To mark and celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Jazz Orchestra will perform Duke Ellington’s The Queen’s Suite in its entirety on Saturday 15 September at 12.45pm as part of the Kings Place Festival in London. The orchestra will be conducted by musical director, Peter Edwards who originally recreated the score for performance by the Nu Civilisation Orchestra in 2009.
A little history nugget…
On 18 October 1958, Duke Ellington was presented to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at a private reception to makr the bicentenary of Leeds Festival. So inspired was Ellington by this meeting that he promised to compose a suite in honour of The Queen.
The Queen’s Suite, one of Ellington’s greatest and most beautiful works, was shrouded in mystery with the composer insisting only one recording be pressed and handed directly to the Royal household. The piece remained hidden from the public until after Ellington’s death when it received its public premiere in 1998 in Oldham, UK performed by the Bob Wilber Orchestra.
In 2008, Tomorrow’s Warriors alumnus and now Musical Director, Peter Edwards recreated the entire score for performance by a new professional ensemble – Tomorrow’s Warriors Jazz Orchestra – established by Artistic Director, Gary Crosby OBE specifically to provide a platform for Peter to present this work. The orchestra toured The Queen’s Suite along with other original work in 2009 and so successful were the performances that Gary decided to make the orchestra one of our permanent ensembles. Later that year, to avoid confusion with Tomorrow’s Warriors Youth Jazz Orchestra, the name of the professional touring ensemble was changed to Nu Civilisation Orchestra.
Photo credit: Rosie Reed Gold