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Kids Commute: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's 'The Nutcracker Suite'

 Billy Strayhorn (left) and Duke Ellington
Billy Strayhorn (left) and Duke Ellington

This week, we're learning about how jazz legends Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington reimagined Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet "The Nutcracker."

You can leave your pointe shoes and tutus at home, though, for this big band adaptation.

We'll learn about how Strayhorn and Ellington used wordplay, music, different languages and lots of drinks and snacks in their take on this Christmastime classic.

You can attend a live performance of Ellington and Strayhorn's Nutcracker Suite on Sunday, Dec. 4 when Interlochen Arts Academy's Jazz Orchestra performs it! Learn more and get tickets.

You can also attend Interlochen Arts Academy's production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet Thursday, Dec. 8 through Sunday, Dec. 11. Learn more and get tickets.

Listen every day at 7:40 a.m. and 3:20 p.m.

Kids Commute - ELLINGTON-STRAYHORN NUTCRACKER WEEK! Monday - Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn)
New England Jazz Ensemble
Kids Commute - ELLINGTON-STRAYHORN NUTCRACKER WEEK! Tuesday - Sugar Rum Cherry (Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn)
New England Jazz Ensemble
Kids Commute - ELLINGTON-STRAYHORN NUTCRACKER WEEK! Wednesday - Volga Vouty (Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn)
New England Jazz Ensemble
Kids Commute - ELLINGTON-STRAYHORN NUTCRACKER WEEK! Thursday: Dance of the Floreadores (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn)
New England Jazz Ensemble
Kids Commute - ELLINGTON-STRAYHORN NUTCRACKER WEEK! Friday: Arabesque Cookie (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn)
New England Jazz Ensemble

This week's episodes were produced with support from Delia Zaleski, Amanda Sewell and Joseph Levesque.

Kate Botello is a host and producer at Classical IPR.