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This is the final part of videos from the Ellington ’94 conference in Stockholm.
At the end of the first day, Professor Ted Hudson, at that time vice-president of the Washington D.C. Chapter of Duke Ellington Society, gave a presentation on Ellington’s childhood in Washington D.C. In it, he depicted the cultural, religious and racial environment, in which Ellington grew up.
On the last day, Walter van de Leur – the Billy Strayhorn specialist and nowadays professor Jazz and Improvised Music at the University of Amsterdam – gave his first Ellington conference presentation on his research work on Billy Strayhorn. He would give presentations on this topic at many other Ellington conferences and academic musicologist gatherings.
Also Dr. John Edward Hasse, Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., took the stage the last day. His topic was “Ellington Storms Sweden” and he presented press and and public reactions to Ellington’s Swedish and European tour in 1939. He also talked about the work of his department at the Smithsonian to preserve the legacy of Ellington and sold many copies of his book “Beyond Categories – The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington”, which had been published in 1993.
And then, after three full days of presentations, concerts and social mingling, it was time to thank the organizers, say good-bye and announce Ellington ’95.
This is the last installment of presentations at the conference – at least for now. They are all presentations from its last day.
Thanks to hard work by Patricia Willard and the generosity of Klaus Strateman, the participants got the opportunity to watch the full TV-version of “A Drum Is Woman”. Unfortunately, because of the copyright issues involved it can not be shared on the website.
However, the showing was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Patricia Willard and you can enjoy it here. The members of the panel were Clark Terry, Willie Cook, Louis Bellson, Joya Sherrill and Jimmy Woode.
After the panel, Joya Sherrill was interviwed by Patricia Willard about her time with Ellington and particularily her participation in “My People”
The last presentation at the conference was given by Sjef Hoefsmit, who spoke about his love for Duke and Billy Strayhorn and shared some of his films of Ellington’s appearances in Europe.
Given that the Ellington 1994 series on the website has been possibly thanks to Hoefsmit’s shooting of seven videos during the conference, it seems appropriate to it in this was. However, there are still some more presentations to published and this will be done once we have received permission to do so.
After the lunch at the Stockholm Town Hall, the conference participants enjoyed, among others a presentation by the French jazz critic and record producer Alexandre Rado on his friend Cat Anderson, and to what Nils Lindberg, the Swedish jazz musician and composer, had to say about Dalecarlia and African influences in the orchestral arrangement he wrote for Duke and which was recorded as Far Away Star
The next morning, after having recovered from the gala concert at the Stockholm Concert Hall (where among others Clark Terry performed), they could listen to Klaus Stratemen talking about Ellington on film and showing some goodies from his archive.
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.