It was Paul Whiteman, an equally talented bandleader who nudged Gershwin to compose a jazz “concerto piece”. There were hesitations at first but after turn of events, Whiteman was able to finally persuade Gershwin.
“Rhapsody in Blue” thus premiered at the Aeolian Hall in Manhattan, New York City. Gershwin was accompanied by Whiteman and the Palais Royal Orchestra. It was attended by well-known opera society and talented musicians.
The program had an interesting story as it started in a sour note. Unfortunately, the earlier parts failed to impress the audience. But George Gershwin with his wit and signature style, partly improvised his solo piano piece and "Rhapsody in Blue" with its great flair of haunting yet relatively ease of flow of melody and rhythm had captured the hearts of the audience. It was highly-praised and became an instantaneous hit, a critical coup de grâce for that matter.
Learn more about the story of creation at: https://galaxymusicnotes.com/pages/rhapsody-in-blue-the-best-composition-by-george-gershwin