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Schedule - Deutsche Oper Berlin

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Orchestra and Big band at the Musikfest Berlin / Berlin Philharmonie

A Celebration for the „Duke“

A tribute to Duke Ellington to mark his 125th birthday

Information on the piece

2 hrs / 1 interval

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Our thanks to our partners

A concert in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin

About the performance

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington [1899 - 1974]
Caravan (1937, together with Juan Tizol)
Mood Indigo (1931)
Perdido (1942, together with Juan Tizol)
In a Sentimental Mood (1935)
The Jeep Is Jumpin (1938)
Black and Tan Fantasy (1927)
Almost Cried (1959)
The River - A Ballet Suite (1970) for big band
HARLEM (1950)
Night Creature (1963) for jazz band and orchestra

Duke Ellington / Manfred Honetschläger [*1959]
The Famous Duke (2024) for big band and orchestra - world premiere

Duke Ellington’s name is almost synonymous with the sound of the big band era. The Deutsche Oper Berlin’s Big Band pays him homage to mark his 125th anniversary: as well as his greatest hits, they will also play the world premiere of the Manfred Honetschläger’s suite “The Famous Duke”.

Along with his band he had a formative influence on the sound of jazz from the 1920s onwards and is now clearly established among the greats of 20th century American music: in 2024 the band leader, composer and pianist Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington would have celebrated his 125th birthday. To mark this occasion, Musikfest Berlin together with the Deutsche Oper Berlin Big Band dedicates an evening to him that will recall his music and his time, while also demonstrating the influences that Duke Ellington continues to leave behind on jazz today. Some of his greatest hists of the big band era feature on the programme along with compositions from his later creative period such as “Night Creature” and “A Tone Parallel to Harlem”: works that made him one of the founders of the “third stream”, that typically American combination of jazz with elements of European symphony music and classical modernism. These will be played by the Big Band together with the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin conducted by Titus Engel. In addition, the big band and orchestra will also perform the world premiere of Manfred Honetschläger’s suite for a large cast “The Famous Duke”. In this work by the jazz trumpeter and composer, who is also musical director for the evening, there will be another chance to hear both the soloists featured in the first part of the evening. Tony Lakatos is one of Europe’s leading jazz saxophonists – and is regarded among them as the artist whose playing is most deeply steeped in American jazz traditions. The vocalist is Fola Dada, winner of the German Jazz Prize 2022 and a teacher at the Academies of Music in Mannheim, Stuttgart and Nuremberg.

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