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After the opening of the conference, the first morning had a very strong Swedish accent.
It started with a panel talking about “Ellington in Sweden 1939”. Participants in the panel were Alice Babs, Rolf Dahlgren, Bertil Lyttkens och Hans-Henrik Åberg.
Thanks to a change in the program, the audience could then enjoy an improvised concert by the Swedish pianist Berndt Egerbladh, who also brought Alice Babs onto the stage.
The morning session ended with Benny Åslund – appropriately – giving his greetings to the conference and showing some of his films of the Ellington band’s visits to Sweden.
Today is September 1 and as promised the DESS website is back after its summer break. As before, we will continue to do our best to provide members of DESS and others interested in Ellington with music, photos, videos, articles etc related to Il Maestro. Possibly we will do this less frequently than before but at the same time the website has now at its disposal a lot of quite unique material of interest to Ellington connoisseurs. This includes radio programs about Ellington, photos never published and the video and radio taped proceedings of the 24 Ellington Study Group Conferences.
The conference tapes in the Sjef Hoefsmit Collection, which have been made available to the website, are currently being digitized and excerpts of the result will be published on the website during the year.
It seems appropriate to start the season by doing this. Here is the Swedish pianist Berndt Egerbladh and Alice Babs improvising at the opening session of the 1994 Study Group Conference in Stockholm.