(Los Angeles, CA – April 3, 2017) Long-dedicated to upholding and aligning himself with the first class aesthetic of timeless entertainment, singer/actor/dancer Elijah Rock is carrying the blazing torch for the legacy of George & Ira Gershwin, bringing a contemporary African American twist to their timeless music with several forward thinking projects.
Gershwin For My Soul (release date April 18) is the Cleveland-born baritone’s brand new critically acclaimed album. Jazziz Magazine marvels, “Rock brings both chops and emotion to his masculine yet sensitive delivery.” Rock travelled to Thailand to make his directorial debut in a music video for the lead single/title track “Gershwin For My Soul”. It is but one of 12 masterful performances on the album, produced and arranged by Grammy-winning keyboardist/musical director Kevin Toney to bring the music of Gershwin into its rightful contemporary space, ably aided by bassist John B. Williams and drummer Greg Paul, plus guitarists Jacques Lesure and John Storie. The album represents a full circle journey for Rock who started singing at 8 in church followed by his first Gershwin songs from “Porgy & Bess” at 16 at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
That connection is key to Elijah Rock reviving the music of “Porgy & Bess” in a revolutionary new presentation that takes what was originally written as an Opera then turned into a Broadway musical into a pure jazz adaptation. This “Porgy & Bess” premiered at the 300-seat Ensemble Theater in Santa Barbara, California, accepting raves from audiences bowled over by the intimacy, the freshness and Rock’s mastery.
NAACP Theater Award-winning triple threat Rock sailed into these latest endeavors on the wings of glowing acclaim for his stage performances of the characters ‘Crooner’ in “Words by Ira Gershwin” and of the legendary Cotton Club star Cab Calloway in the musical revue “I Only Have Eyes For You” for which he was nominated for a 2016 Ovation Theater Award. The Glendale News raved, “Baritone Rock, with charm to spare, shifts smoothly from crisp jazz phrasings to the operatic…” The Hollywood Progressive proclaimed, “The youthful Rock, who appears in Showtime’s TV series ‘Masters of Sex,’ is establishing himself as one of his generation’s foremost interpreters and performers of The Great American Songbook.”
Up next for Elijah Rock is a residency in Las Vegas where a top team of producers are developing a vehicle around the star entitled “A Fine Romance” featuring The Songs of George & Ira Gershwin and The Great American Songbook. Ultimately, Elijah Rock will be wowing longtime lovers of Gershwin music as he cultivates a younger audience with his all-around showmanship, singing and even his paddle-n-roll style of tap dancing - lost arts all that have found in Rock a tireless cultural savior.
“I believe there is a cross demographic that this music will serve,” Rock concludes, and also said, “I approach singing from a traditional perspective with a fresh twist. Gershwin For My Soul not only represents America’s classical music, it will give me a platform to address a lot of other things about the culture and where we all stand today.”