Drew Peterson, pianist
Josephine Baker
John Edward Hasse, guest curator
Felix Conteras, conga
Ellington Carthan, pianist and narrator
Jeffrey Mumford, guest curator
Annie Jacobs-Perkins, cello
Katerina Burton, soprano
Robin De Jesús, actor
David Strathairn, actor
Kevork Mourad, artist
Derek Goldman, playwright/director
José Sacín, bass baritone (Don Quihote)
Israel Lozano, tenor (Master Peter)
Jennifer Zetlan, soprano (Trujaman)
Ricardo Marlow, Flamenco guitar
Philip Kennicott, guest curator
Hany Hassan FAIA, visuals
Flávio Chamis, guest curator
André Mehmari, pianist and composer
Tatjana Mead Chamis, viola
Elin Melgarejo, vocalist
Jerod Tate, guest curator
Nino Rota, composer

Beyond Category: The Concert Music of Duke Ellington

With a career that spanned 50 years, DC native and American icon, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, is known around the world for such jazz standards as Mood Indigo, Solitude, and his band’s signature tune Take the “A” Train composed by collaborator Billy Strayhorn. But, Ellington sought to break out of stereotyped boxes, to explore broader creative horizons. His masterworks include scores for ballet, opera, motion pictures, and Broadway musicals as well as for symphony orchestras. This spring we journey through the music of Ellington’s extraordinary yet little-known concert pieces, including his magnificent Black, Brown, and Beige, the suite from the ballet The River, and the debut of Scott Silbert’s orchestration of Caravan featuring guest conguero Felix Contreras.


Beyond Category:  The Concert Music of Duke Ellington

Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 7:30pm

Terrace Theater | The Kennedy Center | 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC

Presented without intermission

John Edward Hasse, guest curator

Ellington Carthan, piano and narrator

Felix Contreras, conga

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez


Duke Ellington: Dancers in Love

Duke Ellington: Black, Brown, and Beige

Duke Ellington: excerpts from the film Anatomy of a Murder

Duke Ellington: A Single Petal of a Rose

Duke Ellington: Suite from The River  

Duke Ellington: Where is the Music?

       arr. Scott Silbert

Duke Ellington: Caravan

      arr. Scott Silbert

Post-Concert Discussion

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What people are saying

So many thanks for that most inspiring, capacious evening. With PCE’s usual ability to surprise and delight… that symphony was astonishing…


Your leadership and dramatic shaping of the Symphony last night was truly masterful - and so inspiring. I know I’ll never forget this experience. Thank you, Maestro!


I loved the intimacy of the ensemble and the aching beauty of the melody repeating and recurring and turning up where I did not expect it .  And I found the quality of the sound thrilling.

That was my take on the concert --that and the tears that it brought to my eyes, simply to be there, to be present at the creation of something so beautiful..


What a perfect PCE evening, wonderful concert and lovely gathering


Angel, You are so musical! I've played the 4th twice, it was the first Mahler I heard as a kid, and I'm invariably disappointed that conductors don't let it breathe.  U nailed it.


Congratulations again to you and your superb ensemble on a wonderful and provocative performance in the Terrace Theater last evening.  As always, we learned something from this concert and it was fun, too.


Everything about it was sheer delight, including the lively and interesting talk at the end…