Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra in concert at the National Museum of American History (Photo: Jaclyn Nash)
Note: This streaming program includes an informative lecture with virtual concert.
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington and William James “Count” Basie created two of the most revered and influential orchestras in jazz. For nearly 90 years, historians, audiences, and musicians have attempted to compare the attributes of these two distinctively different orchestras—Ellington’s orchestrations versus Basie’s “Swing.”
One of the early pioneers of big-band jazz, Ellington and Billy Strayhorn composed and orchestrated such iconic selections as “Take the A Train,” “The Flaming Sword,” “Star-Crossed Lovers,” and many other legendary works to the jazz canon. Pianist and band leader Basie and his orchestra were recognized as one of the preeminent bands during the swing era, moving audiences with works like "One O’Clock Jump", “Mambo Inn”, and "Jumpin’ at the Woodside."
In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra juxtaposes the music of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and Count Basie Orchestra.
Learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month at the National Museum of American History.
Additional Programs with 2021-2022 Series
Whether as a 17-member big band, quartet, septet, or small group, SJMO presents concerts featuring transcribed works, new arrangements, commissioned pieces, and programs that illuminate the work of the masters who contributed to the development of American jazz and defined the music’s character.
Under artistic director and conductor Charlie Young, SJMO has celebrated some of the greatest jazz music throughout its 31-year history. The 2021–2022 season promises to bring the best of jazz to audiences through both virtual and in-person concerts. Special guests join the ensemble to guide audiences through the fascinating history and stories that surround this truly American musical form.
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.