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News Updates – Duke Ellington

  • Maybe jazz can’t go home again

    Posted on May 13th, 1999 in Review

    If jazz is America’s classical music, why aren’t there more groups like the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra?   Keep reading »

  • PBS: An Interview with Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on May 11th, 1999 in Profiles & Interviews

    People often say that the best improvised music sounds composed and the best compositions sound improvised.  Well, Duke Ellington embodied this principle, as his compositions, when played with integrity and soul, have a freshness to them that captures the improvisatory nature of jazz—even the ones that don’t have any improvised sections.   Keep reading »

  • Ellington At 100: Reveling in Life’s Majesty

    Posted on January 17th, 1999 in Profiles & Interviews

    IN Duke Ellington’s world, people are smiling, they are dancing and they are making love. They’re having a good time because his music’s most basic concern is uplift of the human spirit. It’s a music that celebrates freedom of expression, freedom of choice. That’s why we love it. It wants us to love being ourselves and to revel in the majesty of life.   Keep reading »

  • A Jazz Success Story With a Tinge of the Blues: At Lincoln Center, Defining the Canon Draws Fire

    Posted on September 22nd, 1998 in Profiles & Interviews

    The scene at the Supper Club on West 47th Street seemed to evoke the glory days of jazz—an ebullient swing band playing classic Ellington tunes as dancers in period costumes rocketed around the dance floor.   Keep reading »

  • Returning Duke’s Love for a City

    Posted on July 2nd, 1997 in Review

    The thick knot of politicians heaved like longshoremen as they pulled on a yellow rope dangling from a pulley yesterday afternoon at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street. The band played ‘‘Satin Doll.’’ Lost somewhere in the cluster of raised arms were Bobby Short, the cabaret singer, and Robert Graham, the sculptor, who had made the event possible.   Keep reading »

  • A Swinging Travelogue, With Ellington as Guide

    Posted on May 13th, 1997 in Review

    How Chinese is Duke Ellington’s ‘‘Chinoiserie,’’ how African is his ‘‘Liberian Suite’‘? Do they become more so by a particularly forceful rendering of a little pentatonic melody, a particularly dense malleting of the tom-toms?   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis is first jazz musician to win Pulitzer Prize

    Posted on April 28th, 1997 in Profiles & Interviews

    Wynton Marsalis says becoming the first jazz artist to win a Pulitzer Prize is not about him—it’s about the music. Marsalis won the prestigious prize for music for his epic jazz opera. Blood on the Fields, which focuses on the tragedy of slavery in America. Until now, the Pulitzer Prize for music has traditionally recognized classical compositions.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis: Interview by Ted Panken

    Posted on April 14th, 1997 in Profiles & Interviews

    The Reigning Genius of Jazz to his admirers, the Emperor With No Clothes to his debunkers, Wynton Marsalis has attracted public attention and provoked ferociously divergent responses like few musicians in the music’s history. Since his emergence in the early 1980’s as a trumpet virtuoso and composer-bandleader, the result of Marsalis’ choice and treatment of material and his penchant for salty public statements is a public persona akin to a massive lightning rod or magnet that absorbs and repels the roiling opinions and attitudes informing the contemporary Jazz zeitgeist.   Keep reading »

  • From Duke Ellington, Themes for the Movies

    Posted on May 13th, 1996 in Review

    Immersing oneself in the music of Duke Ellington gives the sense that he did everything that could possibly be done in jazz. His body of work, which starts in 1923 and ends in 1974, is so loaded with ideas that new movement after new movement in jazz could be sustained by continuing down avenues where he ventured for just a few blocks but then went on to something else. Mr. Ellington was restless, and it made his music fertile.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton: Prophet in standard time - Downbeat (September 1990)

    Posted on September 10th, 1990 in Profiles & Interviews

    A rainy afternoon in Arlington Heights, IL. – just a mile up the street from the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame – the photographer and his assistant convert one corner of Wynton’s hotel suite into a studio while he fiddles with his trumpet. Somebody tripped over it a couple days before and one valve sticks. “Do you have a name for your trumpet?” the photographer asks. “Johnson” Wynton replies, chuckles, and adds, “No, not really.”   Keep reading »