Monthly Jazz Jams return live at Flushing Town Hall the second Wednesday of every month! Open to professional jazz musicians, graduate students studying jazz, music educators and serious hobbyists, Louis Armstrong Legacy Monthly Jazz Jams invites musicians to perform at Flushing Town Hall. All are welcome, regardless of instrument (vocalists, too!). Our Steinway baby grand and drum kit are available at each Jam. House Band and Jam Sessions are led by Carol Sudhalter, with Joe Vincent Tranchina, Scott Neumann, and Eric Lemon. Don't play, but love jazz? Come listen!
$10/FREE for Members, Students, & Jamming Musicians
Imani Winds & Cory Smythe "Revolutionary AKA The C
After a yearlong postponement, the barrier-breaking, repertoire-expanding wind ensemble Imani Winds will return to Durham. This fall’s offering, Revolutionary aka The Civil Rights Project, thematically organizes several commissions from the past dozen years around the ongoing struggle for racial justice in America. Following an arrangement of Sam Cooke’s plaintive and pointed “A Change is Gonna Come,” we hear Frederic Rzewski’s “Sometimes,” commissioned by and premiered at Duke Performances in 2015 in celebration of the legacy of historian John Hope Franklin. Vijay Iyer’s “Bruits,” composed in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s 2012 killing, features pianist Cory Smythe and treats “the murderous consequences of the stand your ground law,” while Jason Moran’s “Cane” — a reference to his ancestral home near the Cane River in Louisiana — explores the impact of slavery within his family history. The evening rounds out with Imani co-founder Valerie Coleman’s “Bronzeville,” an invocation of three poems by Chicago literary legend Gwendolyn Brooks.
Before the Beatles, there was Buddy Holly and the Crickets. It’s the 1950’s and a young man from Texas with big glasses and an even bigger dream is catapulting to the top of the Rock and Roll charts. With classic songs like “Peggy Sue,” and “That’ll Be The Day,” along with “La Bamba,” this high octane musical is a celebration of a man whose music and values were ahead of his time.
Rated PG for Parental Guidance. This play contains some mild adult themes.
WRITTEN BY Alan Janes
DIRECTED BY Suzanne Agins
CHOREOGRAPHED BY Jamal Story
Military Appreciation Night- Wed. October 20, 2021
Susan Werner is dynamite on stage, effortlessly injecting any song with an irresistible energy borne from her sassy wit and classic Midwestern charm. Pulling from a repertoire that falls somewhere between folk, jazz and pop, Werner has enjoyed a multifaceted music career, boasting a well-earned reputation as a fixture on the folk scene and collection of original works that feel both familiar and wholly original. With a personable yet refined demeanor, Werner delivers her insightful, thought-provoking lyrics over a fusion of rustic American folk, blues and country rhythms.
Self-taught pianist by three, professional musician by fifteen, teacher to Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis soon thereafter, and later Duke’s first Artist in Residence and Director of the Duke Jazz Ensemble, Mary Lou Williams’s 20th-century artistic scope was stratospheric. In 1945, she turned toward the stars with the landmark Zodiac Suite, a constellation of jazz tone poems inspired by the astrological signs of her musical contemporaries. Their boundary-breaking, stylistic intertwining — tilting from blues to early swing to jagged jazz harmony — caught the ear of GRAMMY-nominated pianist Chris Pattishall, a fellow musical wunderkind, rising star in the New York jazz scene, and Durham native. Pattishall spent over a decade with Williams’s compositions, expanding and exploding their instrumentation into a full-bodied interpretive album, Zodiac. This world premiere performance, enlivened by sound design from experimental musician and composer Rafiq Bhatia and video projections by artist Kim Alpert, will bring Williams’s work home to Duke and Durham in an unprecedented way.
After a year of virtual offerings, Duke’s resident Ciompi Quartet returns in-person this November with an evening program featuring compositions created during the World War II period. Ciompi will be joined by students from the Duke Chamber Music Program.
The program opens with Irish-English composer Maconchy’s 1942 String Quartet #4, an economical set of movements representative of her melodic and expressive style that gestures toward Maconchy’s Celtic roots. Completed the same year, Prokofiev’s String Quartet #2 in F Minor coalesced while the composer was living in the North Caucasus, displaced by the Nazis’ invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The evening closes with Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen for 23 Solo Strings, written during the waning months of WWII and widely regarded as an elegy for Germany’s destruction during the war. (Strauss’s annotation “IN MEMORIAM” follows his concluding quotation from the first four bars of the Eroica’s Marcia Funebre.) The work, which builds from a set of small melodic ideas that traverse the emotional spectrum from despair to hope, mobilizes, as Juergen May writes, “all of the rhetorical means developed over the centuries to express pain.”
