Ronnie Scott’s Rhapsody in Blue

Ronnie Scott’s presents:

Rhapsody in Blue – A Jazz Portrait of George Gershwin with James Pearson

Thurs 5 Aug 8pm Main Lawn Stage

The music of George Gershwin has always been a source of magical inspiration for jazz musicians and his songs and orchestral pieces are regarded as timeless. In this concert you will get to hear some his songs, like his first hit Swanee as Paul Whiteman may have played, The Man I love a la Oscar Peterson, Lady Be Good in the style of Benny Goodman. The concert will culminate with Gershwin’s iconic composition Rhapsody in Blue, in a special arrangement for this ensemble. James has played this piece multiple times with orchestras all over the world , but this version , in his words is more ‘fun’. As with all James’ musical extravaganza’s the pieces will be sandwiched between anecdotes and general facts that may or not be relevant!


James Pearson is a pianist, composer and creative tour de force. He is the Artistic Director at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club where his trio are the house band.

As one of the countries most respected musicians his work covers all genres of music, especially contemporary music, jazz and classical. He graduated from the Guildhall School, having completed his degree and the Advanced Solo Studies Course. Whilst at college he studied with Robert Saxton, Francis Shaw, Peter Bithell and James Gibb. He regularly performed with the symphony orchestra, including a concert at the Barbican with Takemitzu.

James has broadcast on all the major radio and television networks. Classic FM broadcast his concert of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto, and BBC Radio 2 broadcast his performance of the Gershwin Piano Concerto and, the piece he will be performing with us, Rhapsody in Blue. He was the pianist in the Steve Martland Band. His work as a Jazz musician has taken him all over the world. This year his trio The James Pearson Trio played a four-night run in Birdland Jazz Club in New York. His fine piano playing and arrangements can be heard on over 50 albums.

Amongst the many people James has worked with are, Dame Cleo Laine, Maria Ewing, Marian Montgomery, Petula Clark, The John Wilson Orchestra, Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Buddy Greco, Johnny Griffin, Joseph Horowitz, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ray Davies, Polly Gibbons, Nigel Kennedy, Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Gregory Porter, Imelda May, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney.

90 minutes, no interval

Tickets £30

Festival Friends & Castle Members £27

Discounted theatre and gardens ticket £41.20 Adult £36.45 Child

Enter through the Castle Top Gate past the first set of trees then turn right, the Main Lawn sweeps down before you to the Main Lawn Stage carefully positioned so you don’t miss an inch of the captivating view of Hever Castle while you picnic. You are welcome to bring chairs, picnic tables, beanbags, blankets, whatever makes you comfortable without blocking the view of those around you in this uncovered setting. Social distancing measures are in place, you can choose where to sit along as you abide by them. It is the perfect relaxed environment to enjoy our performances with a view!

Do bring umbrellas if necessary, gazebos are not permitted.