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Duke Ellington @ 125

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Find the Livestreams-link below.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth, the JAM MUSIC LAB Private University for Jazz and Popular Music Vienna (JMLU) is hosting a symposium on June 18th and 19th, 2024, with the aim of reflecting on the musical, social and cultural significance of Duke Ellington then and now. 

Keynote presentations by the most important international Ellington researchers, musical contributions by JMLU teachers and students, together with project presentations developed by students as part of a research-led course on Duke Ellington in the summer semester 2024, form the core component of the program. The two-day symposium will take place in the technically well-equipped 'Spielraum' in the Gasometer and will be streamed worldwide from there with high definition cameras via Zoom in order to achieve the widest possible reach. In order to make participation barrier-free, no participation fees will be charged. The presentation of international experts together with the research projects of the students framed by musical contributions fulfills the mission of outstanding education in jazz and popular music of the Jam Music Lab and strengthens the central cultural position of the city of Vienna.

The two keynote speakers are two of the world's most important Duke Ellington experts:

John Edward Hasse: In his role as Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, John Edward Hasse managed the largest Duke Ellington archive in the world. He published the results of his many years of research in the book “Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington” (Simon & Schuster, 1993).

Laurent Mignard conducts the Duke Orchestra in Paris and is internationally recognized as a musical Duke Ellington expert. The orchestra has recorded more than a dozen recordings of Duke Ellington's music, transcribing and then reproducing much of the original recordings. Mignard also founded the Duke Ellington Music Society and runs the event center La Maison du Duke in Paris.

Symposium Program:

Tuesday, 18th June: Livestream Link Day 1

3 pm Welcome Speech: JMLU Rector Marcus Ratka

3:30 pm Keynote Address: John Edward Hasse Duke Ellington’s Magical Ingredients John Edward Hasse is a museum curator, author, speaker, and leader in his field. For 33 years, he served as Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, where he curated exhibitions on Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Ray Charles, and founded the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and Jazz Appreciation Month, now celebrated in all 50 states and in 40 countries. He is also a former Chairman of Smithsonian Music. He is author of an acclaimed biography, Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington, with a Foreword by Wynton Marsalis.

5 pm Talking Jazz Live: Monika Herzig with Danny Grissett on Duke Ellington JAM MUSIC LAB Professors and internationally renowned pianists Monika Herzig and Danny Grissett will chat about Duke Ellington, his music and influence, and perform together in the style of Marian McPartland’s legendary Piano Jazz shows. The recording will be broadcast on several US radio stations and distributed as part of Monika Herzig’s Talking Jazz Podcast series.

Wednesday, 19th June: Livestream Link Day 2

2:00 pm Keynote Address: Laurent Mignard founded the Duke Orchestra to recreate the “Duke Ellington Sacred Concert” in Saint Sulpice, then the “Far East Suite” in Beirut. The Duke Orchestra and its dream team of soloists have established themselves as the best active Ellingtonian orchestra (according to the Duke Ellington Music Society). He designed the Jazz Train, chairs the Maison du Duke and founded the Duke Festival.

3:00 pm Students Projects: Research Lab with John Hasse Commentary and Q&A Throughout the summer semester, JAM MUSIC LAB students have studied the legacy of Duke Ellington in a Research Lab, led by Monika Herzig. In addition to an immersion in Duke’s music and life, they enjoyed lectures and workshops with international scholars and specialists, including Katherine Williams (University of Huddersfield), Jamie Baum (Manhattan School of Music), Matthias Heyman (Royal Conservatory Brussels), and John Hasse (National Museum of American History). Using principles of Artistic Research and Historiography, the students investigated historical objects and framed them in cultural and social context with final personal reflections.

6 pm Evening Concert: A Showcase of JAM MUSIC LAB Faculty and Students interpreting Duke Ellington’s Music curated by Monika Herzig, Acts: Herwig Gradischnig and Monika Herzig Trio/ Stageband 1under the direction of Danny Grissett/ Danny Grissett, Maja Jakupovic/ Chanda Rule, Miroslav Mirosavljev/ Final C-Jam Blues Jam.

7:30 pm Closing Remarks and Champagne Toast