Yale Club of Chicago Presents DUKE ELLINGTON AT YALE: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE Tonight
Jazz Showcase is located at 806 S. Plymouth Ct, Chicago, Ill., featuring jazz vocalists Ava Logan '81 and Charles Thomas '87 with Miguel de la Cerna, piano, Larry Gray, bass, and Charles Heath, drums.
In 1967, Duke Ellington became the first jazz musician to receive an honorary degree from Yale University, marking the beginning of a special and enduring relationship between one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century and one of the world's most esteemed academic institutions. Ellington returned to Yale numerous times as both performer and honored guest, culminating in a landmark live recording entitled "Yale Concert." Join the Yale Club with support from the Jazz Institute of Chicago as we salute the Duke with music from the "Yale Concert" recording, plus Favorites and rarities from the extensive and beloved Ellington catalogue, including "Take the A-Train," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," and "Sophisticated Lady."
Headlining "Duke Ellington at Yale" are jazz vocalists Ava Logan '81 and Charles Thomas '87, backed by a powerhouse rhythm section of Chicago's top musicians, including Miguel de la Cerna, piano (Dee Alexander, Oscar Brown, Jr.), Larry Gray, bass (Brandford Marsalis, Kurt Elling), and Charles Heath, drums (Ramsey Lewis, Von Freeman). Don't miss one of the year's most exciting musical events, as we pay tribute to a milestone in the legendary career of Edward Kennedy Ellington '67, Doctor of Music.
Ava Logan's appearances include Starring roles as Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson with Black Ensemble Theater, and solo jazz appearances in Chicago, LA, Paris, Rome, and Moscow. At Yale, she was a member of Proof of the Pudding, and a founding member of Whim 'n Rhythm, an all-female a cappella group that is the counterpart of the all-male Whiffenpoofs. "Ava Logan offers a fresh breath of old-school glamour, bringing sass and swing to the classic jazz singer's repertoire while retaining the swanky class that this material deserves." - Neal Tesser
Called "an engaging newcomer" by Time Out New York magazine at the occasion of his New York debut, Charles Thomas has performed in jazz clubs, cabarets, and concert halls in the US and in France, and has collaborated with jazz pianists Geri Allen and Amina Claudine Myers, vocalist Jeanne Lee, the iconoclastic dance ensemble Urban Bush Women, and Las Vegas's Desert Angels, accompanying Barbra Streisand. At Yale, he was a member of the Whiffenpoofs, as well as the co-ed a cappella ensemble Redhot & Blue.