NEC Jazz Orchestra Celebrates the Music of Duke Ellington
With Livestream Performance from Iconic Jordan Hall
on Thursday, October 15
In a concert streamed live from New England Conservatory’s iconic Jordan Hall, the NEC Jazz Orchestra celebrates the genius of Duke Ellington on Thursday, October 15 with Reminiscing in Tempo: Music of Duke Ellington. The program, conducted by Jazz Studies Chair Ken Schaphorst, will feature Ellington’s early masterpiece “Reminiscing in Tempo” along with many of his other early compositions, including “Daybreak Express,” “East St. Louis Toodle-oo,” “The Mooche,” “Stompy Jones,” and “Transblucency.” Joining the Orchestra is guest vocalist Isabel Crespo Pardo.
There will be half-hour sets at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT. For the full program and to watch the performances, log on to https://necmusic.edu/events/nec-jazz-orchestra-reminiscing-tempo-music-duke-ellington.
Other upcoming NEC Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation department concerts, some of which will be pre-recorded, will air:
• Wednesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. – NEC Gospel & NEC Composers Ensemble
• Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. – NEC Jazz Orchestra
• Monday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. – Contemporary Improvisation Department Concert
• Tuesday, December 8 at 8 p.m. – Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra Concert
• NEC will also present twelve Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Department Ensemble Concerts, Monday, November 2 – Tuesday, November 24. Showcasing the musical innovators of tomorrow, these one-hour concerts feature student ensembles each coached by a member of NEC’s renowned faculty.
NEC’s Jazz Studies Department was the brainchild of Gunther Schuller, who moved quickly to incorporate jazz into the curriculum when he became president of the Conservatory in 1967. He soon hired saxophonist Carl Atkins as the first department chair, as well as other greats including NEA Jazz Master George Russell, pianist Jaki Byard and Ran Blake. The foundation of its teaching and success begins with the mentor relationship developed in lessons between students and the prominent faculty artists. In addition to its two jazz orchestras, faculty-coached small ensembles reflect NEC’s inclusive approach to music making, with ensembles focused on free jazz, early jazz, gospel music, Brazilian music, and songwriting, as well as more traditional approaches to jazz performance.
Students are encouraged to find their own musical voices while making connections and collaborating with a vibrant community of creative musicians, and ultimately to transform the world through the power of music. The program has spawned numerous Grammy winning composers and performers and has an alumni list that reads like a who’s who of jazz, while the faculty has included six MacArthur “genius” grant recipients (three currently teaching) and four NEA Jazz Masters.
New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized internationally as a leader among music schools, educating and training musicians of all ages from around the world for over 150 years. With 800 music students representing more than 40 countries in the College, and 2,000 youth and adults who study in the Preparatory and Continuing Education divisions, NEC cultivates a diverse, dynamic community for students, providing them with performance opportunities and high-caliber training with internationally-esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC’s alumni, faculty and students touch nearly every aspect of musical life in the region; NEC is a major engine of the vital activity that makes Boston a musical and cultural capital. With the recent appointment of Andrea Kalyn to serve as NEC’s 17th President, the Conservatory is poised to embark on a new chapter at the forefront of innovation in education and music.