During the 1930s, Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington became intrigued with
the possibilities of composing jazz within classical forms. Not unlike a few of his contemporaries from the 1920s and on - George Gershwin being the most notable - Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, explored composing and orchestrating large-scale works that challenged his own muse and the talents of the members of his orchestra. His musical suite Black, Brown and Beige (1943), a portrayal of African-American history, was the first in a series of suites he composed, usually consisting of pieces linked by subject matter. It was followed by, among others, Liberian Suite (1947); A Drum Is a Woman (1956), created for a television production;
Such Sweet Thunder
(1957), impressions of William Shakespeare’s scenes and
characters at the Stratford Festival in Ontario; a re-composed, re-orchestrated
version of The Nutcracker Suite (1960; after Peter Tchaikovsky); and similarily the The Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 and 2 (1960, after Edvard Greig); Night Creature, included on The Symphonic Ellington recording (1963); Far East Suite (1964); Togo Brava Suite (1971) and Afro-Eurasian Eclipse (1971) which is widely regarded as a late-period masterpiece. Ellington’s symphonic A Rhapsody of Negro Life was the basis for the film short Symphony in Black (1935), which also features the voice
of Billie Holiday (uncredited). Ellington wrote motion-picture scores for The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and composed for the
ballet and theatre - including, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the show My People (1964), a celebration of African-American life. In his last decade he composed
three pieces of sacred music: In the Beginning God (1965), Second Sacred
(1968), and Third Sacred Concert (1973).

The engaging and vivacious Fern Lindzon and her quartet perform two
Ellington / Strayhorn suites
which have been re-scaled for small ensemble.
A post-performance talk-back with the artists is encouraged.



"An excellent singer and pianist based in Toronto ...."
The Jazz Singers: the Ultimate Guide - Scott Yanow

"Fern Lindzon is an engaging pianist and singer who brings an unassuming
authority, an inquiring spirit and a natural grace to contemporary jazz."
Mark Miller - Jazz Writer and Critic

Fern Lindzon studied music history at the University of Toronto where she received a Bachelor of Music degree. She pursued her studies in jazz with such notable educators as Frank Falco, Elaine Overholt, Don Thomson, Fred Hersch and the legendary Barry Harris. A regular performer in the music scene in Southern Ontario, Lindzon also has three critically acclaimed recordings to her credit.

"Moments Like These" received major radio airplay and
was in the Top 10 of HMV's Jazz chart for several months.
Her JUNO-nominated recording, "Two Kites", has received
high praise and was supported in its debut by the
TD Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival.

Lindzon's most recent opus, "Like a Circle in a Spiral", has
been praised by Shelley Gummeson in !earshot, where she suggested that Fern “personifies a woman who lives confidently with her own instincts and artistry”, and lauded her interpretations as “smart and smouldering” and “sublimely elegant.”

Musical collaborator and brilliant bassist, George Koller, in commenting
on working and performing with Lindzon, has said, "Fern is gifted with a delightful, inquisitive and persistent imagination, the fruits of which manifest as highly original impressionistic arrangements and compositions."