Friday, September 18, 7:30 PM MDT "Duke Ellington Story" by Jim Shearer
Like Fletcher Henderson before him, pianist Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington got his start in jazz by leading a society band. He was born in Washington, D.C. and had his first success as a musician there. In the mid-1920s Ellington and his band moved to New York City, where they fell under the spell of Louis Armstrong. Soon they too had abandoned sweet music in favor of playing more hot jazz, with lots of solo improvisation and riff-driven ensembles. As the band grew in both size and popularity, Duke moved into a regular performing spot at the Cotton Club. This club was the premiere nightspot in Harlem, and all of the best black performers played there. Ellington quickly established a creative style built around his own compositions. Over his long and successful career, Duke Ellington constantly expanded the boundaries of what jazz music could be. Most dance numbers were designed to last three or four minutes each. Ellington created many of these typical swing numbers for his book, but he also began delving deeper into the world of classical music. He began to write musical “tone poems” that painted vivid musical pictures such as the tune Harlem Airshaft. Later, Ellington ventured into orchestral composition, fusing together classical and jazz styles. He wrote works such as New World A’Comin, which is basically a one-movement piano concerto; Harlem, which is a tone poem that Ellington scored for both his big band and the full symphony orchestra; and music for film including the score to the movie Anatomy of a Murder, which he created with his long-time collaborator Billy Strayhorn.
All the material presented in this FREE event is offered for "Educational Purposes Only!"
Here is the trailer for Jim's presentation:
Here is the link to Jim's FREE presentation (in Zoom), virtual doors open at 7 PM, presentation at 730 PM: