In 1957, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn composed Such Sweet Thunder, a magnificent suite of 12 pieces dedicated to Shakespeare and his most compelling characters. Ellington described the work as an "attempt to parallel the vignettes of some of the Shakespearean characters in miniature--sometimes to the point of caricature."
Composed in response to a request to perform at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario in 1956, Such Sweet Thunder was a tour de force, a masterful, confident transcendence of the formal and historical barriers that all too often separate cultures and artistic genres, a watershed in Ellington's own career, a milestone in the history of jazz, and a rock solid exemplar of America's growing aesthetic confidence and maturity.
At the halfway point in our deliberately light-hearted celebration of American popular music's on-going tête-à-tête with broader cultural currents and its own European past, OFAM jazz director Ken Peplowski assembles a special jazz orchestra to re-create this thoughtful, witty, and profoundly moving masterpiece.
| ||Take The 'A' Train|
(1939) interpolated into Reveille with Beverly
Words by Joya Sherrill - Music by Billy Strayhorn
| ||Such Sweet Thunder|
Music: Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn
| ||In My Solitude|
| ||Rockin' In Rhythm|
Words by Irving Mills - Music by Duke Ellington, Harry Carney
|Featured composers, lyricists, creators|
Harry Carney, 1910-1974Eddie DeLange, 1904-1949
Duke Ellington, 1899-1974
Manny Kurtz, 1911-1984
Irving Mills, 1894-1985
Bob Russell, 1914-1970
Joya Sherrill, 1924-2010
Billy Strayhorn, 1915-1967