Willie Ruff, artistic director
For forty years, the Duke Ellington Fellowship has brought the giants of jazz to Yale’s concert halls and to the city's public schools. In 1972, Yale President Kingman Brewster presented the first Ellington medals to thirty jazz greats, including the Duke himself. That year marked the beginning of a series of extraordinary jazz concerts performed by a virtual “Who’s Who” of jazz: Eubie Blake, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Odetta, Joe Williams, Art Blakey, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Greer, Jo Jones, Max Roach, Ray Brown, Charlie Mingus, and Dizzy Gillespie, to name just a few.
The program continues with concerts and residencies by both the great legends of jazz and an exciting new generation of artists. Hosted by the program’s founder and director, Willie Ruff, recent concerts have featured Joshua Redman, James Moody, Elvin Jones, Dave Brubeck, the Heath Brothers, Ahmad Jamal, and Kenny Burrell.
Fridays at 8 pm
Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall
Sep 14: The Mingus Big Band
Celebrating the music of composer/bassist Charles Mingus (1922–1979). Under the artistic direction of Sue Mingus, the Mingus Big Band tours extensively and has ten recordings to its credit, seven of which have been nominated for Grammys.
"The hippest big band in the universe – robust, earthy, sanctified." –Time Out New York
Oct 5: Lou Donaldson Trio
The saxophone virtuoso was recently named an NEA Jazz Master.
“He remains the leading exponent of this soul-jazz approach. Yet even at its bluesiest, his playing remains informed by bebop.” – New York Times
“The octogenarian virtuoso has lost little to the passing decades.” –Chicago Tribune
Feb 22: Rudresh Mahanthappa's Gamak
The new saxophone sensation was named Alto Saxophonist of the Year in the 2012 Downbeat International Critics Poll.
"A roving intellect and a bladelike articulation…"
–New York Times
$20–$30 · Students $10
All Three Concerts
$51–$78 · Students $24
Single tickets available online and at the box office.