Monday, September 2nd
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The Music Of Duke Ellington, featuring Black, Brown, and Beige

This performance is a reprise of the wonderful concert the DJF presented last March. Duke Ellington is a quintessential American composer, like Gershwin or Porter with a different slant. Black, Brown, and Beige debuted in January 1943, in Carnegie Hall. It was Duke’s most ambitious, and longest, work to date, clocking in at 40+ minutes. It’s subtitled “A Tone Parallel To The Development Of The American Negro,” and Duke captured much of that development in his moving, joyous, complex composition.
Each of the three sections has a primary theme based upon the outlook of Africans when they first came to this country as slaves. Thus, their outlook changed over time from Black, to Brown, then Beige. David Berger created an actual ending for the piece and edited the transitions to move smoothly. Vocalists Shahida Nurullah and Alice Tillman, and tenor saxophonist James Carter are featured in this amazing piece of music. The DJF audience will be among the lucky few who have heard this composition performed live.
As a bonus, the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra will perform several of Ellington’s lesser-known works, so this concert will be memorable for several reasons.
Alice Tillman
Shahida Nurullah
  James Carter