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Ellington Jazz Series presents "The American Jazz Century" March 6

Aaron Diehl, piano

The Ellington Jazz Series wraps up its 2014–2015 season on Friday, March 6. Will Ruff will host a program called The Tuskegee Airmen, Yardbird, and the Blues: The American Jazz Century.


The program will feature pianist Aaron Diehl and his trio. Diehl, the recipient of the 2013 Jazz Journalist Association's Up-And-Coming Musician of the Year Award, plays with Paul Sikivie, bass, and Lawrence Leathers, drums. The New York Daily News has said: “Aaron Diehl, a rising star of jazz piano, has an individual talent so huge that one day he may extend the jazz tradition.”

Kemp and Jamanis performing The Chaconne Emancipated

Poet-performer Amanda Kemp and violinist Michael Jamanis will perform The Chaconne Emancipateda dramatic setting of J.S. Bach's timeless Chaconne for solo violin, interwoven with Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, African American spirituals, and Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. A recent article noted:

“Chaconne Emancipated” is “Bach infused with spirituals,” according to Jamanis.

Jamanis will play the chaconne as the Emancipation Proclamation and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech are spoken.

“Michael’s version is possessed,” Kemp says. “When you put the music and the text together, when you are going through history and the King speech and where we are now, it is exciting to unleash Bach, to have him be part of the freedom struggle.”

“It’s a very powerful text and a very powerful work,” Jamanis says.

Willie Ruff says: "J.S. Bach's Chaconne for solo violin has been one of music history's most transcribed as well as most beloved masterworks.  But now, the virtuoso violinist Michael Jamanis has crafted a dramatic setting of the Chaconne to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and the effect is nothing short of breathtaking."

Ruff is the artistic director of the Duke Ellington Fellowship at Yale. FACULTY PROFILE 

The concert begins at 7:30 pm in Morse Recital hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street. Tickets are available through the box office in Sprague Hall, by phone at 203 432-4158, or online.