Jason Moran + NEC Jazz Orchestra: My Heart Sings - Ellington at 125

NEC: Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre | Directions

255 St. Botolph St.
Boston, MA
United States

Jason Moran and the NEC Jazz Orchestra, directed by Ken Schaphorst, present a tribute to Duke Ellington in celebration of Ellington's 125th birthday.

Born Edward Kennedy Ellington 125 years ago this April, Ellington looms large as one of the most important composers, bandleaders, and pianists of the 20 th century. For over 50 years, Ellington’s bands pioneered their musical and cultural space, existing between and beyond social conceptions of a dance band, symphonic orchestra, entertainment, and experimentalism. He famously wrote not for the instruments of his ensemble but for the unique personalities of his band members – so much so, that it is impossible to separate the sound of his orchestra from the personalities for whom (Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, and Jimmy Blanton to name a few) and with (Billy Strayhorn) he wrote. From being nicknamed “Duke” by childhood friends for his elegant demeanor, his tenure at Harlem’s Cotton Club in the 1920’s, his residency at Carnegie Hall where he premiered an extended work each season, to his global tours and eventual status as a cultural icon, Ellington embodied Black sophistication in his life and music. His dedication, courage, and audacious music cast a shadow under which we are all fortunate to exist today.
- Program Notes by Kris Monson, DMA ’25

This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live

  1. Duke Ellington

    Black and Tan Fantasy
         Jason Moran, piano

    Reflections in D
    Xander D'Astolfo, piano

    Sophisticated Lady
         Hidemi Akaiwa, piano

    Kazuki Tsubakida, piano

    Prelude to a Kiss
    Hyeabin Lee, piano

    Satin Doll
    Longfei Li, piano

  2. Duke Ellington

    My Heart Sings

    Back Room Romp (A Contrapuntal Stomp)


    • Jillian Moore, voice
    • Lenka Molcanyiova, alto saxophone
    • Shota Renwick, tenor saxophone, clarinet
    • Matt Wessner, baritone saxophone
    • Woody Pierre, trumpet
    • Aiden Coleman, trombone
    • Jake Walters, piano
    • Kristofer Monson, bass
    • Victor Giraldez, drums
  3. Duke Ellington

    Braggin' in Brass

    I Like the Sunrise
    Aviana Gedler, voice

    Jeep's Blues

    NEC Jazz Orchestra

    Ken Schaphorst, conductor

    Zack Bacak, alto saxophone
    Lenka Molcanyiova, alto saxophone

    Logan From, tenor saxophone
    Hunter McKay, tenor saxophone
    Matt Wessner, baritone saxophone


    Richard Stanmeyer
    Woody Pierre                               

    Koki Renwick
    Sammy Davies

    Aiden Coleman
    Cooper Malanowski  
    Yimin Ji
    Weza Jamson-Neto, bass trombone

    Longfei Li, piano
    Peikun Liu, guitar
    Nick Isherwood, bass
    Dominic Vance, drums

    • NEC Jazz Orchestra