- A music history lecture and performance with Michael Tracy, “Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn: Partnership in Jazz” will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at VCA.
In the 1920s out of segregated Washington DC, a self-taught Black pianist, composer, and bandleader, Edward Kennedy Ellington, embarked on a career that would last into the 1970s. By the late 1920s, Ellington was performing in Manhattan’s Cotton Club, by the 1930s playing to sold-out crowds in Paris, London, and cities throughout the US. In 1938 Ellington met a 23-year-old, gay Black musical prodigy, Billy Strayhorn. For the next 30 years, Ellington and Strayhorn formed Jazz’s great partnership producing such great songs as “Take the A Train”, “Lush Life” and many other famous hits.
Michael Tracy, the lecturer, will be joined by accomplished and well-traveled musicians to play Ellington and Strayhorn’s music: jazz pianist Dylan Hayes, bassist Stanley Ruvinov, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier.
Tickets to the talk and performance are $10, buy them at vashoncenterforthearts.com.This event will have in-person seating for a limited capacity in the Kay White Hall and also be live-streamed on VCA’s website and Facebook page