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Reno Jazz Orchestra to Present Ellington, Shakespeare in Such Sweet Thunder Concert

November 11, 2023

Shakespearian actors will join the Reno Jazz Orchestra to perform the music of Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder” concert on November 11 and 12, 2023, at the Good Luck Macbeth Theater in Reno, Nevada. David A. Brennan, DMA, will be the Guest Music Director, and the Reno Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz Workshop students will open the show.

During the concerts, the Orchestra will perform works by Remy Le Boeuf, Les Hooper and Gordon Goodwin, capped by a performance of Duke Ellington’s suite, “Such Sweet Thunder.” The concerts will be infused with professional actors performing excerpts from plays and sonnets written by William Shakespeare.

Guest Music Director David A. Brennan, DMA, is the first of four candidates for the permanent position of RJO Music Director who will be conducting the Orchestra over the next five months.
Tickets are $35 for adults and $10 for students. For details, visit RenoJazzOrchestra.org or call (775) 372-6160.

“Inspired by the works of Shakespeare, Duke and co-writer Billy Strayhorn captured heroic, comedic and tragic moments in a jazz suite,” said Chuck Reider, Reno Jazz Orchestra Board President. “Producing this program was a labor of love as much of the music had to be transcribed from recordings and partial sketches provided by the Smithsonian Institute. It’s a wonder to hear Shakespeare’s words followed by Ellington’s expression of those words: truly magical.”

RJO Tribute to Jim Kidder for Lifelong Support of the Arts, Education

The Orchestra presented a similar show in 2011 on the Nevada Museum of Art’s rooftop.
The idea to combine the music of Ellington and sonnets of Shakespeare was the idea of Jim Kidder, a former Orchestra Board member and lifelong supporter of the arts and education.
Throughout Kidder’s college years, career and retired years, Kidder was and continues to be an exemplary leader and supporter of education and the arts.

“We will be dedicating the return of Such Sweet Thunder to the stage on behalf of Jim,” said Reider.
A pre-concert Reception to honor Kidder will be held on November 11 at the theater beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 (which include appetizers, beverages and a concert ticket) and are available at RenoJazzOrchestra.org.

The Orchestra is collecting tributes from the general public to share with Kidder. Acknowledgments can be posted through the Orchestra’s website.

His unparalleled list of contributions includes decades as a leader and mentor.

After settling in Reno, Kidder’s boundless passion for the arts found him volunteering countless hours with the City of Reno Commission on Arts and Culture, Order of DeMolay Legion of Honor, Pack PAWS Board of Directors, Reno Chamber Orchestra Board of Directors, Reno Jazz Orchestra Advisory Board, Reno Philharmonic Association Board of Trustees, Reno Pops Orchestra Advisory Board, and the University of Nevada, Reno, College of Liberal Arts & School of the Arts Advisory Board.

Kidder also served as the facilitator for developing strategic plans for the National Judicial College, the Greater Reno Balloon Race, the Reno Philharmonic Association and the Reno Pops Orchestra.
He was on Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees and is an active Tahoe-Pyramid Trail Board of Directors member.

His contributions to life in the Truckee Meadows extend to many organizations, to hundreds of blood donations, and attendance at thousands of musical, theatrical and sporting events. Supporting him, Mary Ann Kidder is Jim’s lifelong partner and has made her own myriad contributions.

About the Reno Jazz Orchestra

The Reno Jazz Orchestra is a 17-piece contemporary big band in Northern Nevada. The band was formed in 1997 by musicians who performed with acts such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Natalie Cole in the casino showroom orchestras. Currently, the band is comprised of highly skilled veteran musicians as well as graduates from the University of Nevada, Reno’s jazz program. The Orchestra has recently featured such guest artists as Tom Scott, Kurt Elling, Patti Austin, Ernie Watts, and Dianne Schuur.

The EL Cord Foundation, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, Thunder Rand & Co., Tanglewood Productions, City of Reno, Absolute Music, This is Reno, GPS Wealth Advisors and the RJO Circle of Friends, Band Partners and Band Fans support the Reno Jazz Orchestra.


November 11, 2023
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Reno Jazz Orchestra


Good Luck Macbeth
124 West Taylor Street
Reno, NV 89509 United States
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