Jazz Exhibit at Smithsonian Institution in D.C.

One of our readers, dcfan, volunteers at the Smithsonian and alerted us to an exhibit that will be open through June 28, 2009. Housed in the Albert H. Small Documents Galllery, 2nd Floor East, in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the exhibit features Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Here is what the Smithsonian says about the exhibit:

Two of the greatest jazz composers were Duke Ellington (1899-1974) and Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967). The exhibition examines two of their most ubiquitous pieces, “Caravan” (1936) composed by Ellington and Juan Tizol and “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941) composed by Strayhorn, through documents from the Museum’s Archives Center and related audio and video recordings. The exhibition draws from the Museum’s large and internationally renowned Ellington collection…

The Ellington collection features photographs, sound recordings and oral histories. “The Smith” also has an interesting collection of musical instruments ranging from a 1700’s Harpsichord to one of Dizzy’s custom  “Silver-flair” trumpets. Take my advice, folks, when you visit our nation’s capital, allow a couple of days for “The Smith.” The exhibits and collections are wide-ranging, informative and , in some cases, quite surprising.

Can’t make the trip? Check out the web presentation at:  Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn – Jazz Composers

Thanks dcfan, for the heads-up!

Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn

Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn

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