at www.catalinajazzclub.com. For further information about the performance, visit the website www.catalinajazzclub.com.