NEWS: Jazz at the 2019 BBC Proms (programme announced / booking opens 11 May)

BBC Proms Launch image
Image credit: BBC/Tim Burt

Sebastian writes: The programme for the 2019 BBC Proms season has been announced, so I’ve picked out some of the jazz and jazz-related-ish concerts.

Prom 54: 29 August, Late Night Prom – Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music

This year, the main jazz event is the music from the Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts. Directed by Peter Edwards with the Nu Civilisation Orchestra, it marks something of a high point of the Orchestra’s work around Ellington. As Peter Edwards explained to me: “This is the first time we’re doing Sacred Concerts material, but we have done other Ellington large scale works – Harlem, Queens Suite. And we will be doing The River at the EFG London Jazz Festival on 23 November with the BBC Concert Orchestra.”

The soloists announced so far are Monty Alexander and Carleen Anderson, and the performance also features tap dancer Annette Walker, the BBC Singers and the UK Vocal Assembly. We understand there are some more reveals still to come.

As the official BBC blurb has it: “Jazz, showbiz and spirituality come together in Duke Ellington’s spectacular Sacred Concerts, which spawned three acclaimed, boundary-crossing albums. Drawing on all three, the Proms presents an exhilarating evening of dance, song and spectacle.” (DETAILS)

Prom 45: Mississippi Goddam – A Homage to Nina Simone

What has been revealed so far about this celebration of Nina Simone is that it features Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkest and that songs such as Feeling Good, My Baby Just Cares for Me and I Put a Spell on You will be included… presumably leaving the decks clear to release the names of the soloists later. DETAILS


My skim through the programme also came up with:

Prom 16: 30 July (late night) – Angelique Kidjo.

Proms 29 and 30: 9 August – The Warner Brothers Story from the John Wilson Orchestra.

Prom 62: 4 September (late night) – Canzionere Grecanico Salentino plus guests Justin Adams and Ballaké Sissoko.

Prom 64: 6 September – The Breaks. The blurb: “A non-stop exploration into ‘the breaks’ – the beat-driven music that has influenced the world of scratch DJs and b-boying/b-girling (ie breakdancing) since the 1970s. One of the four pillars of hip-hop culture – along with MC-ing, DJ-ing and graffiti art – breaking has developed from its original roots to become a global phenomenon with a virtuosity all of its own.” It is another Jules Buckley-devised venture and features the Heritage Orchestra. Soloists include Vula Malinga and Brendan Reilly.

Proms 72 and 73: 12 September – Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique (staged). Our good friends from Aurora Orchestra will perform the Berlioz from memory. Blurrb: “The production will dive into the music, drama and story behind the imaginative work, incorporating Berlioz’s own words about his music, elements of design, lighting and choreography, as well as featuring actor Mathew Baynton.” The classical press in the UK gets all sniffy and views playing from memory as a “gimmick” and a “marketing ploy”. Hmm. Please will someone tell that to the Count Basie Orchestra?

LINK: BBC Proms Booking options and dates

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