Welcome to DESUK
The Duke Ellington Society UK’s purpose is to further the study, appreciation and dissemination of the music of Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington.
We meet regularly in London to listen and socialise, and new arrivals are always welcome.
Our house publication Blue Light is released quarterly. The content is wide ranging and we are fortunate to have amongst our members jazz authors, journalists and critics, and equally fortunate to have many enthusiastic members who, because of their own deep interest, have become expert in particular niches of Ellingtonia.
Save the date: Saturday 2nd May 2020, London. Details to follow.
Other upcoming events in the UK with an Ellington element.
Friday 27th September, 7.30PM. Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, Chorus & Jazz Orchestra featuring excerpts of Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. More details here.
Saturday the 12th of October: The University of Oxford’s department of continuing education is running a one day course on Ellington’s Sacred Music.
Saturday 7th December: The Royal College of Music’s Swing Band: The Duke Meets The Count.
Our own Frank Griffith has some upcoming gigs, often with an Ellingtonian twist.
- 6 October, 2-3PM. With Annie Long Quartet. Williamson Art Gallery. Statey Road, Birkenhead, CH43 4UE. Free.
- 8 October, 8.30PM. Frank Griffith Trio w/Malcom Hogarth and Jonny Dale. Handyman Pub, 461 Smithdown Road, Liverpool, L15 3JL. £5.
- 20 October, 1PM. Saxtivity (sax quartet). Elm Hall Church. Elm Hall Drive, Liverpool, L18 1JL. £5 donation.
- 30 October, 8PM. Frank Griffith Quartet. Heskith Social Club. Fylde Road, Southport, PR9 9XH. 01704 809138. £5
- 28 November, 8.30PM. FG w/Martin Hart Quartet. Hedsor Social Club, Hedsor Road, Bourne End, Bucks,SL8 5ES. £8.
- 29 November, 1PM. FG with Martin Litton, piano and Nils Solberg, guitar. Brunel University, Beldam Room. Free.
- 4 February 2020, 8.30PM. FG Quartet w/Franck Amsallem, piano, John MacCormick, bass, Danny Ward, drums. Phase One. 80 Seel Street, Liverpool, L1 4JN. £3.
- 8 February 2020, 2.30-5PM. FG w/Tina May, Franck Amsallem, Steve Berry and Eryl Roberts. Southport Jazz Festival.
- 8 February 2020, 9PM. FG with Franck Amsallem and Steve Berry. Ma Boyles, 7 Tower Gardens, The Strand, Liverpool, L3 1LG. 0151 236 0870.
Oxford University Press presents Con Chapman’s new biography of the great saxophonist and Ellington frontman Johnny Hodges.
As the first ever biography on Johnny Hodges, Rabbit’s Blues details his place as one of the premier artists of the alto sax in jazz history, and his role as co-composer with Ellington.
The estimated release date is early November; look out for a review in a future Blue Light.
CBS ran this tribute to Duke Ellington in 1974. Featuring interviews with Sonny Greer, Russell Procope, Billy Taylor and Ella Fitzgerald and preceded by an advert for a film by the other Duke (John Wayne), and to be enjoyed not only for its footage of the maestro but for the very best in mid-1970s TV advertising.
Birmingham is hosting 2020’s Documenting Jazz conference in January.
Birmingham City University is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Documenting Jazz conference, to be held on 16–18 January 2020. Now in its second year, Documenting Jazz brings together colleagues from across the academic, archive, library, and museum sectors to explore and discuss documenting jazz.
More details at documentingjazz.com
Thanks to all how who attended our meeting. Anthony picked out a favourite tune: Hot Feet
We have a new website! And we’re new on Facebook too. Here’s something jumpin’ to celebrate.
Spotted over at Ron Drotos’ wesbsite: The Beginner’s Guide To Duke Ellington. A nice introductory article with some good selections. One to share with Ellington newcomers.
Ron told us:
I got on board the Ellington train in the early 1980s, when I was 17-18 years old. My piano teacher Billy Taylor had known Ellington and Strayhorn and used to make me cassettes of out-of-print albums of theirs.
There are a few more Ellington-related blog posts on the site, including the surprising similarity between Duke Ellington, Keith Jarrett, and Elton John, as well as guides to playing some of the songs. We look forward to more!
Georgetown University in Washington, DC has issued a call for papers for their upcoming conference, running from March 11-15, 2020.