Charleston Jazz Orchestra: Ellington at Newport
By the mid-1950s in America, Big Bands found themselves in a changed world as Bebop took center stage. Even the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which had creatively dominated the jazz scene from the late 1920s through 1940s, found itself struggling until a historic gig at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival. With an electrifying performance, the crowd at Freedom Park was transformed and Ellington’s career was revitalized. Festival producer George Wein proclaimed it as “the greatest performance of Ellington’s career” and one that “stood for everything jazz had been and could be.” Sixty-four years later, Charleston Jazz Orchestra takes the stage at Charleston Music Hall to recreate that notable night in jazz history, with “Ellington at Newport,” February 15th.