ELIJAH ROCK STARS AS "Porgy" IN THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY and Bess: Ensembe Theatre- Santa Barbara, CA (2/9- 2/26/17)

Elijah Rock gives Porgy enough jauntiness to keep him going, but is most riveting when he sings the unforgettable songs Gershwin has provided: “I Got Plenty of Nothing” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” and, in a final restoration of faith, or at the very least an earnest try at bravado, “O Lord, I’m On My Way.” Rock’s Porgy is not a powerful figure, though he regains some agility when life is going his way and metal braces help him stand up for himself. But it’s Rock’s magical singing that makes him stand out, with extended lines and graceful nuance delivered by a voice that can be forceful or gentle as the moment demands. [more]: Ventura Star

Elijah Rock: Gershwin has been a part of my life since the beginning of my formal training as a vocalist. In 2015, I did a show called “Words by Ira Gershwin,” with the musical director Kevin Toney. That was a jazz interpretation as well, and those arrangements were swinging, so when I found out that Toney was going to be working on this adaptation, I had to. I’ve been wanting to play Porgy for a long time. [more]: KCRW 

For Rock, who will be making a radical transition from the role of madcap dancer Cab Calloway, which won him an Ovation Award Nomination in 2016, to the physically disabled yet emotionally strong Porgy, the challenge of the show involves the way that its “mixture of musical styles” requires a “merging of all the disciplines” of acting, movement, and song. Rock cites the close relationship he enjoys with musical director Toney as one of the key elements to achieving this, as the jazz band is in many ways as important to the production as any of the actors. [more]: Santa Barbara Independent


Rock brings both chops and emotion to his masculine yet sensitive delivery. [more]: Jazziz Magazine pg. 39

SONGBOOK SALUTES: Rock (who takes a tap dancing solo in "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin") injects plenty of spirit into the music. [more]: Jazziz Magazine pg. 113

JW 89.5FM Radio Interview with Elijah Rock (Phuket, Thailand)

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Elijah Rock Brings Cab Calloway to Life in ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ at the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood.

Elijah Rock, a great fan of what he calls, The Great American Songbook, gets to perform the music of one of his music legends, Cab Calloway, in a featured segment of the production. [more]: Eurthisnthat.com

WATCH NEW VIDEO! Singer Elijah Rock to Release “Gershwin For The Soul” in Spring 2016 [more]: UrbanMusicScene

Elijah Rock featured on AllABOUTJAZZ.COM

Award-Winning Triple Threat Entertainer Elijah Rock Shifts Focus To Music With Unique Contemporary Indiegogo-Funded Ep Salute “Gershwin For The Soul” [more]: AllAboutJazz

Elijah Rock featured on EJAZZNEWS.COM- The #1 Jazz News Website

(Los Angeles, CA – August 10, 2015) Long-dedicated to upholding and aligning himself with the first class carriage and aesthetic of timeless entertainers from the past, singer/actor/dancer Elijah Rock is in the final stages of preparation to bring a contemporary and decidedly African American twist to the music of George & Ira Gershwin with his forthcoming recording project, Gershwin for the Soul. [more]: EJazzNews

Words by Ira Gershwin: Colony Theatre- LA

“You were a treasure to experience in “Words by Ira Gershwin!” this past spring. You have a command of the Great American Songbook which is rare among singers of today. You have a strong voice which is a distinctive and mellifluous baritone that sounds classic and polished, hip and vulnerable all at once. You are a triple threat entertainer who can act, sing, and tap dance. It is clear to me that we need more young entertainers like you who are passionate to carry on our tradition. You know how to vocally craft a lyric so each phrase carries depth and meaning. I know Ira would have been impressed had he had the opportunity to experience you LIVE on the stage in Burbank!” Michael S. Strunsky, Trustee -The Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts

Rock also moves easily between styles, particularly turning his arias from Porgy and Bess into passionate showstoppers that make this musical evening ring with elegant sophistication.”
[more]: BroadwayWorld

“But it is Elijah Rock (Crooner) who steals the show. With a voice resonant and loud enough for opera, this recurring guest star on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” has the stage presence and dancing ability to go as far as his talent will take him. Here, especially in the songs from “Porgy and Bess,” the 2014 NAACP Theatre Award Winner displays a deep and natural understanding of and flair for the material. This critic hopes to see Rock on the stages of Burbank or Los Angeles again soon.”
[more]: NoHoArtsDistrict

“Rock is the Crooner, and he sings deliciously and dances even better: He is given a chance to tap against drummer Webster and he scampers around the stage, steps and everywhere else.”
[more]: Los Angeles Daily

