This Sunday at the Scarab Club, the jazz ensemble the Detroit Jazz Septet will perform the work of legendary bandleader and composer Duke Ellington.
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This Sunday at the Scarab Club, the jazz ensemble the Detroit Jazz Septet will perform the work of legendary bandleader and composer Duke Ellington. Co-led by drummer RJ Spangler and bassist John Barron, DJ7 also includes Michael Zaporski, James O’Donnell, Tbone Paxton, Goode Wyche III and Jim Holden. Hear CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire chat with Spangler about how Ellington balanced touring, songwriting and recording with her amazing band.
“Big band leader Duke Ellington busied himself with recording smaller bands from the ranks of his band, sometimes referred to as ‘The Duke’s Men.’ Ellington often featured stalwarts like alto sax master Johnny Hodges , tenor sax titan Paul Gonsalves and trumpet virtuoso Clark Terry, while Duke’s great collaborator Billy Strayhorn contributed compositions, arrangements and even played piano on some of the recordings. bands to support guest stars like Coleman Hawkins, culminating in a classic album released in 1963 on the Impulse!
One of Detroit’s finest contemporary bassists, Jean-Baron is an active composer and pedagogue. He has created several original compositions for compliment the works of Duke Ellington that Spangler has collected over the years.
Amanda LeClaire is host of CultureShift and founding producer of WDET’s two locally produced daily shows. She has been involved in radio and the arts in Detroit for over a decade.