In 1957, Duke Ellington completed and presented "Such Sweet Thunder" in concert for the first time. Working with Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington composed a suite of musical portraits of characters from Shakespeare's plays; Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Caesar, Cleopatra, Henry V, Iago and others.
In two unique performances last month, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra was joined by actors from the Seattle Shakespeare Company to perform the Ellington suite with related excerpts from Shakespeare's plays.
The complete concert will be broadcast in two parts on Jazz Northwest on 88.5 KPLU. Part 1 will air on Sunday, March 9 at 2 PM Pacific, and Part 2 will air one week later on Sunday, March 16 at 2 PM Pacific.
Actors from The Seattle Shakespeare Company include Hana Lass, Darragh Kennan and George Mount, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra is co-directed by Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman. The concert performance was recorded at Kirkland Performance Center on February 16.