Duke Ellington Orchestra ‘Sacred Concert’ – Westminster Abbey 24th October 1973 008
Pages 6 and 7 of a programme for a Duke Ellington concert at Westminster Abbey, in aid of the the United Nations, 1973. Gerald Lascelles eulogises Duke Ellington as a 'Man of Peace' on page 6, with acknowledgements on page 7.
|Catalogue Reference Number||NJA/PRO/17|
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ï»¿A MESSAGE FROM THE HON. GERALD LASCELLES
Chairman of the COMMITTEE
A Man of Peace
There are two over-whelming objectives in Duke Ellingtonâs life. The first is to compose, as he has done all his life, music based round the soloists in his remarkable band. The second is to maintain his free-thinking attitude towards jazz, in his multiple role of composer, leader, and pianist.
No one would doubt that he is achieving that first objective, even though the ranks of his band no longer contain some of the famous soloists who had worked so closely with him in the past. He achieves his results with such apparent ease that one must acknowledge that his band produces the most integrated jazz sounds in the world.
As a young man of seventy-four. Duke Ellington has taken up the challenge to write the music for this Sacred Concert, where many others would have turned down the opportunity. The very idea of a performance in the unique setting of Westminster Abbey has sparked some exciting ideas in his fertile mind. Unlike the professional writers of concert notes, I am at a disadvantage in the sense that, at the time when these notes must be in the hands of the printer, the composer has not finalised his work. He intends, I believe, to include several pieces featuring Miss Alice Babs and Toney Watkins, who have appeared with him in previous sacred concerts.
It is gratifying to be able to record the close collaboration which Mr. Ellington has established with the choir.
The Ellington message, in the context of this particular concert, is one where he gathers the sentiments of all races and creeds, allows them to expound their solo motives, and finally welds them together in a theme which can only be that of perfect harmony and peace.
The United Nations Association wish to acknowledge their grateful thanks to the following :
The Dean and Chapter of Westminster for so kindly allowing us to hold this Concert in the Abbey and the Receiver General of Westminster Abbey for all his help and assistance.
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Miss Alice Babs and Toney Watkins for agreeing to perform this Sacred Concert.
The John Alldis Choir.
The Hon. Gerald Lascellcs for Chairing the Committee who have helped to make this occasion a success.
John S. Cohen Trust for so kindly underwriting the Concert.
Miss Anne Holmes-Drewry for so kindly helping us with Press arrangements.
International Entertainments for their help.
Ibbs & Tillett for their help with tickets.
Hertz Rent-a-Car for so kindly providing one cf their cars.
Timpsons Coaches for supplying transport for the Band.
All Companies who have so kindly advertised in this programme.
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