SRJO: Duke Ellington’s “Reminiscing in Tempo”

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Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra photo courtesy of SRJO

Saturday November 5, 7:30pm PDT
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benraoya Hall
In-person & livestream
Tickets $15-55

BY CAITLIN CARTER

Presented by Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.

The all-star big band performs a 1935 work that Duke Ellington composed in honor of his recently departed mother. To recreate Ellington’s highly ambitious piece, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) Artistic Director Michael Brockman has drawn on an unpublished score from the original 1935 recording. SRJO also performs other classics from Ellington and his peers, joined by award-winning vocalist and audience favorite Jacqueline Tabor.

Seattle’s most swinging big band has, for more than two decades, delighted audiences with its extensive repertoire that draws from the 100-year history of jazz. Each season, SRJO brings to life the works of jazz greats including Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and many more. The ensemble is comprised of some of the region’s most celebrated and in-demand musicians and educators: saxophonists Michael Brockman, Alex Dugdale, Sidney Hauser, Travis Ranney, and Mark Taylor; trumpeters Thomas Marriott, Brad Allison, Jay Thomas, Michael Van Bebber, and Nathan Breedlove; trombonists Bill Anthony, David Bentley, Scott Brown, Dan Marcus, and Jerome Smith; pianist Randy Halberstadt; drummer D’Vonne Lewis; guitarist Milo Petersen; and bassist Phil Sparks.

SRJO’s library continues to grow each year due to Brockman’s diligent work recovering and transcribing lost-to-print compositions, as with Duke Ellington’s landmark Reminiscing in Tempo, crafted as a tribute to his mother, Daisy, who passed in May of 1935 at the age of 56. On a train ride through the South, Ellington began writing “a detailed account of my aloneness after losing my mother… Every page of that manuscript was dotted with smears and unshapely marks caused by tears that had fallen.” In the care of Brockman and the entire orchestra, Reminiscing is sure to be an emotional, stirring performance.

Joining for other hits from the golden era of jazz is vocalist Jacqueline Tabor, a Bellevue native whose artistry is informed by her time living in Louisiana and being immersed in the blues. Since returning to Seattle and embarking on her professional career, she has gone on to release several albums, including 2018’s acclaimed The Lady in the Gown, perform at many of the region’s top venues and festivals, and receive the Golden Ear Award for Northwest Vocalist of the Year.

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Posted on

October 31, 2022