“Music-making of the highest order,” wrote TheGuardian of the three Schumann brothers and violist Liisa Randalu, who together make up the Schumann Quartet. After training with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne, the close-knit ensemble entered the classical music scene in 2007 with fanfare and have received numerous accolades since, including the Newcomer Award at the 2016 BBC Music Magazine Awards. They pick up the baton from the Belcea Quartet in this Chamber Arts Series, playing the second of Brahms’ op. 51, a more expansive, lyrical piece than the first that also pays homage to Bach with contrapuntal textures throughout. Also on the program is Beethoven’s elegant Quartet No. 5 in A Major, op. 18, modeled directly on Mozart’s quartet in the same key, and Ravel’s first and only string quartet, which was written when the composer was completing his studies at Paris Conservatory, repeatedly striving — and failing — to win first place at the Prix de Rome.
Featuring songs from the classic 1971 film and new songs by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, this timeless musical will satisfy the most discerning sweet tooth! Follow the adventures of the 5 winners of the coveted Golden Ticket as they tour Willy Wonka’s mysterious and marvelous candy factory. Charlie Bucket and the other four kids must follow Wonka’s rules…or suffer the consequences.
Nov. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 and Dec. 3, 4, 5, 2021
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm / Sundays at 3:00pm
The first piano duo in history to receive Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant, Christina and Michelle Naughton are stellar orchestral soloists and “master-pianists” (Gramophone), who “have to be heard to be believed” (Washington Post). The pair return to Duke Performances with some of the most dynamic and challenging works in the repertoire, all of which were initially written for other forces: Grieg added the additional second piano part to Mozart’s Sonata No. 16, while Ravel himself transcribed his own orchestral work — originally conceived as a ballet — into a two-piano reduction. When Beethoven refused to translate Große Fuge into a four-hand piano arrangement, the publisher called upon Anton Haim to complete the task. Intensely disliking the transcription, Beethoven then drafted his own fiendishly difficult arrangement, which the Naughton sisters tackle in this concert.
At the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, British gospel group The Kingdom Choir sang a moving rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” their voices ringing through Windsor Castle and captivating all 1,900 guests in attendance, plus an estimated 3 billion viewers around the globe. Led by Karen Gibson, one of the U.K.’s most respected gospel tutors and choir conductors, the London-based choir is a tight-knit community of talented vocalists dedicated to harnessing the raw power of the human voice. From their inspiring ode to Britain’s young royals to performances in concert halls around the globe, The Kingdom Choir is known for their breathtaking harmonies, warm energy and infectious enthusiasm on stage, serving as a sterling example of love, hope and unity.
Having initially cut their teeth as six choral scholars at Cambridge’s King’s College in 1968, the King’s Singers have undergone many iterations and personnel changes, all the while maintaining the gold standard in a cappella singing and developing their signature close-harmony style. They’ve also long ripped up the rulebook, bringing together songs both ancient and contemporary, classical and popular, sacred and secular. “The famed King’s Singers’ attention to pin-point pitching, slick ensemble, and deft balances between the voices are present in abundance”, heralded BBC Music Magazine. Their return to Duke Performances is accompanied by a program as wide-ranging as you would expect, from traditional plainchant to the 1940s Mel Tormé classic, instantly recognizable by its opening line: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” As is King’s Singers’ tradition, the evening will wrap up with an assortment of new surprises and festive favorites.
In 2021, A Swannanoa Solstice celebrates 19 years of delighting Western North Carolina audiences with a world-class display of folk, ushering in the winter season and drawing in more fans each and every year. A beloved local holiday tradition, A Swannanoa Solstice welcomes renowned multi-instrumentalist Robin Bullock and Grammy-winner David Holt to the stage, along with special guests Doug Orr, Phil Jamison, E.J. Jones & The Piper Jones Band, Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller of Zoe & Cloyd, and renowned Madison County fiddler Josh Goforth. These creative, charismatic musicians perform a mix of Celtic, American-roots and world-influenced music to dazzle audiences during the annual event, reflecting the heritage of the hills and spreading a peaceful, united and uplifting message perfect for the holiday season.
