• WDCH
  • “Audra Swings Ellington”
  • Oct. 3, 2001
  • AUDRA McDONALD JOINS QUINCY JONES,
    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC & THE SULTANS OF SWING
    IN A GALA CELEBRATION OF DUKE ELLINGTON

    Wednesday, October 3 at 7 PM

    One of Broadway’s leading lights, Tony Award-winning soprano Audra McDonald joins music legend Quincy Jones, Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Sultans of Swing for a celebration of the music of Duke Ellington at the Philharmonic’s 2001/2002 gala on Wednesday, October 3, at 7:00 p.m. The concert features a variety of music by the exceptional jazz composer and bandleader, with McDonald performing Ellington’s popular songs with Salonen and Jones conducting the Sultans of Swing and the Philharmonic in his orchestral and band works.

    A VIP champagne reception and silent auction prior to the performance, with dinner by Joachim Splichal of Patina Group, wines by Kendall-Jackson and dancing on the plaza following the concert, will benefit the Musicians Pension Fund and Music Matters, Keeping Music Education Alive in L.A. Gala Chairs are Ginny Mancini and Quincy Jones. The concert is supported by The Bank of America Foundation. Media Sponsor for the concert is KLON 88.1 FM. The Official Radio Station of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is K-MOZART 105.1 FM.

    Single tickets ($15- 83) are available at the Philharmonic’s Music Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, Tu Música, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 213/365-3500. Tickets are also available on-line at www.laphil.org. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount; call 323/850-2050. For further information, please call 323/850-2000. Tickets for the gala events and performance start at $1,000. For further information, call 213/972-3051.

    The most significant composer of jazz music ever, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, began to study piano in Washington, D.C. at the age of seven and made his professional debut at age 17. He moved to New York in 1923, playing with The Washingtonians. He rapidly began to take up a leading position in the jazz world along with Louis Armstrong and by 1930, Ellington and his band had made 200 recordings. 1930’s Mood Indigo brought him international fame. The next ten years proved to be his most creative. His band performed throughout America and twice toured Europe in this period. From 1943-1952, Ellington annually played Carnegie Hall introducing new compositions.

    From 1950 onward, he expanded the scope of his compositions and activities as bandleader, touring more internationally and writing large scale suites. He wrote film scores and incidental music and began to record with a new generation of younger jazz talents. In his last decade, he wrote mostly liturgical music and directed his band until his death in 1974. He left 2,000 compositions that continue to be enjoyed and recorded today.

    Soprano AUDRA McDONALD has earned Tony Awards for her featured roles in Ragtime (1998); Terrence McNally’s Master Class (1996); and Nicholas Hytner’s production of Carousel (1994). She created the title role of Marie Christine in the 1999 Lincoln Center Theater world premiere production by Michael John LaChiusa. Her Carnegie Hall debut came on Opening Night of the 1998-99 season, singing selections from Porgy and Bess with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. She made her European debut at the 1999 BBC Proms Festival under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. Way Back To Paradise, her debut solo recording which inaugurated an exclusive contract with Nonesuch Records, was named Adult Record of the Year for 1998 by The New York Times. Her most recent recording is How Glory Goes. Television appearances have included HBO’s Wit and My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies, a PBS broadcast of the 1998 Carnegie Hall event.

    Spanning more than 50 years, QUINCY JONES’ multi-faceted career has encompassed many roles including composer, record, television and film producer, artist, arranger, conductor, and soloist among them. He has been creating music for over 60 years, spanning styles as diverse as post swing era jazz through today’s electronic music. Born in Chicago in 1933, he was raised in Seattle and studied trumpet and voice. He attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music and subsequently toured with Lionel Hampton as a trumpet player and arranger. He moved to New York in the 1950’s where his career took off. Just a few years later, he was arranging and recording with legendary artists including Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Dinah Washington. In the late 50’ he studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He won the first of his 26 Grammy Awards in 1963 for his arrangement for Count Basie of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” Jones joined Mercury Records as vice president in 1961. He has composed a number of well-known television themes and 33 motion picture scores. In 1990, he founded Quincy Jones Entertainment (a co-venture with Time-Warner) and in 1997 he formed the Quincy Jones Media Group. He publishes VIBE, SPIN, and Blaze magazines and he holds positions with Qwest Records and Qwest Broadcasting. Jones won an Emmy Award for the score of the first episode of the mini-series, Roots and is the most Grammy Award nominated artist ever.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October, 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the Orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen’s activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, and Salonen himself, a well-received Ligeti Festival, appearances at the Ojai Festival, seven critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Orchestra for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world’s most sought-after conductors since his debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia of London from 1985 to 1994 and as principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.

    EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:

    “Audra Sings Ellington”

    Wednesday, October 3, 7 PM

    GALA CELEBRATION

    Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    Los Angeles Philharmonic

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    QUINCY JONES, guest conductor

    AUDRA McDONALD, vocals

    SULTANS OF SWING, guest artists

    Ellington/arr. Smith: Depk from the Far East Suite

    Ravel: La Valse

    Ellington/arr. Hochman: Sophisticated Lady; Solitude; On a Turquoise Cloud (vocalise); Digga Digga Do; It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing

          Audra McDonald, soprano

    Ellington/transc. Berger : Rockin’ In Rhythm

    Ellington/transc. and arr. Berger: Caravan; Mood Indigo; Don’t Get Around Much Anymore

    Strayhorn/transc. and arr. Berger: Take the A Train

    Ellington/transc. and arr. Berger: Concerto for Cootie

    Ellington & Hamilton/transc. Berger: Monologue: Pretty and The Wolf

          Quincy Jones, narrator

          Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

    Ellington/orchestration Luther Henderson/transc. Berger: A Tone Parallel to Harlem

          Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

    Single tickets ($15- 83) are available at the Philharmonic’s Music Center box office, all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino, Tu Música, and selected Wherehouse locations), and by credit card phone order at 213/365-3500. Tickets are also available on-line at www.laphil.org. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount; call 323/850-2050. For further information, please call 323/850-2000. Tickets for the gala events and performance start at $1,000. For further information, call 213/972-3051.

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  • contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley 213/972-3034; Rachelle Roe 213/972-7310