“Baritone Rock (NAACP Theatre Award-winner for his 2014 performance in “Breath and Imagination” at the Colony), with charm to spare, shifts smoothly from crisp jazz phrasings to the operatic “Oh Bess, Oh Where Is My Bess?” and he proves to be a notable tapper in “They All Laughed,” a sizzling rhythm match with drummer Webster.”
[more]: Glendale News-Press

“Whenever it’s Rock, the brilliant star of the Colony’s Breath And Imagination: The Story Of Roland Hayes, once again showing off some of the most gorgeous—and versatile—pipes in town (and tapping to rival a Nicholas Brother,)…”
[more]: StageSceneLA

“Having said all this, the music – and in particular, the stellar, show stopping warbling and hoofing by the phenomenal Elijah Rock, makes this work worth seeing (and hearing!). Once again the scene stealing Rock, rocks the Colony, where he previously starred in Breath and Imagination -The Story of Roland Hayes, the African American tenor who professionally sang classical, concert music before Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson. 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, which Ira Gershwin contributed so much to, making Rock’s casting in Words fortuitous and natural. In a unique act of “decolonization,” Rock blow the roof off of the Colony – his vocals and especially Elijah’s tap dancing will knock your socks off, as this is really his show.”
[more]: HollywoodProgressive  and PeoplesWorld

“Elijah’s character is simply “Crooner” but he is so much more as he steadily belts out a wide range of great Gershwin music and even treats the audience to an all too rare these days yet exquisite display of tap dance.”
[more]: Examiner

Breath And Imagination: Paramount Theatre/ ArtsEmerson- Boston

“With his richly expressive voice and magnetic stage presence, Rock makes for a compelling Hayes, ranging skillfully from spirituals to art songs to original compositions by Beaty.”
[more]: The Boston Globe- Review

“Rock, always wearing white tie and tales, convincingly plays Hayes at various ages. Without make-up, he imbues the role with so much heart, one quickly forgets that it’s a grown man portraying a restless child, then a rash teenager who wants only to become an artist…Though Hayes was a tenor, Rock’s plush baritone is a thing of beauty whether he’s singing the traditional spiritual, “Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)” or French composer Gabriel Fauré’s “Les Berceaux.”
[more]: 90.9wbur (Boston’s NPR News Station)

Rock and the members of the creative team are reminded of a popular symbol currently being used to protest the death of Eric Garner, who died after telling a New York police officer who had his arm around his neck that he couldn’t breathe. “I am thinking of the hashtag, ‘I can’t breathe,’ ” Rock explains. “This play will hopefully show us that we all need to breathe. The police need to breathe. The urban folks who have been suffocating need to breathe.”
[more]: The Boston Globe

“Jared Bowen from WGBH interviews actor Elijah Rock and director David Dower on their Arts Emerson production ‘Breath and Imagination’ and the artistry of classical singer Roland Hayes.”
[more]: WGBH- Open Studio LIVE Episode!

“The play opens with “Roland” speaking to the audience about a music school he is starting, on the plantation on which he was raised, and then the time changes to when he is a young boy with his mother at church, and thus his life unfolds before your eyes.  This was done masterfully by Elijah Rock; he was able to suddenly be transformed from the older Roland remembering his life, to the young boy at church with his mother and then to the eighteen-year-old young adult Roland, hearing Enrico Caruso’s voice singing “Una furtiva lagrima.”
[more]: The Schiller Institute

“Mr. Rock is an exquisite performer. He has the vocal clarity and expression of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and stunning good looks all his own. Rock’s portrayal of Hayes had the audience laughing and crying in equal measure. He found great humor in the face of atrocious racism and sweet joy in melancholy spirituals. His version of “Lord, I Want to be A Christian” was so tender there were sniffles echoing through the theater. He was an entertaining character, an inspiring artist, and a gracious host. I am humbled by the range and dedication Mr. Rock displayed.”
[more]: The New England Theatre Geek  

“The play is beautifully crafted to use the formidable vocal and acting talents of Elijah Rock to channel the sound, the struggle and the spirit of Roland Hayes…Mr. Rock’s rendering of that German lieder love song was a highlight of the evening.  Another vocal and dramatic highlight was his interpretation of Hayes’ iconic rendering of the Spiritual “Were You There?”  I wonder if there was a dry eye in the house.”
[more]: The White Rhino Report

“Elijah Rock is, without a doubt, breathtaking with his interpretation of Roland Hayes…Rock’s voice is a rich instrument he clearly has attuned to, and the careful control over his craft allows him to pay rendition to Hayes successfully. It is no wonder he won 2014’s NAACP Theatre Award for Best Male Equity performer with a role that demands great acting and great singing.”
[more]: Entertainment Monthly

“It all starts with an inspirational, passionate performance by the charismatic Elijah Rock — check him out in several episodes of the latest season of Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” — as Hayes. There is plenty of music, and Rock handles the vocal requirements admirably, but Hayes the person is what makes the piece special.”
[more]: Rick Fahey’s on Boston Stages-Review