WRAL First Night Raleigh takes place in various venues from museum lobbies to church sanctuaries to street corners across more than 20 blocks of downtown Raleigh on December 31, offering entertainment for all ages.
Festivities begin with the early afternoon Children’s Celebration on Bicentennial Plaza and at the NC Museums of History and Natural Sciences. The Evening Celebration comes alive with performances in 30+ downtown Raleigh locations, featuring interactive art installations, drama, magic, music, comedy and dance. The night is capped off with music on the outdoor Main Stage, the famous Raleigh Acorn Drop, and a spectacular fireworks show.
Inserting jokes into their music is a time-honored tradition for composers, but few did so with the impudence of Charles Ives, who once went so far as to title a movement of his Piano Trio “This Scherzo Is A Joke” (nicknamed “TSIAJ”), distorting popular songs from his schoolboy days at Yale. And who better than the new — but already esteemed — Junction Trio, known for their audacious programming pattern of pairing the new and the creative with the familiar and the cherished, to bring Ives’ trio to life. The ensemble, comprising violinist Stefan Jaciw, cellist Jay Campbell, and pianist Conrad Tao, also explores the prickly, hair-raising soundscape of John Zorn’s 2015 composition Ghosts, loosely inspired by the specter of Beethoven’s own Ghost trio. They round out their debut appearance at Duke Performances with Brahms’ youthful Piano Trio No. 1, op. 8, one of the most well-loved works of the entire piano trio repertoire.
This captivating production takes you on an emotional journey through the very best of musical theatre, leaving you spellbound by compositions both old and new. With beautiful and emotional ballads from Evita, Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, along with great upbeat favorites from Dirty Dancing, We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia, this show brings a little bit of something for everyone. Featuring highlights from the newest musicals such as Rocky and Sister Act II, along with the classics from the Golden Age of American Musical Theatre, The World of Musicals is an enthralling, unforgettable show for the entire family. Get ready to sing along!
“Emotional ballads, stunning solos and rousing ensemble performances.” –Main Echo
Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy, and her little dog, too. They’re off to see the Wizard in the magical land of Oz, but in order to make it there, they have to face the Wicked Witch of the West. This iconic musical reminds us that there truly is no place like home. Join us for this beloved family friendly musical that has entertained generations.
Rated G for Everyone
BY L. Frank Baum
WITH MUSIC & LYRICS BY Harold Arlen & E. Y. Harburg
BACKGROUND MUSIC BY Herbert Stothart
DANCE & VOCAL ARRANGEMENT BY Peter Howard
ORCHESTRATION BY Larry Wilcox
ADAPTED BY John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
BASED UPON THE CLASSIC MOTION PICTURE OWNED BY Turner Entertainment Co. & distributed in all media by Warner Bros.
DIRECTED BY Tiffany Green
CHOREOGRAPHED BY Becca Vourvoulas
Military Appreciation Night- Wed. January 26, 2022
Teacher Appreciation Night- Fri. January 28, 2022
TREAT YOUR MUNCHKINS TO OUR VIP EXPERIENCE AFTER OUR MATINEES! Dates TBA.
A critically acclaimed group comprising more than a dozen of the finest singers in the classical world, American Spiritual Ensemble has thrilled audiences across the globe with a dynamic and soul-stirring repertoire that highlights the black experience. With a mission to keep the American Negro spiritual alive, the group’s live performances — combining the singers’ talents with an accompanist and an African drummer — range from spirituals to jazz, dance and Broadway numbers. Each of the group’s vocalists are accomplished soloists in their own right, performing with the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and New York City Opera, and, together, they create musical magic that “holds listeners in a joyful spell” (Sewanee Today).
Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez/ Book by Jennifer Lee/ Based on the Disney film written by Jennifer Lee and directed by Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen JR. tells the story of Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure, and plenty of humor, Frozen JR. is sure to thaw even the coldest heart!
Special pricing structure for Disney’s Frozen, JR:
January 28, 29, 30 and February 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 2022
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm / Sundays at 3:00pm
From Rachmaninoff to Gershwin to Billy Joel, dynamic father-son piano duo Donald and Barron Ryan combine their talents to create a dazzling blend of old and new. Their expertise in classical, jazz, ragtime and funk allows these musicians to create exciting new music while giving fresh interpretations of old — all in one special Valentine’s Day performance. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Donald came to the United States to study music, eventually becoming one of the most accomplished pianists in the world as a Steinway Artist. Following in his father’s footsteps, Barron began playing piano at age 4 and is an award-winning soloist in his own right. Together, they pair a charming father-son rapport with unstoppable musical energy to create an enthralling concert experience that mixes classical with contemporary.
