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.

2020 AGM

The DESUK Annual General Meeting had been scheduled for Saturday, 2 May 2020. In view of the current health uncertainty this meeting will not take place, nor can we give any indication of an alternative time.

As selection of a new Committee would normally have taken place at the AGM, all current committee members have indicated their willingness to continue in office until such time as normal business can be resumed, In this way we anticipate that DESUK features such as Blue Light can appear in the normal manner.

Please refer to the DESUK website for current information.

Mike Coates, DESUK Chairman

Non-society events

Got a gig coming up with an Ellington element? Pop us an email and we can publicise via our website.

Harmony In Harlem - King’s Lynn 23rd April

Harmony In Harlem will be in King’s Lynn on Thursday 23rd April at 7.30pm, performing Such Sweet Thunder at St George’s Guildhall.

The St George’s Guildhall in King’s Lynn is the oldest working theatre in the country and also the largest surviving mediaeval guildhall.

There’s more: it is also the only existing performance venue believed to have hosted William Shakespeare himself.

To celebrate this unique connection to the Bard, Harmony In Harlem will be performing Duke Ellington’s Shakespeare suite “Such Sweet Thunder” at St George’s Guildhall - on St George’s Day, Shakespeare’s birthday.

Such Sweet Thunder, composed by Duke and Billy Strayhorn in 1957, is one of the most acclaimed albums in jazz, a collection of 12 vignettes of Shakespearean characters some of which are sonnets in musical form. Harmony In Harlem performed Such Sweet Thunder four times in 2014 and 2015 and we are pleased to revive this suite, with guest performers including Bob Hunt on trombone, for King’s Lynn.

Tickets £12. More details will be forthcoming here.

Mike Westbrook’s Uncommon Orchestra: On Duke’s Birthday 29th April

Ronnie Scott’s, London will host Mike Westbrook’s Uncommon Orchestra on Duke Ellington’s birthday, Wednesday 29th April 2020, with a piece dedicated to the Ducal anniversary.

This will be the first time that the full-scale version of the piece will have been performed in London. The fact that April 29th is Ellington’s birthday makes this an even more special occasion.

Details here.

Frank’s gigs

Our own Frank Griffith has numerous upcoming gigs, often with an Ellingtonian twist.

Date: 4 April 2020
Location: Ma Boyles, 7 Tower Gardens, Liverpool, L3 1LG
Time: 9PM
Featuring: Frank Griffith Trio
Admission: Free
More information: 0151 236 0070 www.maboyles.com

Date: 10 April 2020
Location: Blackburne House, Hope St, Liverpool, L8 7PE
Time: 8PM
Featuring: Frank Griffith Trio w/Eddie Binstead
More information: 0151 709 4356

Date: 12 April 2020
Location: Nantwich Jazz Festival, Crown Hotel, High St, Nantwich, CW5 5AS
Time: 2-4PM
Featuring: Frank Griffith Trio
More information: 01270 625283 www.nantwichjazz.com

Date: 15 April 2020
Location: Heskith Social Club, Southport, PR9 9XH
Featuring: Frank Griffith Quartet
Admission: Free
More information: 01704 227968

Date: 17 April 2020
Location: Sefton Park Cricket Club, L17 1AA
Time: 8PM
Featuring: “Tenors Anyone” with Frank Griffith, Phil Shotton and the Jonny Dale Trio
More information: 07481 155077
Admission: £5

Date: 26 May 2020
Location: LIPA, Mount st, Liverpool, L1 9HF
Time: 8PM
Featuring: Frank Griffith guest artist with LIPA Big Band
More information: 0151 330 3000. www.lipa.ac.uk
Admission: Free

Date: 31 May 2020
Location: The Railway Pub, 74 Wellington Road, Stockport, SK4 1HF
Time: 9PM
Featuring: Frank Griffith Quartet
More information: 0161 477 3680

Date: 16 June 2020
Location: Wilmslow Conservative Club.15 Grove Avenue, Wilmslow, SK9 5EG
Time: 8.30PM
Featuring: The Frank Griffith Quartet
More information: 01625 528336
Admission: £8

Date: 18 July June 2020
Location: Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, DT6 3NR
Time: 8.00PM
Featuring: The Frank Griffith Quartet with Guy Gardner, Stu Barker and Matt Skelton, with guest vocalist, Rachel More. Performing the music of Burt Bacharach.
More information: 01308 427183 www.bridport-arts.com
Admission £13

Date/Time: September 8, 2020. 8.30PM
Location: Wilmslow Conservative Club. 15 Grove, Wilmslow, SK9 5EG
Featuring: Frank Griffith Nonet 01625 528336
Admission: £8

Date: 2 October 2020
Location: Sefton Park Cricket Club, L17 1AA
Time: 8PM
Featuring: The Frank Griffith Nonet

More on Frank’s website.

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