The William Grant Still Arts Center Presents
“Love You Madly” – A Portrait of Duke Ellington
March 7-June 6, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 3:00-6:00pm
Featuring live opening concert by Marcus L. Miller Freedom Jazz Movement
Archival recordings, magazine articles, concert posters, original photographs, and a significant discography related to jazz pioneer and prolific master composer Duke Ellington’s life and career.
The opening concert on Saturday, March 7 from 3:00-6:00p.m. will feature music performed live by Marcus Miller Freedom Jazz Movement, paying tribute to Duke with a special focus on his work with Max Roach and Charles Mingus on the 1963 release, Money Jungle.
The materials exhibited will chronicle Duke Ellington’s rise to fame through swing in the Cotton Club and big band era as an inventive arranger and charismatic band leader, as well as his grassroots love for blues and experimental jazz. His open philosophies towards jazz as “American Music” beyond category, rooted in African tradition, influenced younger generations of genre expanders including John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach as well as ongoing relationships with orchestra members saxophonists Otto Hardwick and Johnny Hodges, as well as alliances with contemporaries such as Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Strayhorn. Items presented are entirely from the collection of Alden Kimbrough, and also include items collected by his father Jack Kimbrough, who built a personal relationship with Duke, inviting him to perform in Southern California, including some of his first performances in San Diego.
The life and work of Duke Ellington is this year’s focus for The William Grant Still Arts Center’s Annual African-American Composers Series. Now in its seventh year, the exhibition series celebrates the life and work of African-American composers each spring. Combining community archives with original artwork and music education, past exhibitions in the series have included I Got My Pride: The Blues Tales of Leadbelly (2014), Arkestry of the Cosmos: The Universe Language of Sun Ra (2013), Deeds Not Words: The Life and Work of Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln (2012), A New Day: Nina Simone (2011) and The High Priest of Bop: The Jazz Odyssey of Thelonious Monk (2010).
The music of Duke Ellington is also being presented in conjunction with DCA’s African-American Heritage Music Education Program. The William Grant Still Arts Center focuses on teaching music and cultural history to beginning and intermediate students of all ages through practice and playing experience via the works of groundbreaking musical innovators in the tradition of the Arts Center’s namesake, Dr. William Grant Still.