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George Duke to Premiere Concerto for Christian McBride

George Duke and Christian McBrideHow many people can say that George Duke wrote a symphonic jazz piece for them? Well, add Christian McBride to that list.

Duke, the legendary keyboardist/singer will be premiering the work, Concerto for Christian McBride, during a free performance on September 24th at UCLA with the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra and McBride himself.

Conducted by Mitch Glickman, the 67-piece orchestra will play along with a standard rhythm section while featuring the bassist. Duke spent the month of April writing the work.

“This is without a doubt the most comprehensive symphonic jazz composition I’ve written,” Duke says. “It is written for the full breadth of Christian’s talents including upright, fretless and electric basses. My central idea is to allow Christian the freedom to spontaneously create and at the same time have a cohesive composition with the orchestra. The piece includes a standard jazz rhythm section along with a full orchestra. The challenge was to have complete interplay between the orchestra and the jazz trio and allow the bass to speak throughout its range as the dominant soloist and melodic proponent.”