Musical in honor of Duke Ellington

The musical After Midnight will premier on Broadway this November. It’s dedicated to the golden years of Harlem’s legendary Cotton Club at the time when Duke Ellington was head of the house band.

Between 1923 and 1940 The Cotton Club used to be a night club where famous jazz and blues names performed, among others Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Adelaide Hall, Count Basie, Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday

After Midnight’s plot is located in the 20’s and 30’s focusing on the residency period of Duke Ellington, one of central figures of jazz, where he led the band and created and composed most of the club’s music program.

Beside Ellington’s original arrangements of Rockin’ in Rhythm, Cotton Club Stomp, Black and Tan Fantasy and Creole Love Call, the musical will consist of compositions by some of biggest jazz composers of that time like Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields (I Can’t Give You Anything But Love and Digga Digga Doo), Stormy Weather, I’ve Got the World on a String and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by the young Harold Arlen.

The project is a result of a cooperation between the New York City Center and the Jazz At Lincoln Center with American trumpeter Wynton Marsalis who is also the producer of the musical that will star 25 vocalists and dancers and a 17-piece band consisting of top musicians, lead and hand picked by Marsalis himself. Premier is scheduled for 03 November.

Take a look at a video with original photographs from the Cotton Club with Duke Ellingon’s composition Cotton Club Stomp.

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