Local Wire

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

As one of the most prolific composers of his generation, Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington wrote, throughout his long career, movie soundtracks (Otto Preminger's 1959 Anatomy of a Murder is a great example), classical scores, and many tunes that are now considered American standards. More than 30 years after his passing, Ellington's music is still alive and present in today's music scene. In celebration of Ellington's legacy, Jazz at Lincoln Center's winter tour is showcasing many of the romantic tunes he wrote that ultimately became hits through the likes of Nat "King" Cole ("I'm Beginning to See the Light," also recorded by Natalie Cole), Billie Holiday ("Sophisticated Lady"), and Ella Fitzgerald, among many others. In the orchestra's typical fashion, its set list will also feature original material written by current members, who are always keen on challenging each other. "When I'm writing music for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, I keep in mind the high level of talent of the guys in our band," Wynton Marsalis wrote in a recent e-mail interview. "And when the cats in the band write for the band, they keep that in mind, too. I'll write some real hard part for [saxophonist and composer] Ted Nash to play, and when he writes, he'll get me with something real special!"
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Ernest Barteldes