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“Homegrown” Jazz Musicians Perform at Yale Oct. 4

Ellington Jazz Series: Homegrown on Common Ground
September 12, 2013

beinecke-JWJThe Ellington Jazz Series at the Yale School of Music presents a concert called “Homegrown on Common Ground” on Friday, October 4 at 7 pm. The concert celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library by featuring jazz, blues, and art songs from the James Weldon Johnson collection, housed at the Library. The performers all have ties to New Haven.

The concert opens with a suite of art songs performed by soprano Tiffany Jackson. A graduate of the Yale School of Music, Jackson has sung with organizations including the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Houston Grand Opera.

Jazz and blues will follow, performed by Wayne Escoffery, saxophone; Ed Cherry, guitar; Jeff Fuller (also a Yale graduate), bass; Jesse Hameen, drums; Jim Fryer, trombone; and Harold Danko, piano. The band will perform selections such as “Saint Louis Blues,” “Memories of You,” “Stomping at the Savoy,” and “Come Sunday.”

The concert will conclude with performers and audience joining together to sing the anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” with text by James Weldon Johnson and music by his brother, John Rosamond Johnson.

Willie Ruff, artistic director of the Ellington Jazz Series, said, “Our program is called ‘Homegrown on Common Ground’ because the talent on that stage that night features New Haven students and teachers of art and culture, honoring in concert the James Weldon Johnson collection in the Beinecke Library as it celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.” Ruff, who relied extensively on the collection when he joined the Yale faculty in 1971, will emcee the event.

Homegrown on Common Ground takes place in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Tickets to the concert start at $20, $10 with student ID. To purchase tickets, call 203 432-4158 or buy online.