2.15pm and 7pm
Join conductor Stephen Bell and the Hallé for Russell Garcia’s Porgy and Bess, re-orchestrated by award-winning trumpeter, Ryan Quigley. Taking the title roles are Nicola Emmanuelle (“the real deal” – Time Out) and five-time British Jazz Awards winner, Enrico Tomasso.
One of the most beloved versions of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess is the Grammy Award-winning 1959 album featuring the celebrated partnership of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. Tunes like ‘Summertime’, ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ and ‘Bess, You Is My Woman Now’ were given new life by the two jazz giants, whose nuanced takes on Gershwin’s iconic tunes were a perfect match for Russell Garcia’s lush orchestral arrangements.
Ryan Quigley, who is one of the most in-demand jazz trumpet players in the UK as well as a highly regarded composer and arranger, first had the idea of turning this classic album into a live performance over a decade ago, after receiving the blessing of Russell Garcia himself. He set to work in January 2019, painstakingly recreating the lost score from the 1959 recording. Later that year, it received its live world premiere in Dublin with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra under the direction of Hallé Pops conductor, Stephen Bell.
Stephen will be raising the baton again to present Quigley’s re-orchestration live at The Bridgewater Hall. Joining him will be British jazz legend Enrico Tomasso, who was famously mentored by Louis Armstrong and who is one of the world’s best-known exponents of this style. Taking the second title role is powerhouse vocalist Nicola Emmanuelle, who Time Out described as “A charismatic, charming performer with a richly expressive, show-stopper of a voice … a real throwback to the days of swing”. Quigley, too, will be on stage, leading the brass section through his newly-penned recreation.
Before the main music event, we’ll hear a further re-orchestration by Quigley – the lead song from Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band – a riotous satire on the foibles of politics and war.
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