Duke Ellington Orchestra Brings Classic Jazz to Texas Tech Presidential Lecture & Performance Series

'A Train' plans spring stop to Texas Tech's campus.

The Duke’s "A Train" plans to make a spring stop at Texas Tech University.
As part of the Presidential Lecture & Performance Series’ spring season, the Duke Ellington Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. March 29 at the Allen Theatre in the Student Union Building on the Texas Tech campus.
The Duke Ellington Orchestra, an integral link to jazz’s early days, will bring the music of Duke to new generations of music listeners, said Brad C. Leali, director of jazz studies at Texas Tech University’s School of Music. The concert also is part of Texas Tech’s Jazz and Blues Festival.
"In jazz today, you have two bands that are left from those that were extremely instrumental in developing the Big Band sound, and that’s Count Basie Orchestra and Duke Ellington," Leali said. "We were able to bring Basie last year, and I thought, ‘what could be better than to bring Duke Ellington this year?’ This would be a good opportunity not only from the educational aspect, because musicians will be doing master classes with the students. But also, it will be a chance for people in the community who may not be familiar with Duke Ellington to see the dynamic of his band."
Ellington, one of the 20th century's best-known jazz celebrities, recorded for many American record companies and appeared in several films. After World War II, Ellington and his orchestra toured the U.S. and Europe regularly. He led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son, Mercer Ellington, took over the band until his death in 1996. Today Barry Lee Hall Jr. directs the orchestra.
"The Presidential Lecture & Performance Series aims to bring the best speakers and performers in the world to Texas Tech," said Mary Jane Hurst, organizer for the series and faculty assistant to the president. "Duke Ellington is in an elite class of musicians whose lasting significance transcends the artist’s own time and place. Today’s Duke Ellington Orchestra continues and expands the great tradition of this one-of-a-kind, legendary American artist. Thanks to the connections of our own great jazz musician, Brad Leali, we are fortunate to be able to present this world-famous musical group to our campus and community."
Tickets are $10 for general admission plus a $2-$2.50 surcharge through Select-a-Seat. Texas Tech students may obtain free tickets upon presentation of a student ID at the Student Union Building ticket booth (two tickets per student ID).Call Select-A-Seat at (806) 770-2000.
CONTACT: Brad C. Leali, director of jazz studies at Texas Tech University’s School of Music, (806) 742-2270 ext. 260 or brad.leali@ttu.edu; .Mary Jane Hurst, faculty assistant to the president, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2121 or maryjane.hurst@ttu.edu. Also visit www.presidentialseries.ttu.edu or www.ptdc.org