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Concert of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music
December 30, 2022 @ 7:30 pm
Friday, December 30
Town Hall Seattle, Great Hall
In-person* & livestream
Ellington’s wonderful “Sacred Music” is both serious and swinging. It is a reverent and hip body of jazz composition, written late in his career, for jazz big band, vocal and instrumental soloists, and tap dancers.
For the past 30+ years Earshot Jazz and Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra have partnered to present an annual concert of Ellington’s Sacred Music. The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, led by Artistic Director Michael Brockman (who co-founded SRJO alongside Clarence Acox Jr.), features the 17-piece big band with trumpeters Jay Thomas, Nathan Breedlove, Michael Van Bebber, and Brad Allison; trombonists Dan Marcus, Scott Brown, Jerome Smith, Bill Anthony, and David Bentley. Rhythm includes Randy Halbertstadt, D’Vonne Lewis, Milo Peterson, and Phil Sparks. This year’s vocal solos will feature Robert Neal and Nichol Eskridge.
Appearing for the first time as the featured tap-dancer for this year’s Duke Ellington Sacred Music Concert is Cipher Goings. He is a recent graduate of the University of Washington Dance program (Bachelor of Arts), is now an instructor at Seattle’s renowned Northwest Tap Connection Dance Studio, and he is the grandson of Reggie Goings. We are thrilled to welcome Cipher to the stage as he tap-dances in this year’s Ellington Sacred concert on “David Danced Before the Lord” and more.
The vocal ensemble parts will be performed by the traditional Northwest Chamber Chorus, and in a new twist, SRJO adds to the bill a gospel choir, The Sound of the Northwest, directed by Vanessa Bruce. SRJO, the guest soloists, and the two vocal groups will join forces to honor vocal artistry and the universality of Ellington’s message.
View the full program contents for this concert here.
*COVID-19 Policy: While Earshot Jazz no longer requires proof of vaccination at any venue where an Earshot Jazz event is being produced (unless that venue requires proof of vaccination), Earshot recommends that individuals be vaccinated. Masks encouraged. Full policy here. Policy subject to change.
Photo of Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra courtesy of SRJO