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United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
The Ellington Legacy

By Staff Sgt. Brian Rust | United States Marine Band | October 20, 2015

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Oct. 21, 2015 -- style="line-height: 150%;">The 2015 Fall Chamber Series will conclude with a concert at 2 p.m. (EDT), Sunday, Oct. 25, featuring the Marine Jazz Ensemble performing music often heard at the White House. The concert is free and will take place in John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in southeast Washington, D.C. The concert will also stream live at www.marineband.marines.mil.

Coordinated by pianist Gunnery Sgt. AnnaMaria Mottola, the first half of the concert will focus on the music of legendary jazz icon Duke Ellington and the music performed by the Marine Jazz Ensemble at the Medal of Freedom ceremony honoring Ellington at the White House in 1969, during President Richard Nixon’s administration. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

The first half musical selections will include Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady,” “Satin Doll,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” and “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good).” Other highlights include Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose” and Juan Tizol’s “Caravan.”

The concert’s second half will feature jazz frequently played at the White House, such as Vince Guaraldi’s arrangement of “Little Drummer Boy” and Eddie Harris’ “Cold Duck Time,” as well as tunes honoring such well-known musicians as Sting and Stevie Wonder, both of whom have been guests at various White House events while the Marine Jazz Ensemble performed.

Mottola and the rest of the jazz ensemble wanted to make the concert an intimate, unique, and relaxed experience, just as if the audience were at a reception at the White House enjoying great jazz music while mingling with guests. Also, before and after the concert, and during intermission, patrons can view a slideshow in the lobby showing pictures of Marine musicians performing at the White House during several different presidential administrations.

The Marine Barracks annex is accessible by Metro via the Navy Yard (green line) and Eastern Market (blue/orange/silver lines) stations. Free parking is also available under the overpass on 7th Street.

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