‘Inspired by conversation with Russell Garcia, I have always wanted to perform this score, and this concert is a culmination of many years of research into this project.’
After the sell-out success of Kind of Blue Orchestrated in May, the next jazz classic to get the RTÉ Concert Orchestra treatment is the iconic 1958 Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong album Porgy and Bess.
Recreating Russell Garcia’s arrangement, award-winning jazz trumpeter Ryan Quigley has painstakingly recreated the lost score from the recording. The RTÉ CO presents the first ever concert version. Taking the title roles are Nicola Emmanuelle (‘the real deal’ – Time Out) and five-time British Jazz Awards winner Enrico Tomasso – who as a child actually knew Louis Armstrong.
Tomasso was steeped in jazz from the start. He started playing the trumpet aged five, encouraged by his jazz clarinettist father, who gave him every opportunity to hear and meet legends like Benny Goodman, Roy Eldridge, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, the Basie and Ellington bands and many more. His biggest inspiration was Louis Armstrong whom he played for as he walked off the plane in 1968 for a stint at Batley Variety Club in Yorkshire. Louis took the seven-year-old Enrico under his wing for the two weeks inviting him as his personal guest every night and giving him advice. This led to friendship and correspondence during the last years of Louis’ life.
The night is packed with more Gershwin greats. Rhapsody in Blue features internationally acclaimed pianist Adam Johnson. Ryan Quigley performs The man I love, Embraceable you, Fascinating Rhythm, and Nelson Riddle’s arrangement of I Got Rhythm.
Ella & Louis Porgy & Bess
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Stephen Bell conductor
Nicola Emmanuelle vocals
Enrico Tomasso trumpet
Adam Johnson piano
Featuring Ryan Quigley trumpet
Wednesday 11 September, National Concert Hall
Tickets: €12–€39.50 (Limited concessions available)
Booking: 01 417 0000 | www.nch.ie