Jon & Aria Hendricks to appear with David Berger & The Sultans of Swing for Four Weeks!


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Tuesday Night Birdland Residency
To Feature The Legendary Jon Hendricks and Daughter Aria Hendricks on December 26th, January 2nd, 9th & 16th!

David Berger and The Sultans of Swing
Tuesday Night Birdland Residency
Playing music from Hindustan, The Harlem Nutcracker, Ellington and more..

Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street, betw 8th & 9th avenues. Call 212 581 3080 for reservations and information. Tickets are $25, showtimes are 9:00 & 11:00 PM

“Mr. Byrd and David Berger, a jazz composer who has worked with the Ellington band, have produced an exuberant, stylish entertainment"--Anna Gisselgoff, The New York Times

“Now it is possible for those born after the swing era to be in the actual presence of a 15-piece band, the Sultans of Swing, that not only keeps the joy of that heritage alive but has also absorbed much of the spirit and language of the jazz that came after"--Nat Hentoff, The Wall Street Journal

Legendary vocalist Jon Hendricks and daughter Aria Hendricks, the band's regular singer for the past seven years, will be joining David Berger and The Sultans of Swing in their Tuesday night residency at Birdland for four weeks this holiday season. Commenting on having Jon as a featured guest with the band, Berger simply said, “Whenever Jon sings with us, it is jazz history. Not to be missed." He continued, “here is an opportunity to hear swinging acoustic big band jazz in an intimate club--the way the music was designed to be experienced--where the band and the audience can feel each other breathe--to the rhythms and inflections of American life. This is what we live for."

Jon Hendricks is not only one of the world's favorite jazz vocalists, but is widely considered to be the “Father of Vocalese", the greatest innovator of the art form. Vocalese is the art of setting lyrics to recorded jazz instrumental standards (such as the big band arrangements of Duke Ellington and Count Basie), then arranging voices to sing the parts of the instruments. Thus is created an entirely new form of the work, one that tells a lyrically interesting story while retaining the integrity of the music. Hendricks, founder of the legendary vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, is the only person many jazz greats have allowed to lyricize their music, for no one writes hipper, wittier, or more touching words, while extracting from a tune the emotions intended by the composer, more sympathetically than Hendricks. For his work as a lyricist, jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather called him the “Poet Laureate of Jazz," while Time dubbed him the “James Joyce of Jive."

David Berger, internationally acclaimed jazz composer, arranger and conductor, is proud to be celebrating the reissue of The Harlem Nutcracker at Birdland (in stores on November 21 and also available at www.sultansofswing.com). This holiday album features music by David Berger, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, based on themes by Tchaikovsky. Produced by the Donald Byrd Dance Foundation, the legendary artist himself choreographed the live presentation of this music. (Byrd was nominated for a Tony for his choreography for The Color Purple this past year.) In composing roughly 90 minutes of new music that would have to move seamlessly in and out of what Ellington and Strayhorn wrote, Berger and Byrd took the advice of Ellington himself who stressed the importance of transforming the Russian rituals into corresponding American rituals, knowing that then the music would then be authentic. As Berger states in the album's liner notes (by Stanley Crouch), with The Harlem Nutcracker, “we truly have an American story and an American Christmas."

The Harlem Nutcracker toured for four Christmas/holiday seasons, from 1996-99, playing to packed houses in major US cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Audiences ranged from three years old to 90 (maybe more). People from all walks of life, of various races, ancestry, ethnicity and religious backgrounds bought tickets and filled the theaters with thunderous, appreciative applause. Berger commented on the broad appeal of The Harlem Nutcracker by saying that, “this is a show for everyone. Although the music is jazz, the audiences were not jazz audiences, but as soon as the band hit the third measure of the overture, the audience was tapping their toes and clapping on two and four."

The initial season of The Harlem Nutcracker was flooded with press coverage, including CBS Sunday Morning, ABC and NBC. Offering an indisputable stamp of approval from the jazz world is the fact that three of The Harlem Nutcracker's biggest fans were none other than Quincy Jones, Max Roach and Clark Terry (who, due to his blindness, couldn't even see the stage but just loved listening from the audience.)

On July 4, 2006, critically acclaimed bandleader, arranger and conductor David Berger and his 16 piece big band The Sultans of Swing kicked off a new Tuesday night residency at one of NYC's most prestigious venues, Birdland. At Birdland Berger leads his crack ensemble through original music from his four CD releases, including his new recording Hindustan (available now), classics from the books of Ellington and Basie and, during November and December, music from The Harlem Nutcracker. Come celebrate and enjoy

This story appears courtesy of Jason Byrne, Red Cat Publicity.
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