William Grant Still is now in the Database

Composer William Grant Still (1895-1978), long considered “Dean of African-American Classical Composers” is now listed in the database. Still is known for inserting African-American folk songs and spirituals into his compositions. Two ballets are listed in the database, 1937’s Lenox Avenue and 1941’s Miss Sally’s Party. In Lenox Avenue, Still called for 3 saxophonists, Alto, Alto/Bari,Continue reading “William Grant Still is now in the Database”

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, now streaming on Operavision

Sergei Prokofiev’s 1936 masterpiece, Romeo and Juliet, is now streaming on Operavision. This new production is from the Polish National Ballet. It will be streaming until 8/16/21. Romeo and Juliet has a well known tenor saxophone solo, you can hear it in at minute 26:35 during the “Montagues and Capulets” scene, one of it’s mostContinue reading “Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, now streaming on Operavision”

Duke Ellington is now in the Database

Pianist, composer, and leader of one of the finest big bands in the 20th century, Duke Ellington (1899-1974) is now listed in the database. Ellington’s expressive, energetic, and dance like music makes him a go-to source for choreographers to create new and unique ballets. The choreographer Alvin Ailey, who founded the Alvin Ailey American DanceContinue reading “Duke Ellington is now in the Database”

Is this the first American Ballet to feature the saxophone?

Digging into American repertoire leads me to new and unique pieces. Skyscrapers (1926) by John Alden Carpenter is a ballet every saxophonist should acquaint themselves with. Here’s the unique story on how Skyscrapers: A Ballet of Modern American Life came to be. John Alden Carpenter (1876-1951) wrote Skyscrapers in 1923-24. His friendship with Sergey ProkofievContinue reading “Is this the first American Ballet to feature the saxophone?”