ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – On most days, Phil Dunlap is in charge of bringing jazz into the St. Louis region.
Monday, he`ll get to lead the charge with a change-up of a holiday classic.
'We really wanted to bring together a group of people that didn`t often get a chance to play together because big bands, there`s 15 people,' says Phil Dunlap, Jazz St. Louis Director of Education. 'It`s a large group.'
That means the front row of seats will have to make way for woodwinds.
This will be the first time a jazz band of this size will take the stage at the newly remodeled bistro.
What started as a jazzy jam has grown into an encore of an Ellington idea; performed by the behind the scenes beat makers.
'It`s really our mission as an organization through performance, education and outreach to help get this music out in front of as many people as possible,' says Dunlap. 'It`s really part of our shared cultural history. It`s our job and it`s our duty.'
For the director of education, getting out into the community under a different hat is a fun, festive change, especially when they`re crowning it a Christmas to remember with some river city royalty to make the Duke proud.
'It`s a music that transcends many boundaries that`s not for any one group of people but for Americans, for everybody. And it`s our job to help reinforce that,' says Dunlap.