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.
Saturday 14th December 2019, Civil Service Club (map) at 2pm. Come along, chat and hear music that is beyond category. The Civil Service Club has a bar and serves food. Facebook event page here.
Save the date: Saturday 2nd May 2020, London. Details to follow.
Other upcoming events in the UK with an Ellington element.
Our own Frank Griffith has some upcoming gigs, often with an Ellingtonian twist.
- 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.
All About Jazz recently published an extensive interview with Edward Green, Professor at Manhattan School of Music and the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington.
Ellington’s… masterpieces are vibrant evidence that opposite aspects of
ourselves are meant to work together. And when they do, the result is beauty.
– Edward Green
Enjoy it here.
DESUK is now on Twitter @dukesocuk! Where better to start tweeting than Flirtibird?
Oxford University Press presents Con Chapman’s new
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
Dr John (Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.) passed away on June 6, 2019. Among his extensive discography he leaves us an album of Ellington covers, Duke Elegant. Here’s a fun one. Check out an fascinating reworking of The Flaming Sword on the same album.
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
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
for their upcoming conference, running from March 11-15, 2020.