A celebration of the Duke’s music sixty years after Duke Ellington met the Queen in Leeds on Saturday, October 18, 1958. The Queen and the Duke were guests of honour at the finale of the Leeds Centenary Music Festival. The Duke sent Her Majesty a copy of his 1959 composition as a gift and it remains one of his most remarkable, but least well-known, works “The Queens Suite”.  

The concert features Alan Barnes’s “Ellingtonians” with support from Declan Forde and James Banner playing “Unknown Ellington”

7pm “Unknown Ellington” James Banner double bass, Declan Forde piano

An intimate duo set featuring bassist James Banner and pianist Declan Forde, a graduate of Leeds College of Music, currently based in Berlin, and is a previous finalist of the Young Scottish Musician of The Year.  They will perform compositions by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, including selections from Ellington’s Queen’s Suite

8.30pm Alan Barnes and his “Ellingtonians”

The Ellington Celebration at the festival will be led by LCoM alumnus saxman Alan Barnes. Alan needs no special introduction here for he’s a one-man force for good in jazz. His all-star ensemble will perform the great arrangements they’ve assembled of superior Duke Ellington numbers.

The octet is Alan on saxes and clarinet, Bruce Adams trumpet, Mark Nightingale trombone, Karen Sharp saxes and clarinet, Robert Fowler saxes and clarinet, David Newton piano, Simon Thorpe bass, Clark Tracey drums.A kind of buyer’s guide to the best in British jazz, you could say. Stand by to be amazed.