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2011 Award
Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite, Book and CD
( by Anna Harwell Calenza/ illus. Don Tate, Charlesbridge $19.95 Score: )

Musicologist, Anna Harwell Calenza tells young readers how it was that Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, came to transform Tchaikovsky's classic Nutcracker Suite into a collection of jumpin' jazz melodies. Based on historic fact, this is a terrific way to introduce young audiences to jazz, using familiar music that they recognize as they hear the new variations. The story reflects how reluctant some of the band members were to playing ballet music and how the work of two masters opened their ears and minds. Vivid colors dance through the pages of the handsome book that comes with an orchestral CD of the composition played by Duke Ellington himself and members of his orchestra.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Review Published:


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