Cole Porter's most formative years, after completing his schooling at Yale, were spent in 1920s Paris. A hotbed of musical, literary, and artistic innovation, Paris was the cultural capital of the world–and Porter drank in all it had to offer, from the ballets to the cabarets. He rubbed elbows with the most famous artists in Paris, including Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, choreographer Serge Diaghilev, and composers Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, and Erik Satie. His single "classical" effort, the ballet Within The Quota, was premiered in 1923 by The Ballet Suedois on the same program that premiered Milhaud's La création du monde.
James Paul and members of the American Symphonia present a program of music that Porter might have heard during his years in Paris–those magical years when classical music and jazz met on equal terms for the first time. Featured will be Stravinsky's 1918 masterpiece L'Histoire du Soldat for narrators and ensemble, Bohuslav Martinù's 1927 La Revue de Cuisine, Milhaud's Caramel Mou (Shimmy pour Orchestre de Jazz)and the 1920 Album de Six, the joint effort whereby Milhaud, George Auric, Arthur Honneger, Louis Durey, Germaine Tailliferre and Francis Poulenc became known as "Les Six", a group of composers who were the focus of the Parisian music scene in the 1920s.