Jazz in the Key of Ellison
Featuring Will Downing, Nona Hendryx, Quiana Lynell, Nicholas Payton, Andy Farber Jazz Orchestra
Jazz in the Key of Ellison is a new concert production inspired by the musical life of America’s iconic writer Ralph Ellison - presented in music, words, and images.
Ralph Ellison, acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning author of Invisible Man, was an accomplished trumpeter who knew Armstrong, Basie, Ellington, Bird, Monk, Miles, Dizzy, and Ray Charles. Black American music was central to his life and to his stories. Join us for a special evening of live music inspired by the jazz world he loved and knew so well, including works by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman and Ray Charles. Readings by special guests from Ellison’s eloquent writing on music will sound throughout the evening.
JAZZ IN THE KEY OF ELLISON will tour in 2019, featuring acclaimed r&b and jazz vocalist Will Downing, Labelle star Nona Hendryx, Grammy winning jazz trumpeter/composer Nicholas Payton, the 2017 Sarah Vaughan jazz vocal competition winner Quiana Lynell, and the Andy Farber Jazz Orchestra.
Ellison shared a long friendship with renowned artist Romare Bearden. Images of Bearden’s artistic works and of the two great friends together will serve as backdrop for portions of the live performance.
JAZZ IN THE KEY OF ELLISON celebrates what Ralph Ellison witnessed from the Harlem Renaissance on to the birth of R&B.