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“Duke Ellington’s America” Heads to the London Jazz Festival and Guildhall School

Duke Ellington’s America, CMCI Lecturer Dr. Harvey G. Cohen’s new book, now in its 2nd printing from the University of Chicago Press, will be the focus of two major free events in the next two months.

First, on 27 October 2010 at 7:00PM, Cohen will be featured with the Guildhall Jazz Band and their leader/conductor Martin Hathaway at the Music Hall, Guildhall School of Music of Drama. For the first half of the show, Hathaway will interview Cohen about the book, and there will probably be some musical examples played by the band to demonstrate certain points being made. The second half of the show will be a full concert of Ellington music by the Guildhall Jazz Orchestra. And as Dr. Cohen recently told Lost In CCI, “I’ve rarely if ever heard a live band play the Ellington repertoire with more skill and emotion, this is a rare chance to hear this music the way it was meant to be heard.” Copies of Duke Ellington’s America will be for sale at this show. This event is organised by LCACE (London Centre for Arts & Cultural Exchange ) as part of their Inside Out Festival, and is sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Research Council. For additional info, consult here.

Also, on 20 November 2010 at 6:00PM in the Front Room in the Southbank Centre, as part of the London Jazz Festival, Cohen will be speaking about Duke Ellington’s America at an event titled Harvey Cohen’s Ellington. The hour-long event will especially concentrate on Billy Strayhorn, Ellington’s close friend and writing partner, who will be the focus of a concert later that evening by the Frank Griffith Nonet with China Moses and Alexander Stewart. “I’ve been surprised that none of the reviews for my book have picked up on the new information about Strayhorn in my book,” Cohen has remarked. “This event will be a good time to focus on the unique personal relationship between Ellington and Strayhorn, and Strayhorn’s legacy as a composer on his own.” This is the third time Cohen has appeared at the London Jazz Festival. For more info on this event, click here.

For more info on the Strayhorn concert, click here.

For more Information on Duke Ellington’s America, including overview, chapter-by-chapter summary, excerpts, reviews and YouTube clips, head to the official website

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