Nnenna Freelon & Harolyn Blackwell on "Dreaming the Duke" at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival Sept 5


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Grammy nominated vocalist, Nnenna Freelon, classical singer Harolyn Blackwell, and David Bowie pianist, Mike Garson team up for the first time in a jazz-meets-classical celebration of the music of Duke Ellington on Saturday, September 5, at 8 pm at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival.

They will perform duets and solo pieces accompanied by a double quartet, single jazz quartet, piano and string quartet and piano-vocal selections.

We asked Nnenna Freelon to explain the concept behind “Dreaming the Duke." “Duke Ellington is beyond category," she says. “I wanted to bring his musical philosophy to the performance stage by combining two of his great loves--jazz and classical music. Harolyn was the first person I thought of as I began to dream about this project. The two of us coming together to celebrate this composer's work just felt like magic." She continues, “Mike Garson has written such beautiful arrangements of the Ellington songs, he captured elements of jazz and classical, weaving them in most graceful and sensitive way."

The trio premiered this concert at Lincoln Center in the fall of 2008. Harolyn Blackwell, known for her classical and operatic work, comments on what it is like to combine her voice with a jazz singer's. “For years I have wanted to work with a jazz singer. The key to combining the two different styles is in the art of listening and knowing that the vocal styles might be different but that the vocal technique is the same," she says.

This is the first time Ms. Blackwell and Mr. Garson will perform at Tanglewood. Ms. Freelon last performed there as a guest of Marian McPartland in 2008.

For the complete line-up and ticket information on the Tanglewood Jazz Festival Sept 4-6, go to tanglewoodjazzfestival.org.

This story appears courtesy of Dawn Singh Publicity.
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