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Symphonic Ellington: New World A-Comin’ with Gerald Clayton

Fri / Jan 21, 2022 - 8:00PM

Explore the symphonic range of Ellington from the whimsical dances in Night Creature to his majestic ballet The River. Plus, jazz pianist and composer Gerald Clayton lends his touch to New World A-Comin'.

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About this Performance

In 1943, Duke Ellington premiered two works about the experience of Black Americans—one, Black, Brown, and Beige, traced their collective history and another, New World A-Comin’, imagined a hopeful future. Ellington wrote about the latter in his biography, “I visualized this new world as a place in the distant future, where there would be no war, no greed, no categorization, no non-believers, where love was unconditional, and no pronoun was good enough for God.”

Within the context of the orchestra, Ellington explored these themes, as well as his faith, in many forms, from sacred concerts to extended suites to tone poems. He brought the full range of his musical vocabulary to bear on his symphonic work, weaving spirituals, jazz, blues, and even West Indian dance music into his orchestrations. In two programs over four nights, Thomas Wilkins leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a weekend dedicated to the orchestral music of a great American composer.

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