Knoxville Jazz Orchestra hosts a tribute to the music of Duke Ellington


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra will open the 2022-2023 concert season with a tribute to the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn at the Bijou Theater.

The theater will host the event on October 18 at 8 p.m. at the Théâtre Bijou. Music by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn features pianist Eric Reed.

“Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn represent the pinnacle of American musical achievement,” says conductor Vance Thompson. “Their music is as hip, relevant and exciting today as it was almost 100 years ago when Duke started making a name for itself in Harlem.”

The orchestra will perform music from Ellington’s library, covering popular hits like “Take the A Train” and “Satin Doll” as well as lesser-known music.

Reed will perform alongside the orchestra and serve as MC. He is a modern-day jazz pianist, historian and endearing storyteller. Reed was also the founding member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a group formed by Wynton Marsalis in part to continue Duke Ellington’s legacy.

Reed is now breaking as the Jazz Piano Artist-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee School of Music.

Tickets are $42 for adults and $19 for students. To buy tickets, go to or call the box office at 865-648-1200. Season passes are also available.

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Henry R. Wright