The Marcus Shelby New Orchestra featuring Tiffany Austin
December 17 @ 7:00 PM PST
In 1960, at the urging of Billy Strayhorn, the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded The Nutcracker Suite (Columbia), a brilliant jazz interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s music. While largely forgotten today, the popular album marked a watershed in one of American music’s most consequent and productive partnerships, as Ellington gave Strayhorn equal billing for the first time on the album’s cover.
For bassist, composer, and arranger Marcus Shelby, Ellington and Strayhorn’s Nutcracker Suite arrangements offer an ideal vehicle for his talent-laden New Orchestra, an ensemble he modeled after Ellington’s. Reveling in Tchaikovsky’s enduring melodies, Shelby’s band breathes new life into a singular cultural fusion that gracefully marries the great Russian composer with the orchestral language of two nonpareil jazz innovators, and in addition, features original arrangements of holiday music and black spirituals.
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