“The performances are uniformly exceptional. Rock is true to his name, anchoring the production with a fine voice and dignified bearing.”
[more]: South Shore Critic

“The title role is performed with great skill and verve by Elijah Rock as Hayes…”
[more]: Fuse Theater Review

Elijah Rock Interview with TrueMoxie

“I just booked my first guest-star recurring role on Masters of Sex on Showtime, which can be seen in the 2014 season. I feel like everything I’ve done has prepared me for a role on television. I’m ready for it. But it doesn’t take away from what I’ve build in the other parts of my career — it only enhances it.”
[more]: TrueMoxie

Breath And Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes (Cleveland Playhouse)

“Like Hayes, Rock (born Eric Myricks) grew up singing spirituals in church and later wowed teachers at University School with his fledgling talent. As a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was the lone black vocalist, Rock couldn’t point to many role models in the world of classical singing…In one of his final numbers, Rock delivers a spiritual with tears streaming down his cheeks, and the words of Hayes’ mother echo in that performance. That alone is enough to make this critic stand, clap her hands and say, “Amen.”
[more]: Cleveland Plain Dealer  

“Elijah Rock was raised in Cleveland as Eric Myricks. He has found success as a jazz singer, a tap dancer, and a stage and film performer. Rock has the perfect tenor voice for playing Roland Hayes. He is capable of making the spirituals pull at your heart strings and making the arias evoke comparisons with performers such as Enrico Caruso.”
[more]: Talkin Broadway

“Elijah Rock, as Hayes, masterfully captures the singer’s early humility and later determination as we trace his evolution as a man and an artist through intermittent, chronological flashbacks that start during a concert performance in 1942. More importantly, Rock displays the pure tones and soulful undercurrent that famously resided in Hayes’ vocal presentation. When his sensitive, nuanced rendition of “O del mio dolce ardor” ends, you realize how lost you’ve been in its presentation and how much you look forward to doing the same when the next aria arises.”
[more]: Cleveland Jewish News

“Cleveland native Elijah Rock, a University School grad with Cleveland Institute of Music, Singing Angels, Karamu and Lyric Opera Cleveland training, has a fine singing voice, the acting skills and the ability to create a very believable Roland.”
[more]: The News-Herald

“To portray the life of such an extraordinary man is truly a challenge and without a doubt, Elijah Rock is up to the task. He even closely resembles early photos of Roland Hayes…In short, Elijah Rock was born to portray the complex biography of the great Roland Hayes. He gives equal justice to the spiritual as well as classic operatic pieces. There is even a short dance sequence. Among his many talents, Elijah is also a professional tap dancer and has been hoofing since age ten. He credits his tap skills to his late teacher, Ed Bubba “Taps” Ferguson.”
[more]: Examiner.com

“Rock and Gaines turn in spectacular performances. They create a tremendous love story that enters your heart and continues to grow through the entire performance. Rock (Hayes), who is equipped with an instrument from above, sings with adept passion, interpreting  the storytelling and performance pieces with classical aplomb.”
[more]: TPOGraphy: Theatre Review

A Sinatra Christmas

“No pun intended but Elijah does indeed Rock. This gig is pure fun for the trained baritone, who can sing opera as well as pop. He did a magnetic job with “Candy Man”, “Jingle Bells”, Donnie Hathaway’s “This Christmas”, “L.O.V.E.” and in duet with Prego on “Me and My Shadow” as well as “Let It Snow!”
[more]: BroadwayWorld.com

“Elijah Rock is a triple threat (actor/singer/dancer). I recently saw him present a show about the first famous Black opera star Roland Hayes. He was brilliant and in this Christmas show proves that he can cross over to more traditional jazz and standards. What an electrifying voice and presence.”
[more]: StageHappenings

“During the fast moving proceedings Prego introduces Elijah Rock as “a triple threat,” because the multi-talented artist can act, dance and sing. Rock recently starred in Breath and Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes, a bioplay about the first African American concert singer of classical songs, who preceded Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson, which was recently presented at Burbank’s Colony Theatre. To be frank (no pun intended!), the versatile Rock stole the Encore’s show. Like Sinatra’s fellow Rat Packer, Sammy Davis Jr., Rock tap danced up a storm and belted out numbers that are part of Sammy’s canon, like “The Candy Man.” However, Rock also sang songs that aren’t associated with Sammy, such as “Falling in Love Again (Can’t Help It),” which Marlene Dietrich put on the musical map. Rock rocked the Encore Dinner Theatre and was the best part of the entire show. According to Elijah and the venue’s owner, Peter Zappas, in the Spring Rock will return to the Encore Dinner Theatre for an encore, in the form of a full-on tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.”
[more]: HollywoodProgressive & L&L Magazine

