Following the huge success of its first foray into jazz in 2022, this year The Grange Festival brings to the stage Ellington: From Stride to Strings - two nights in celebration of the extraordinary musical life of Duke Ellington, one of the jazz world's most ground-breaking composers (30 June, 1 July)
The evolution of Ellington's music will be reimagined by a sextet of virtuoso musicians led by renowned trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, featuring iconic numbers such as It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), The Mooche and Drop Me Off in Harlem; for Come Sunday, the sextet will be joined by British-Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan.
The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will take centre stage in the second half of the evening, which will focus on Ellington’s later work, opening with New World A-Comin' (which has been described as Ellington’s response to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue),featuring the young virtuoso pianist Mathis Picard.
This will be followed by two specially-commissioned works by Ethan Iverson, a composer and pianist known for his bold re-imaginings of familiar works: Valediction: An Ellington Suite, and a high-energy arrangement for orchestra and jazz sextet of the iconic C Jam Blues. Arrangements for the production and Valediction: An Ellington Suitehave been commissioned for The Grange Festival by the 23Arts Initiative.
According to Iverson: “If one person can be said to have presided over the evolution of jazz, it was Duke Ellington. Ellington collaborated with everybody, from traditional greats like Louis Armstrong to gospel icon Mahalia Jackson to the modernists Charles Mingus and John Coltrane. More casually, he hobnobbed with Leonard Bernstein and penned romances for Queen Elizabeth II.”
Ellington: From Stride to Strings will be a dazzling journey through the extraordinary musical life of Duke Ellington, from his early work in stride piano to his rise to stardom and emergence as one of jazz's most ground-breaking composers - two incredible nights of music not to be missed! As in 2022, The Grange Festival is offering a jazz-inspired evening that is smart, engaging and serious, the very values that one might describe as Ellingtonian!
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Friday 30 June & Saturday 1 July 2023, 5pm
The Grange, Northington
Jazz @ The Grange Ellington: From Stride to Strings
Dominick Farinacci band leader & trumpet | Patrick Bartley, Jr. alto saxophone | Christian Tamburr vibraphone & marimba | Mathis Picard piano | Yasushi Nakamura bass | Jerome Jennings drums | Anush Hovhannisyan soprano | Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra | Piers Playfair creative director & producer (23Arts Initiative) | Ethan Iverson composer & arranger | Gavin Sutherland conductor | Frankie Parham producer (Mascarade Opera)