New spin on Ellington jazz classics in Pequot concert
Published 2:17 pm, Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The concert by the ensemble New Duke will start at 3 p.m. in the library, 720 Pequot Ave. The event is sponsored by the Westport Arts Center.
New Duke, an eight-piece jazz group, performs selections that combine music of Ellington’s Cotton Club period through the 1960s with newer styles of hip-hop, rock and reggae, according to arts center publicity for the concert. As an example of New Duke’s “mash-up style,” the arts center said, the band may take a song by The Doors, combine it with a Duke Ellington piece and perform it in a Jamaican ska style.
Also at the program, Brian Torff, the New Duke bassist and composer, will speak about the influence of Ellington and New Duke’s style.
“New Duke’s blend of melodies, rhythms, and sonic movements give audiences a new experience — complex yet accessible jazz that makes the heart swing,” Torff said in the release. He also serves as both the director of jazz and popular music at Fairfield University and as the curator of the Westport Arts Center’s jazz series.
In addition to Torff on bass, harmonica and vocals, New Duke musicians include Darryl Tookes on vocals; Jamie Finegan, trumpet; Rick Sadlon, saxophone and flute; Steve Moran, tenor and baritone sax; John Fumasoli, trombone; Dave Childs, keyboards, and Greg Burrows on drums.
Tickets for the concert cost $25 for Westport Arts Center members, $30 for nonmembers and $10 for students. Concert tickets can be purchased through www.westportartscenter.org or by calling 203-222-7070.