A Tribute To The Music of Duke Ellington”
Michael Jefry Stevens
(Special Discount for past performers at White Horse....admission only $5 )
“Regularly performing with her quartet, Wendy Jones sings jazz in North Carolina but, on evidence of the music on Perfect Dream, she is destined to be much better known." ---- Scott Yanow - Jazz Journalist,
Music Critic, and Author (Los Angeles, CA)
Wendy Jones presents an exciting new arrangements of Duke Ellington favorites including "A-Train", "Sophisticated Lady", "Don't Get Around Much Anymore", "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" and much more! It will be a wonderful ride through Duke Ellington's most beloved compositions and a perfect evening for romancing and dancing with your sweetie for Valentine's Day.
Wendy received both an M.M. and B.M. in Vocal Performance from Appalachian State University. Since that time has worked professionally as a singer/actor/dancer across the United States and Japan appearing in plays, musicals, and opera and has also been featured as a production singer/dancer on various cruise ships. Additionally, she spent three years performing on the stages of Disney in Japan. A member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, Wendy's 2nd jazz CD (Perfect Dream - a collaboration with pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens) was released in June of 2014 on the Artists Recording Collective label.
She now makes WNC her home where she is on the faculties of UNCA (where she teaches voice and directs the Jazz Vocal Ensemble - Studio 18) and Brevard College (where she teaches voice and directs opera).
CLICK HERE to visit the Wendy Jones website
About Duke EllingtonEdward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was the most prolific composer of the twentieth century in terms of both number of compositions and variety of forms. His development was one of the most spectacular in the history of music, underscored by more than fifty years of sustained achievement as an artist and an entertainer. He is considered by many to be America's greatest composer, bandleader, and recording artist.
The extent of Ellington's innovations helped to redefine the various forms in which he worked. He synthesized many of the elements of American music — the minstrel song, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley tunes, the blues, and American appropriations of the European music tradition — into a consistent style with which, though technically complex, has a directness and a simplicity of expression largely absent from the purported art music of the twentieth century.
Duke Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category. He remains one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music and is widely considered as one of the twentieth century's best known African American personalites
Duke Ellington influenced millions of people both around the world and at home. He gave American music its own sound for the first time. In his fifty year career, he played over 20,000 performances in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East as well as Asia.
Simply put, Ellington transcends boundaries and fills the world with a treasure trove of music that renews itself through every generation of fans and music-lovers. His legacy continues to live onand will endure for generations to come. Winton Marsalis said it best when he said "His music sounds like America." Because of the unmatched artistic heights to which he soared, no one deserved the phrase “beyond category” more than Ellington, for it aptly describes his life as well. He was most certainly one of a kind that maintained a llifestyle with universal appeal which transcended countless boundaries.
Duke Ellington is best remembered for the over 3000 songs that he composed during his lifetime. His best known titles include; "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing", "Sophisticated Lady", "Mood Indigo", “Solitude", "In a Mellotone",and "Satin Doll". The most amazing part about Ellington was the most creative while he was on the road. It was during this time when he wrote his most famous piece, "Mood Indigo"which brought him world wide fame.
When asked what inspired him to write, Ellington replied, "My men and my race are the inspiration of my work. I try to catch the character and mood and feeling of my people".