The Coastal Jazz Association Presents 27th Annual Tribute to Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington

Sunday, April 21st is a special day in Savannah. The Coastal Jazz Association will present The Annual Duke Ellington Tribute which celebrates the outstanding music of one of America’s greatest composers and musicians. Ellington is credited for composing well over 1000 songs.

The concert will feature the Savannah Jazz Orchestra under the leadership of Drs. Randall Reese and Teddy Adams. The orchestra is comprised of the area’s best musicians and will feature vocalist, Priscilla Albergottie Williams who has been rendering excellent performances year after year at this celebration and can be heard on SJO’s dazzling CD, “Satin Doll”, (The music of Duke Ellington & Johnny Mercer) Each year in addition to Ms. Albergottie Williams, a special guest is showcased. Guests are carefully chosen by the orchestra to ensure proper representation and interpretation of Ellington’s music. This year is no exception.

The featured artist this year is trombonist, Mitch Butler. Dr. Dorsey Mitchell Butler III is a native of Raleigh, NC and currently calls Columbia, SC home. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in music performance from East Carolina University. Dr. Butler is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Doctorate of Music Arts degree in music performance. He was the trombonist and leader of the jazz/fusion group Nebulous Jazztet from 2001 to 2006 and is currently leader of Modus Bone and the Mitch Butler Trio.

These groups serve as entertainment and educational ensembles for the Midlands of South Carolina, as well as the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The groups perform in venues ranging from night clubs to jazz festivals to music seminars. Dr. Butler was also the solo trombonist, from 1999 to 2006, in the well renowned North Carolina Jazz Repertoire Orchestra. The orchestra is led by jazz trumpeter and educator Jim Ketch. Dr. Butler was also a member of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) headed by world renowned trumpeter Irvin Mayfield from 2008 to 2010.

In February of 2010 the NOJO won a Grammy for large jazz ensemble with the release of the recording. He is also the solo trombonist for the international award winning jazz group Jazzbonez featuring six trombones and a rhythm section.

Butler has also performed and/or recorded with musical greats such as John Brown, Curtis Fuller, Derrick Gardner, Vincent Gardner, Aaron Graves, Benny Green, Tim Hagans, Slide Hampton, Tom Harrell, Andre Hayward, Conrad Herwig, Brad Leali, Branford Marsalis, Jason Marshall, Bob Mintzer, Melton Mustafa, Dick Oates, Bill Reichenbach, Rufus Reid, Herlin Riley, Stephen Riley, Adonis Rose, Darius Rucker, Grady Tate, Billy Taylor, Gregory Tardy, The Temptations, Ray Vega, Fred Wesley, And Ron Westray and many others.

Dr. Butler was named the director of jazz studies and assistant professor of music at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC in 2009. Butler has also held faculty and teaching positions at several institutions including Durham School Of The Arts, East Carolina University, North Carolina Central University, Elon University, The University Of North Carolina At Greensboro, and The University Of Texas At Austin.

This outstanding annual event is sponsored by the City of Savannah, Department of Leisure Services, Armstrong Atlantic University and the Coastal Jazz Association.

This event is free and open to the public. Sunday, April 21, 2013, 5:00PM at Armstrong Atlantic University’s Fine Arts Theater.

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