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Anna Harwell Celenza

Dear Librarian:

Listening to music is liberating. For me, it's like reading a book: sometimes I do it alone; sometimes I like to share the experience. That's why I wrote DUKE ELLINGTON'S NUTCRACKER SUITE. For years, I've enjoyed listening to The Nutcracker. Now I hope to share this music with readers like you! My love of Duke's music inspired me to look for the story behind the notes. There I discovered a close-knit group of friends and musicians: the "cats" in Ellington's band. As Duke's best friend Billy Strayhorn once said: "They're beyond category!"

Duke and Billy didn't like to be categorized, that's why they blended classical music and jazz. You can see the band in action here:

Never has The Nutcracker been so hip!

I'm giving away five signed copies of my book (with CD) from random entries. To enter, email

Keep swinging!

"Love jazz? Want to pass that love along to your children? Then pick up a copy of Anna Harwell Celenza's wonderful book, DUKE ELLINGTON'S NUTCRACKER SUITE, illustrated by Don Tate and it includes a CD recording! Together with his friend, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington composed, orchestrated, and recorded some of the greatest jazz classics.... This one is a keeper!" —Alan Caruba

"Laced with invented dialogue and crisply delineating the close collaboration between Ellington and his brilliant, classically trained friend, Billy Strayhorn, the narrative traces the piece from radical idea to work in progress to exuberant recording session....The brilliant music cues Tate's full-bleed mixed-media pictures. ... The delightful accompanying full-length CD is a must-listen, since text and art mesh with it in genuine symbiosis, song by song....real cool." —Kirkus Reviews

Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite / Anna Harwell Celenza / Charlesbridge Publishing

Price: $19.95 / ISBN: 978-1570917004 / Published: October, 2011

Ages 6-9 / Picture Book with CD

Anna Harwell Celenza is one of our featured authors this week. Click here to view her reader comments and feel free to use them in your newsletters.

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