ELLINGTON Three Black Kings S. BEAMISH Under the Wing of the Rock: Saxophone Concerto No. 2 WILLIAMS Escapades COPLAND Symphony No. 3
Three-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master, Branford Marsalis headlines this program showcasing the unique intersections of jazz and classical composition technique. Originally written for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, Duke Ellington’s Three Black Kings uses rhythmic dance with stylistic elements of jazz and gospel idioms to paint a portrait of Balthazaar (King of the Magi), King Solomon, and Martin Luther King. One of America’s most important composers, Aaron Copland fused together distinctly American sounds with the traditions of European masters when he wrote his Third Symphony at the end of World War II.
Jazz and classical artist, Branford Marsalis, of the famed Marsalis musical family, has established a career as a performer of international renown, equally at home in both concert halls and jazz clubs. Prominent Scottish composer, Sally Beamish’s second saxophone concerto, Under the Wing of the Rock, was dedicated to Branford, and he subsequently recorded the work. Film composer John Williams wrote the soundtrack to the 2002 movie, Catch Me If You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks – a score full of suspense and intrigue that was later adapted by the composer into the saxophone concerto, Escapades.