Derk Richardson hosts a Duke Ellington mini-festival, with Clarinet Thing and the Stray Horns performing live in the KPFA studio– a preview of the “Celebrating Duke’s Birthday” concerts coming up on April 22 and April 29 at Musically Minded Academy in Oakland. (These will the last events in Jim Bennett’s In the Moment Concert Series at Musically Minded Academy in its current location; MMA lost its lease.)
Clarinet Thing (left) is Beth Custer, Ben Goldberg, Sheldon Brown, and Harvey Wainapel, all playing, yes, clarinets. The Stray Horns, named for Duke Ellington’s protege and collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, are leader, arranger, conductor David Slusser (soprano and baritone saxophone), Annelise Zamula (alto sax), Sheldon Brown (clarinet, tenor sax), Mara Fox (trombone), Peter Anastos (trumpet), Joe McKinley (bass), and Greg German (drums). Both bands will play live in the studio, with Tony Ferro engineering, and tickets to the concerts will be given away in the second hour of The Hear and Now.