Performance Features All-Star Lineup Including
Lalah Hathaway, Jimmy Heath, Sean Jones, Nicole Cabell, and More
|On Sunday, March 23 at 3:00 p.m. in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, high school singers from across New York City and young artists from the recently launched Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra (JLCYO) will join together to perform works from Duke Ellington’s celebrated Sacred Music concerts. The afternoon’s performance is led by jazz composer, arranger, and recognized authority on the music of Duke Ellington and the Swing eraDavid Berger, along with special guest soloists alto Lalah Hathaway, baritone Rufus Bond Jr., soprano Nicole Cabell, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, trumpeter and composer Sean Jones, trombonist and JLYCO Director Vincent Gardner, and tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith.The New York City choirs brought together by WMI and participating in the March 23 performance include the community youth choir Songs of Solomon, and choirs from Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, Forest Hills High School, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Talent Unlimited High School, and Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts. Well-known gospel singer and pianist Damien Sneed, who also serves as choral preparer on the project, led workshops at each school throughout the project.
Additionally, WMI teaching artists have also worked with young composers from three of the participating high schools as well as with young people engaged in activities at sites connected with Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections, a program that provides free musical events ranging from concerts to songwriting and composition workshops for people in need across New York City. These creative sessions were focused on the theme of “affirmation,” which is central to Ellington’s sacred music. Also, WMI’s online community for young musicians, Musical Exchange, hosted Arranging Ellington, a project that encouraged young composers to create new arrangements of recordings and scores from Ellington’s sacred repertoire. Select compositions from these composition projects will be performed at a private Carnegie Hall concert on Sunday, March 30 at 4:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall.
Tying together elements of jazz, blues, choral, and classical music with African-American spirituals and gospel, Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music crossed the lines dividing secular and religious musical genres, while punctuating the ever-expanding role of jazz in America and throughout the world. Ellington composed three programs of sacred music, and, in his lifetime, each was performed once—the first at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1965; the second at St. John the Divine in New York City in 1968; and the last at Westminster Abbey in London in 1973. Following these historic concerts, Ellington called the performances, “the most important thing I have ever done.”
Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
ELLINGTON’S SACRED MUSIC PROJECT