As one of the most influential musical artists, Duke Ellington has made significant contributions to jazz and society, documenting meaningful moments in African American culture. The Detroit Jazz Festival will celebrate Ellington’s impact, presenting his “Black, Brown and Beige” symphony for big band and other noteworthy works – including “Creole Love Cal,” “Diminuendo and Cresendo in Blue,” “Black Tan Fantasy” and “Black Beauty” – with the first concert of the 2013 Detroit Jazz Festival Community Series on March 10, 2013, at 3 p.m. at The Fillmore, Detroit.
“This symphony, the only symphony Ellington created, is rarely performed. It’s a truly historic opportunity for the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra,” said Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival. “Ellington’s ‘Black, Brown, Beige’ symphony has a powerful cultural message, it’s an inspirational piece for all. We are proud to commemorate his exceptional work and influence on our history and the jazz community.”
Joining the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra will be world-renowned conductor David Berger, featured Detroit-native tenor sax soloist James Carter and Detroit vocalists Alice McAllister Tillman and Shahida Nurullah. To highlight the meaning behind the music, Berger also will offer narrative and background on each of the pieces, as well as insight on Ellington’s original performance of “Black, Brown and Beige” at Carnegie Hall in 1943.
“We want to bring once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like this concert to our communities, whether that be through concerts, in-school education or other community events. Presenting this symphony, which Ellington only played in its entirety once, is an exceptional experience,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Foundation Board of Directors, Detroit Jazz Festival.. “We make it our goal to present these unique opportunities as much as possible “The Detroit Jazz Festival’s year-round efforts are meant to inspire and enrich the lives of music lovers in our region.”
The Detroit Jazz Festival is more than just a one-weekend event, concerts and community initiatives are held throughout the year to celebrate the jazz culture and history. Programs that have continually enriched communities will still be in place in 2013, including JC Heard Jazz Week@Wayne and the Jazz Guardian Award.
Tickets to the concert range in price from $15 to $35 and can be purchased online HERE.
Posted by Erin Rose at 11:30 AM