Music Written in Honor of: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Duke Ellington
“Three Black Kings” (Les Trois Rois Noirs) composed by Duke Ellington, circa 1972–1974.
The title of the third movement is “Martin Luther King Jr.” The other two kings are Balthazar and Solomon. This work is one of several collaborations between Duke Ellington and Alvin Ailey.
Listen to a 1988 recording of the work by the American Composers Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Peress:
Read a preview and review of the original 1976 premiere performance:
Read a history of the work: http://outandaboutnycmag.com/three-black-kings-an-ailey-classic/
Read the program notes from various performances:
Watch a montage of clips of an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ballet performance: https://vimeo.com/16904865
View photos of a 2010 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ballet performance:
View the conductor’s score: https://issuu.com/scoresondemand/docs/three_black_kings_27700
For more information on Duke Ellington, read a biographical sketch: https://www.npr.org/2008/11/19/97193567/duke-ellington-the-composer-pt-1
Compiled by Janet Harper, email@example.com, CBMR Reference, Instruction & Community Engagement Librarian, 4/9/2018