Named after the poet T.S. Eliot, the globe-trotting Eliot Quartett occupies the slot in the CAS series that is reserved each year for one of the world’s brightest up-and-coming string quartets. Recognized internationally for their interpretations of Mozart’s music, they received second prize at the cutthroat Mozart International Competition in Salzburg in 2018. Here, they open with Mozart’s posthumously published String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K. 575, the first of the quartets commissioned by the King of Prussia. Nicknamed “The Violet,” this quartet prominently features the cello, a nod to its patron and his skill with the instrument. The Eliot then pivots to Prokofiev’s String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, op. 92 and its delightfully folkish tunes and textures before concluding with Franck’s cyclic String Quartet in D Major, in commemoration of the composer’s 200th birthday.
T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” is considered by many to be the finest poem in the English language. Published as four separate poems, Eliot always intended to combine them into a single work. Inspired by what Beethoven accomplished in his late quartets, Eliot wished “to do in poetry what Beethoven had done in music.” George Gopen, an Eliot scholar at Duke and the longtime Director of the Chamber Arts Society of Durham, will present a reading of the poem alongside his own music, written to directly echo major moments of musicality in his reading. In the first half of the program, the Eliot Quartett, who named themselves after the poet, will perform a late work of Beethoven. This will be the world premiere of this unique performance of Eliot’s latest and greatest poem.
Known for its high-energy performances, this outstanding ensemble — one of the leading traditional Irish outfits of today — fuses a glorious mix of ancient Celtic music with brand-new repertoire, packing venues across its home country for its lively, standing room-only concerts. For more than two decades, Danú’s virtuosi players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, bouzouki and vocals (both in Gaelic and English) have performed around the globe to critical acclaim. Hailing from counties Waterford, Dublin, Donegal and Cork, this authentic ensemble takes its audiences on a musical journey to the emerald hills of Ireland, offering a moving and memorable concert experience.
In a special bites-and-drinks experiencein the Henry LaBrun Studio, discover a stunningly innovative, out-of-the-box take on the classic jazz trio, rich in melodic invention, rhythmic grooves and “songs that swell and recede,” creating “gorgeous weaves of musical textures” (Wall Street Journal).
This supergroup of up-and-coming artists is fronted by trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle, who has performed with a jaw-dropping roster of legendary musicians — from jazz greats Maria Schnieder and Wynton Marsalis to R&B superstars Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake — even playing in the house band on Saturday Night Live. Together with his Catharsis Trio, a pared-down and intimate version of his regular band, Catharsis, Ryan combines that wealth of influence with the talents of some of the most compelling, creative and groundbreaking jazz musicians today.
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Special master class, March 12 at 4pm
Violinist Jennifer Frautschi joins forces with the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo for a devilish program of thrilling virtuosity and expressive freedom. They will perform for us in a variety of combinations: Two-time GRAMMY nominee Frautschi opens the program with Ysaÿe’s Sonata for solo Violin in d minor, a sonata originally dedicated to George Enescu. Pianist Jon Nakamatsu, gold medalist in both the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition as well as the United States National Chopin Piano Competition, delivers Chopin’s transformative Fantaisie in F Minor; Jon Manasse, one of this generation’s most celebrated clarinetists, joins him for Weber’s Grand Duo Concertante for clarinet and piano. Frautschi and Nakamatsu will dance through Ravel’s Tzigane, an exhilarating work tinged with exoticized melodies and harmonies, and all three musicians apply their impeccable skill to Bartok’s Contrasts.
Born in South Florida to a Jamaican father and Barbadian mother, Malcolm, 23, and his 20-year old brother Umoja learned to play violin through South Florida's public school system, and attended Dillard High School for the Performing Arts. Together, these brothers are Sons of Mystro.
They use their violins to interpret reggae classics, American pop songs and their own creations accompanied by a DJ and a drummer. They are winners of the Emerging Artist under 21 yrs old award at IRAWMA (International Reggae and World Music Awards). Their debut recording, "Reggae Strings" is available now wherever music is streamed or sold. Mentored by Black Violin, these artists' stars are on the rise.