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Ellington 2021 – David Berger

Day #2 of Ellington 2021 took place on May 3rd. The program is available here.

David Berger opened the day with his presentation Flaming Youth: Ellington’s 1920 Compositions. For more than an hour, he guided the meeting participants through East St. Louis Toodle-oo and Old Man Blues with the scores and the music provided in parallell.



The presentation was really a preview of what one can expect to find in five-volume book series on Ellington’s music that David is currently working on. Each volume will include analyses of 8-10 scores (https://www.suchsweetthundermusic.com/pages/the-ellington-effect). The first volume is expected to be published this year.

More previews are available in the Zoom workshops David is organizing every month (https://courses.suchsweetthundermusic.com).





Ellington 2021 – Bent Persson



Bent Persson – Swedish trumper, arranger and transciber – did the last presentation of the first day of Ellington 2021. He talked about Kustbandet – 60 Years with Ellington.

As a member of the orchestra for almost 40 years, Bent knows about it and demonstrated this in his presentation. He had selected musical examples from the late 1960’s to the early 21st century with a particular emphasis on Kustbandet’s appearance in Paris in 1984.



Learn more about Bent at http://www.bentpersson.se and about Kustbandet at http://www.kustbandet.se. Listen also to both of them on YouTube.


Ellington 2021 – Samantha Wright


She is a British jazz clarinet player and researcher and a jazz clarinet teacher at Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg since 2019.

Her 2019 thesis was on Ellington’s clarinetists and she expanded on it in her presentation Ellington’s Clarinet Players.



Learn more about Samantha at  http://www.samanthawright.co.uk.

Among other things, there is a link to her blog Jazz Clarinet Players, which has a recent post with the scores to the music she played in her presentation.

Samantha  is also composing and arranging  for her own ensemble.

Her debut album is released with a concert on Hamburg Stream on Sunday 23 May at 20:25 CEST. It will be streamed on YouTube. All information about it can be found here https://hamburg.stream/samantha-wright/

Ellington 2021 – Leïla Olivesi


LeÏla Olivesi – pianist, composer, band leader and lecturer at meetings of Le Maison du Duke – followed John E Hasse on the first day of Ellington 2021. Her talk was about Ellington’s Piano Performances : A Laboratory for Composition.


Comments in the Zoom chat

Learn more about her at http://www.leilaolivesi.com.


Ellington 2021 – John E. Hasse

The first session of Ellington 2021 took place on April 29 in honor of the Duke’s birthday.

The program for Day #1 is available here.

Some 70 people from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Israel, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. attended on Zoom.

After the opening of the event by Bo Haufman and Ulf Lundin, the invited key note speaker John E. Hasse, Curator Emeritus At Smithsonian (https://johnedwardhasse.com), delivered the first presentation of the day.









Ted Hudson In Memoriam

With the passing away of Theodore (Ted) R. Hudson on April 27 at the age of 99, the Ellington community lost an important member and a good friend to many of us. He was a wonderful person and a true gentleman.

In his gentle way, Ted was always there to give a helping hand when one needed a piece of information on Duke Ellington, help to open doors to archives in Washington D.C. or photos from Ellington meetings and conferences.

He had a distinguished academic career and was Professor of English at the Howard University in Washington D.C. for many years with Afro-American literature as a speciality.

Ted was one of the pillars of Chapter 90 of the Duke Ellington Society in Washington as its vice-president and editor of its newsletter for many years.

When the Ellington conferences got off the ground in 1983, he also became a regular participant in and a presenter at many of them. His presentations often reflected his commitment to the black cause and his knowledge of Afro American literature.

Here are two examples of Ted’s presentations at Ellington conferences. But there are others on the website.

At Ellington ’93 in New York, his topic was Toward an Ellington Aesthetic.

And at Ellington ’94 in Stockholm, his presentation was on Ellington’s childhood in Washington D.C. or rather the racial, religious and educational and social  settings in which he grew up.


Ted, thank you for what you have given us. We will miss you.

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