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A Tempo: Ensembles Jazz up The Holiday Season with Ellington's Nutcracker Suite

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With the holiday season underway, arts calendars have begun filling up with performances of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker - and this season, at least two ensembles in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania region will be performing Duke Ellington's Nutcracker, an arrangement he created with Billy Strayhorn. A Tempo this Saturday (11/30 at 7 pm) will feature interviews with the directors of these ensembles.

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The New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra will perform Ellington’s Nutcracker alongside a performance of Tchaikovsky’s suite by the New Jersey Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Host Rachel Katz will speak with Matt Vashlishan, coordinator of the Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection and director of the University Jazz Ensemble at East Stroudsberg University, who will lead the Water Gap Jazz Orchestra in Ellington's Nutcracker Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 pm at the Cecile Cohen Recital Hall at the university; and Julius Tolentino, jazz director of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, who will lead the New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra in the Ellington Suite, alongside the New Jersey Youth Symphony in the Tchaikovsky original Sunday Dec. 8 at 3 pm at the Union County Performing Arts Center.

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.