If you happen to be in the metropolis on the evening of Sunday, 24 November, Louis And the Duke In London is playing at Cadogan Hall (see handbill, above).
In 1932 Louis Armstrong created a sensation (and courted controversy) when he made his European debut at the London Palladium.
A year later "The Duke" Duke Ellington's Famous Orchestra became the talk of the town when they topped the bill at the same venue performing such classics as Ring Dem Bells, Bugle Call Rag, Black and Tan Fantasy and Mood Indigo.
Keith Nichols and his 14 piece Blue Devils will be recreating the sound of Duke Ellington's Famous Orchestra in all its majesty featuring Matthias Seuffert as Barney Bigard and Colin Skinner as Johnny Hodges. Julia Biel will perform as Ivy Anderson in Stormy Weather and It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing.
At the tender age of six Enrico Tomasso played his trumpet for Louis Armstrong and the two of them became great friends exchanging letters for the rest of Armstrong's life. Satchmo's influence is paramount in Enrico's style and the spirit of the greatest trumpeter in jazz lives on in his performances. When Rico met Louis in 1968 the latter was a much loved elder statesman of jazz but in 1932 performances of tunes such as You Rascal You, Dinah and Tiger Rag sharply divided Satchmo's audience with some hailing him as a genius whilst others walked out in disgust.
Both Louis and the Duke appeared with extremely variable variety acts of the time. (Duke was fourteenth on the bill after an evening of juggling, tumbling, magic and novelty items!).
To recreate the style of presentation we will be presenting a selection of fine entertainers including Nick Lumley as Max Miller (who appeared on the bill with both Louis and the Duke) and to connect us directly with the world of show business of 1933 we have John Sutton who besides being drummer with the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, Chris Barber and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra is the grandson of music hall star Randolph Sutton who appeared on the bill with the Duke. The evening will be presented by Russell Davies in the guise of both jazz historian and master of ceremonies.
Tickets may be booked here.
By way of a 'taster' of the Blue Devils in action, here they are playing The Mooche.