Lyric Theatre announces Duke Ellington series

The marquee of the Lyric Theatre heralds the Duke Ellington Jazz Series. © Herald-Leader staff photos by Rich Copley.

Everett McCorvey finished his remarks on the Lyric Theatre stage Thursday morning and said, “I’d like to introduce Duke Ellingt …”

Dick Domek spoke at a Thursday morning news conference as Lyric Theatre executive director Yetta Young, Friends of the Lyric president George Brown and PNC Bank president Harry Richart listened.

He quickly corrected himself to say Dick Domek, director of the University of Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra. But the flub conveyed excitement at the morning’s announcement that the Lyric will be presenting a series of concerts dubbed the Duke Ellington Jazz Series, starting in February. All the details have not been worked out, but the series will feature at least three concerts starting with a Feb. 24 concert of Ellington’s sacred music performed by the jazz orchestra and the American Spiritual Ensemble.

Domek reflected on himself and UK saxophone professor Miles Osland forming  Jazz Repertory Orchestra in 1999 to play a series of concerts commemorating the 100th anniversary of Ellington’s birth. Pairing with the spiritual ensemble will add a new dimension to the group, Domek said, adding, “I think they’re going to blow the roof off this place.”

McCorvey expressed a hope that the series, which also has events planned in May and September, might expand to five concerts and that they may add some marquee names to the lineup.

Lyric Theatre executive director Yetta Young said ticket information for the Feb. 24 concert and details of the subsequent concerts will be announced soon.

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