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The Man That Got Away: The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen--Concert and reception for the Library's Beyond Books Fund

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA, 94115 (map)

Free event at the Jewish Community Library at 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, with free garage parking on Pierce between Ellis and Eddy

This concert and presentation highlight the Friends of the Jewish Community Library's Beyond Books Fund, which supports free cultural programing at the Jewish Community LIbrary. 

Drawing on interviews with friends and associates of composer Harold Arlen and on newly available archives, Walter Rimler, author of the new Arlen biography The Man That Got Away, will speak about this genius whose work is a pillar of the Great American Songbook. Jack Dynis, and Ross Gualco will perform some of Arlen's best-loved songs.

“Over the Rainbow,” “Stormy Weather,” and “One for My Baby” are just a few of Arlen’s compositions. Yet his name is not widely known—except to the musicians who venerate him. At a gathering of songwriters, George Gershwin called him “the best of us.” Irving Berlin agreed.

A cantor’s son, Arlen believed his music was from a place outside himself, a place that also sent tragedy. When his wife became mentally ill and was institutionalized, he turned to alcohol, but the beautiful songs kept coming: “Blues in the Night,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and “The Man That Got Away.” 

A dessert reception follows the program.

Walter Rimler is the author of George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait and A Cole Porter Discography. Jack Dynis is a longtime fan, student, and singer of the songs of Harold Arlen. In 2015, he co-starred in the "Hooray for Harold Arlen!" concert at the California Jazz Conservatory. Ross Gualco has played with jazz, folk, and rock luminaries such as Tom Scott, Steve Miller, Clark Terry, and Tommy Smothers, and has been musical director for Val Diamond and Teatro ZinZanni, among others.

Please RSVP by emailing or calling 415.567.3327 x 703.

Walter Rimler, John Dynis, and Ross Gualco have helped to make this special celebration possible.