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Author Talk with Paul Kaplan Irving Berlin: From Penniless Immigrant to America’s Unlikely Composer

This is a past event.

Monday, March 13 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Jewish Museum of Florida
301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33199 United States

Paul Kaplan returns to JMOF-FIU to talk about the life of Irving Berlin and his improbable rise to become one of America's most prolific songwriters. Hear about Berlin's hardscrabble journey from leaving home as a young teenager to working as a song "busker" and his discovery of his innate talent for writing songs--with no musical education. Learn about the changing music industry from the thriving music sheet business of Tin Pan Alley, the advent of Ragtime, the start of the American musical, and the soundtracks for feature films--all of which Berlin influenced. Understand how he developed songs for the films of the Marx Brothers, Astaire and Rodgers, Ethel Merman, and more. You'll watch clips from a variety of songs, shows, and films Berlin composed, hear original recordings, and see historic photos. 

About the Author:

Paul Kaplan writes under 3 series: Cultural Guides, Social History & Biographies, and Business Technology Marketing with 7 published books from History Press, Pelican, and Quill Driver Books. He has given over 70 talks globally for venues including the clubs of Harvard, Yale, Nassau Club of Princeton, Union League, Society for Mechanics & Tradesmen, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Montauk Club, historic libraries and associations, schools, businesses, and private events. He has been featured on CBS Miami, PBS, New York Press, Amsterdam New York, Princeton Magazine and numerous radio shows including Writer’s Voice and America’s Dining and Travel. He also writes book reviews for Harvard Review. He earned a BA in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale College and an MBA from Yale School of Management. He enjoys traveling, having visited six continents and all 50 US states. Kaplan has worked in content marketing for 20+ years for financial and technology companies. 

Event Type

Academics, Lectures & conferences


General Public


Jewish Museum of Florida
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