Duke Ellington’s ‘Such Sweet Thunder’ on tap in Reno, Lake Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Duke Ellington’s ‘Such Sweet Thunder’ on tap in Reno, Lake Tahoe

Special to the Bonanza
The Reno Jazz Orchestra performs at a previous show at Sand Harbor.
Courtesy photo |

The Reno Jazz Orchestra this weekend will present “Such Sweet Thunder” — an evening that features the music of Duke Ellington on Saturday, July 30, at Wingfield Park in Reno, and at Sand Harbor State Park on the edge of Lake Tahoe’s north shore on Monday, Aug. 1.

During these two-hour family friendly shows, the Reno Jazz Orchestra will perform some of the Duke’s greatest compositions, like Mood Indigo and In A Mellow Tone, capped by a performance of his suite “Such Sweet Thunder” — infused with the works of William Shakespeare and featuring Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival actors performing excerpts from 12 separate sonnets and plays.

Tickets for “Such Sweet Thunder” can be purchased at RenoJazzOrchestra.org. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

“Inspired by the works of Shakespeare, Duke and co-writer Billy Strayhorn captured heroic, comedic and tragic moments in a jazz suite,” noted Chuck Reider, Music Director for the Reno Jazz Orchestra. “It is a wonder to hear Shakespeare’s words followed by Duke’s expression of those words; truly magical.”

According to Reider, producing this program was a “labor of love,” as much of the music had to be transcribed from recordings and partial sketches provided by the Smithsonian Institute.

“This is a rare gem in the Duke’s musical library,” noted Reider.

The RJO will also recreate the legendary performance of Diminuendo in Blue and Crescendo in Blue as performed at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival.

This article was provided on behalf of the Reno Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece contemporary big band based in Northern Nevada. Visit RenoJazzOrchestra.org to learn more.