50th Anniversary Celebration of Duke Ellington's Concert of Sacred Music



  • Grace Cathedral (map)
  • 1100 California St
  • San Francisco, CA, 94108
  • United States

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Duke Ellington’s Concert of Sacred Music, which premiered at Grace Cathedral on September 16, 1965 to consecrate the newly dedicated sanctuary, a truly all-star lineup of local and international jazz talent gather in Grace’s sacred space to perform Ellington’s devotional compositions in all-new arrangements by SFJAZZ Collective saxophonist Miguel Zenón. GRAMMY-winning vocalistKurt Elling will be joined by singing legend Queen Esther Marrow, who appeared as a soloist at the 1965 premiere and subsequent tour, as well as the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir led by Terrance Kelly and a powerful band including Zenón, trumpeter Sean Jones, saxophonistMelissa Aldana, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, bassist Marcus Shelby, SFJAZZ Collective pianist Edward Simon and drummer Jaz Sawyer. Adding a further dimension to the celebration is the tap dance artistry of Tony Award winner Savion Glover, following in the footsteps of hoofing great Bunny Briggs, whose performance at the 1965 concert is considered a groundbreaking moment for the art form. This historic, once-in-a-lifetime event is a highlight of the 2015-2016 Season that honors a San Francisco landmark and the musical masterpiece Ellington called “the most important thing I have ever done.”