The Spiritual Side Of Duke

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

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.

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
Buyo Sotashe


Jon Irabagon, saxophone

Robert Edwards, trombone

Toru Dodo, piano

Noah Jackson, bass

John Lumpkin, drums

Brianna Thomas, vocals

Vuyo Sotashe, vocals

The Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice Chorus

August 6