Duke Ellington's 1932 Rhapsody in Blue

Last year, I invited you to the concert of the Dudley House Jazz Bands, during which we performed three versions of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Here is the live recording of Duke Ellington's 1932 arrangement (also on youtube):


  • Piano & musical research: Ryan Raul Bañagale
  • Clarinet intro & musical direction: Jean-François Charles
  • Soprano & tenor saxs: Eric Diebold
  • Alto saxs: Kimberly August, Jillian DeMair & Richa Gawande
  • Baritone sax: Aaron Silberstein
  • Trumpets: Evan Biela, Gary Smiley, Chris Zuidema & Stephen Furqueron
  • Trombones: Ethan Fenn, Rob Cautillo, Cara Takakjian & Tim Fung
  • Guitar: Jonathan Buonocore
  • Bass: Andres Enrique
  • Drums: Max Behrens

Update after L's comment.
CDs and mp3s of the two other versions we played during the concert: Billy Strayhorn's Rhapsody in Blue (Duke Ellington's band) and Bill Putnam's Rhapsody in Blue (Stan Kenton's band).


  1. Oh my goodness. I just stumbled onto your blog because I just saw Guy and Madeline at the Brattle and I was looking for info on Justin Hurwitz - I loved his score and I would like to know if there's any way to get ahold of a recording of it (Any ideas?). If they haven't made it available, they certainly should.
    Then I saw your post about Rhapsody in Blue - one of my all-time favorite pieces of music. I had no idea there were multiple versions. Man, I would have given anything to attend that concert last year. I actually called up WBCN in its very early rock days, one morning as I was getting ready for school, and asked them to play Gershwin's masterpiece. Well, damn if they didn't play it the next morning. I'm sure the first and last time they ever did. By the way, any chance of getting an mp3 version of that Ellington arrangement? It's gorgeous - or any of the other versions from that night. Is there a commercial version of Ellington's band performing? I recently found a great trove of music by Paul Whiteman's arranger, Ferde Grofe, who did the arrangement for Rhapsody. He composed quite a bit on his own. Thanks for this.

  2. Thanks L for your comment! Well, about Justin Hurwitz's score, I don't know. You might get lucky if you contact him or the film director. They might release a DVD of the movie...
    About the Rhapsody, I can give you a mp3, but it's the same audio as the version on youtube. We didn't make a separate recording.
    About the other versions of the night, I have the recordings somewhere, but you would probably love the originals: Ellington's band played a beautiful arrangement by Billy Strayhorn, and Stan Kenton recorded a version written by Bill Putnam for his band. I'm updating the blog post with links to amazon in case you're interested.
    All best!

  3. Hello Jean-Francois,
    Sorry it has taken me 3 years [+ one day, exactly] to thank you for your response. Better late than never. It is time for another listen to this great performance... so glad to see that you have kept up your blog when so many have disappeared. I will seek out the Strayhorn and Kenton pieces. Happy New Year. Bonne Annee. Thanks again.


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