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The Spiritual Side Of Duke

  • Main Stage, Phoenicia Park Saint Ursula Place Phoenicia, NY, 12464 United States (map)

The Catskill Jazz Factory presents The Spiritual Side Of Duke:
An Homage to Ellington’s Sacred Concerts Combining Jazz, Classical, Gospel, and More

Duke Ellington enjoyed a lifelong, mutual love affair with France, which gave him what he described as “a new reason for living” after the racial bias he experienced in his own country. One secret to Ellington’s universal greatness was his Christian faith declaring that “I can now share publicly what I have been doing privately for years.” Between 1965 and 1973, he composed three sacred concerts. He would say of these three massive works, which combine elements of jazz, classical and choral music, gospel, blues, and dance, that they were, “the most important thing I have ever done.” The Festival’s homage to the works is performed by a septet led by percussionist John Lumpkin and featuring two up-and-coming jazz vocalists: BriannaThomas, who the Wall Street Journal has said “may well be the best young straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation,” and South African jazz vocalist Vuyo Sotashe, a 2014 prize winner of the Mid-Atlantic jazz competition, a 2015 winner at the Shure Montreux competition, and the very first male vocalist ever to place in the finals of Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocal Competitions.

The Spiritual Side of Duke was originally commissioned by and developed in residence with the Catskill Jazz Factory where it received its world premiere in Tannersville in October of 2016.

About The Catskill Jazz Factory:

Based in the heart of the Catskills, the Catskill Jazz Factory (CJF) is a dynamic jazz program founded in 2012 with an aim to support today’s best young jazz artists. CJF offers year-round school workshops, concerts, mountaintop residencies, lectures, and world-class performances in diverse spaces to a variety of regional audiences across the Hudson Valley by partnering with educational facilities, arts organizations, and a variety of local non-profits and businesses. CJF brings talent to new audiences in non-traditional venues for music, putting jazz where it hasn't been before.


Sunday August 6, 2017

Phoenicia Park, Main Stage

$5 Youth Admission/18 and under
$35 General Admission/bring blanket, lawn chair, or rent a chair
$90 VIP Admission/reserved section seating, champagne/snack, festival souvenir  


John Lumpkin
Brianna Thomas
Vuyo Sotashe


Jon Irabagon, saxophone

Robert Edwards, trombone

Toru Dodo, piano

Barry Stephenson, bass

John Lumpkin, drums

Brianna Thomas, vocals

Vuyo Sotashe, vocals

The Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice Chorus

Earlier Event: August 6
Later Event: August 2
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