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Arapahoe Philharmonic Concert 4: The Jazz Age

  • Denver First Church of the Nazarene 3800 E. Hampden Avenue Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113 USA (map)

William Grant Still: Afro-American Symphony

Duke Ellington: Black, Brown and Beige

George Gershwin: Porgy and Bess Suite

arr. Calvin Custer: A Salute to the Big Bands

As much as dance music has influenced the symphony, the modern orchestra would be monochromatic without the influence of American Jazz. This program features an all-star lineup of some of the greatest works that migrated into the symphonic concert hall. William Grant Still used “longing, sorrowful, humor, voodoo, lament, and aspiration” to describe his Afro-American Symphony.  From spiritual to swing, Duke Ellington’s timeless Black, Brown, and Beige sings the struggles, triumphs and emergence of the black experience in America. George Gershwin’s operatic blues, syncopations, spirituals and reveries from Porgy and Bess are arranged as a suite by his longtime Hollywood collaborator Robert Russell Bennett, which includes “Clara, Clara,” “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’” and “Oh Lord, I’m on My Way.”