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JLCO: Black, Brown & Beige & The Best of Basie

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis plays essential big band music by Duke Ellington and Count Basie. For the first part of the evening the JLCO will swing through a number of classic Basie standards, including “April in Paris,” “Swinging the Blues,” and “Jumpin’ at the Woodside.” Count Basie’s band always brought a party with them when they came to town, and this performance will channel the unstoppable swing and iconic blues riffs that brought down the house wherever they went.

The second half of the concert will be a full performance of Ellington’s groundbreaking masterpiece Black, Brown & Beige. Originally composed for his 1943 debut at Carnegie Hall, it was advertised as “Duke Ellington’s first symphony,” and Ellington described the powerful three-movement suite as a “tonal parallel to the history of the American Negro.” Stung by the criticism of so ambitious and unexpected a work, he spent the rest of his life revising and updating it, leaving us with a distinctive suite of music that continues to inspire. It’s going to be an invigorating night of absolute jazz in Rose Theater.