Virtuoso music talents the Anderson Brothers return to Taos for a concert focusing on the consummate American artist, Duke Ellington ...
Duke Ellington was a major figure in the history of jazz music. His career spanned more than half a century, during which time he composed thousands of songs for the stage, screen and contemporary songbook. He created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in Western music and continued to play what he called “American music” until shortly before his death in 1974.
Virtuoso music talents the Anderson Brothers return to Taos for a concert focusing on this consummate American artist. Their concert is planned Saturday (April 13), 7 p.m., in the Arthur Bell Auditorium at the Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux Street.
Ellington’s fame rose to the rafters in the 1940s when he composed several masterworks, including “Concerto for Cootie,” “Cotton Tail” and “Ko-Ko.” Some of his most popular songs included “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “Solitude” and “Satin Doll.” A number of his hits were sung by the impressive Ivie Anderson, a favorite female vocalist of Ellington’s band.
Perhaps Ellington’s most famous jazz tune was “Take the A Train,” which was composed by Billy Strayhorn and recorded for commercial purposes on February 15, 1941. “Take the A Train,” the “A” referring to a subway line in New York City, took the place of Ellington’s previous signature tune, “Sepia Panorama.”
It was Ellington’s sense of musical drama that made him stand out. His blend of melodies, rhythms and subtle sonic movements gave audiences a new experience — complex yet accessible jazz that made the heart swing. Ellington’s autobiography, “Music Is My Mistress,” was published in 1973. Ellington earned 12 Grammy awards from 1959 to 2000, nine while he was alive.
A press announcement states that The New York Times called the Anderson Brothers “virtuosos on clarinet and saxophone.” Known for their unique renditions of classic jazz songs and innovative original music, they live in New York, where they graduated from The Juilliard School. They have headlined at preeminent venues such as the Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center in D.C., and the New Orleans Jazz Festival –– to name just a few.
Tickets are $15; $12 for museum members and youth 18 and under. For more, call (575) 758-9826.
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