Quick, name three American jazz Composers. Could you do it? I hope so. If not, then how about Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, David Axelrod, Thad Jones, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington just to name a few. Each artist in this list has shaped musical theory and creativity through all spectrums of the culture, from rock to rap — across the board and down the line.
Jazz is our music, born in America and smothered in gravy, a testament to all that is pure and divine. Do you have a drum set? Thank jazz. Have you ever used the word “cool”? Thank jazz. It’s in our bones and spawned from the grounds we tread upon. So, pour me some bourbon, pass the wine, light a smoke, tie one on, hit the play button, crank up the volume, and rip the knob off the stereo.
This past Sunday, Armstrong State University along with the Coastal Jazz Association and Savannah Jazz Orchestra put on “Rite of Swing“, a hell of a birthday tribute to one of the greats — Duke Ellington. With special guests saxophonist/flutist Alfred Waters and singer Priscilla Albergottie, Armstrong brought the world to a screeching halt for a couple of hours, playing some of Duke Ellington’s classic big band jazz songs. It was a sight to behold, and I’m ever humbled by the talent expressed there that day.
If you missed this event and want to get in on all things cool, then join the Coastal Jazz Association on Facebook. Also, keep an eye peeled out here at Hissing Lawns to catch all the information surrounding the next Jazz concert or event in Savannah.
A couple of photos here, with more after the jump: