Ferde Grofe

Decades: 2000s


Ferdinand Rudolph von Grofé, 27 March 1892, New York, USA, d. 3 April 1972, Santa Monica, California, USA. A highly accomplished composer, arranger, conductor and pianist, as a youngster Grofé learned to play the piano and viola to a high standard He spent 10 years with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, and also worked for various dance bands, before joining Paul Whiteman around 1920. During his time with Whiteman, he was instrumental in shaping the large orchestra’s lavish, ‘symphonic jazz’ style, and arranged George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody In Blue’ for its famous inaugural performance by the Whiteman Orchestra, with the composer at the piano, at New York’s Aeolian Hall in 1924. He also assisted in the scoring of Whiteman’s 1930 movie King Of Jazz, before forming his own band which enjoyed much success, especially on radio during the 30s. In later years, Grofé continued to be a highly influential...

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