 Breath And Imagination: The Story of Roland Hayes -(Colony Theatre, LA)

“Rock’s sensitive portrayal captures Hayes’ determination to shape his own destiny, as well as his calm humility in the face of racial prejudice and resistance from his deeply religious mother (Karan Kendrick)…”Rock’s musical delivery is more nuanced, incorporating an initial hesitancy appropriate to the early stages of the singer’s development, only to emerge with soul-stirring confidence in the mature Hayes’ recitals of material ranging from gospel to lieder to opera.”
[more]: LA Times

“Guided by McClain’s fluid staging, Rock is nothing short of glorious, possessing a rich vocal instrument and strong stalwart demeanor that could very well have been that of Hayes or any other black man who had to constantly fight an impossible battle. He brings plenty of spirit to the fore.”
[more]: BroadwayWorld.Com

“Rock is as wondrous at convincing us that he is an eight-year-child as he is at portraying the adult Hayes, giving what must surely be remembered as one of the year’s most spectacular—and unique—performances.”
[more]: StageSeneLA

“Most stirring is Rock’s lustrous timbre as the mature Hayes: Harmonizing with Kendrick through earthy spirituals, he soars through Von Gluck’s “O Del Mio Dolce Ardor” before dipping into a soul-trembling version of “Were You There?”
[more]: LAWeekly

“What. A. Voice. ELIJAH ROCK is Roland Hayes reborn. He had to be. Early on, we hear an actual phonograph recording of the singer that had inspired Roland Hayes: the great Enrico Caruso at the peak of his powers. And so Breath and Imagination throws the cap over a very tall wall for its lead actor. But Elijah leaps over it. And from the moment he dons the cap that recalls Roland Hayes’ boyhood days, we follow him on his hero’s journey.”

“Multitalented Elijah Rock, an actor, a jazz singer and classically trained vocalist of stunning power and subtlety, heads the cast as Hayes and does memorable justice to the play’s wealth of spirituals, operatic arias and art songs. He is as equally arresting singing “Were You There (when they crucified my Lord)” as he is capturing the nuances and resonant beauty in works by Schumann, Fauré and Gluck.”
[more]: Burbank Leader

“Roland Hayes is portrayed by a remarkable singer and actor, Elijah Rock. He even shows us briefly that he is a gifted tap dancer. He is required to sing everything from spirituals to grand opera. He has a powerful instrument and expressive way of singing.”
[more]: StageHappenings

“Dear Elijah, there aren’t many real triple threats in the world. My late husband (Gene Kelly) was one. It was so refreshing to see – and hear – you on the stage last night and to confirm that there are, indeed, more incredibly talented men on the horizon who can sing, dance and act. Congratulations on a brilliant performance. I was captivated every minute of the way. I look forward to seeing you again soon and to following your extraordinary career.”
[more]: Patricia Ward Kelly

CHESS: The Musical (East/West Players)- LA

“Rock’s gorgeous operatic vocals more than match his leading man good looks as Anatoly, his deeply affecting “Anthem” ending Act One with an emotional wallop.”
[more]: StageScene LA

“Anatoly is the largest male role here and Rock commands the stage. He has a gifted voice and, under the musical direction of Marc Macalintal, he and all the other actors are careful to slow the music down just a bit to make sure the audience can understand the lyrics.”
[more]: EDGE Los Angeles

“Wonderful Joan Almedilla, as American chess second Florence, has spine-tingling power, together with Elijah Rock’s resonant, if curiously un-accented, Russian champion Anatoly and plangent Carey Rebecca Brown’s abandoned Svetlana making “Mountain Duet” and “I Know Him So Well” high points.”
[more]: LA Times

PARADISE- A Bluegrass Musical- Los Angeles

“As Tater, Elijah Rock does a rip-roarin’ tap routine in “I Don’t Wanna Sing on Broadway.”
[more]: Stage and Cinema

HOODOO LOVE- Los Angeles

“Throughout this play the music comes alive from original songs also written by the playwright Ms. Hall, and smack in the middle Candylady and Ace of Spades (Elijah Rock) throw down a mid-first act musical show stopper so grand that the theater simply cannot hold it, making the audience come alive, reveling, clapping and interactive.”
[more]: LA Theatre Review

“The standout musical highlight is a duet featuring McClain and Rock, a number that’s worth the price of admission.”
[more]: LA Weekly

Jazz ensemble The Downtown Project blends sounds of the world in hopes of educating the next generation about music

When Rock, a first-year opera studies student as well as the lead vocalist and one of the founding members of The Downtown Project, met Quincy Jones, Rock mentioned that he also was a jazz performer and, after auditioning, The Downtown Project was chosen to perform as one of Fowler’s Summer Sunset Concert series bands. [more]: Daily Bruin