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July 22, 2007

Ellington’s Stratford Concert Celebrated 50 Years Later

Written by
cindy mcleod

live jazz, Canada


Duke Ellington Orchestra
Elegant Ellington Weekend
Stratford, Ontario
August 5 & 6

Stratford Summer Music Festival Celebrates Ellington Anniversary

Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Duke Ellington Orchestra’s first appearance in Stratford, Ontario, the Stratford Summer Music Festival will present the Elegant Ellington Weekend, August 5 & 6.

On Sunday, August 5th at City Hall Auditorium, Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of the great pianist/composer, will share stories in an intimate personal talk, Grandfather Duke Ellington and Such Sweet Thunder. On Monday, August 6 at the Festival Theatre, the Duke Ellington Orchestra will perform in concert with with guest, Stratford Festival actress/singer Barbara Fulton.

The weekend will feature excerpts from Sweet Thunder, a music suite composed by Duke Ellington and musical collaborator Billy Strayhorn. The 12 part suite is based on Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets, with musical portraits showcasing various instruments in the orchestration which describe character’s from the bard’s work.

Such Sweet Thunder is dedicated to the Stratford Festival and William Shakespeare, and was written by Ellington to extend thanks to Stratford for inviting the Duke Ellington Orchestra to perform. The suite was recently performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of a six-month celebration entitled ‘Shakespeare in Washington’.

for more info visit www.stratfordsummermusic.ca

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