Well welcome to instant spring!
After what seemed like the never-ending winter, nature firmly and finally turned the page. The flora and fauna are responding! And there is now a spring in our step that speaks of warm summer days to come – and freedom from the tyranny of winter clothes…
Let’s celebrate this month with a revisit of two jazz artists who forged the art form that we still love today.
On May 25th the Prime Time Big Band with vocalist Gina Farrugia brings their Tribute to Duke Ellington to the Aeolian with another big-band concert/dance. PTBB has become a staple of our traditional jazz audience. Where better to relive those earlier jazz band events and dance the night away than at the Aeolian? Duke was a giant of 20th century jazz; elevating jazz from it’s small-group, backroom beginnings to an actual art form. He moved with the times, starting out with a big band, moving to small groups, supporting soloists when the musicians left for World War II duty and in the 50s when the big band art form seemed to be dying, starting writing. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969.
Duke died on May24th, 1974. On May 25th we celebrate his life and musical contributions.
On June 1st Svetlana and the Delancy Three from New York City hit the Aeolian for a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.
Moscow-born Svetlana is no blushing wallflower. Think of this as a night at the Speakeasy. Hot jazz. Foot-stompin’ high-energy throw your head back and love it music.
And while we are on the topic of celebrating the jazz greats, last December the PTBB band plus some top local musicians recorded the Swingin On The Moon CD with 2 time Grammy winner Matt Alber on the Aeolian stage. That CD is now finished and out for sale as a fundraiser for the Aeolian’s El Sistema music program. The concept was to ‘remake’ and pay homage to Mel Torme’s Swingin’ On the Moon album recorded in 1960.
Matt Alber says: “Mel Torme and his Moon album has been a life-long favourite of mine – I’ve always wanted to do this!” So do it we did. Clark Bryan produced the sound and the final product. I recommend you give it a listen – it’s a great piece of work and a celebration of both Mel and the El Sistema program.
Copies are available at the Hall -all proceeds going to the El Sistema program.
I’ll be back in early June with more on the upcoming Marc Jordan concert on June 8th. Marc is more than a set of quirky glasses. He’s taking some time away from writing for Rod Stewart and the Oscar Peterson estate to bring us a laid-back evening of his music (and humour).
June 8th – the best way to lead into summer is with Marc!
Keep lovin’ live music