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Elise Celine
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Sylvia Whitman
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Anna Harwell Celenza

Dear Reader:

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 The Nutcracker on my iPod. Now the time has come to share it with friends like you! My love of Duke's music inspired me to look for the story behind the notes. What I discovered was an array of marvelous musicians: the "cats" in Ellington's band. As Duke's best friend Billy Strayhorn would say: "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

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