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Jazz Recap: Ellington’s Nutcracker by The Nearpass Ensemble Performed at JRAC by Harvey Tillis

On December 20, 2022 The Michael Nearpass Large Ensemble performed Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s interpretations of The Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky live and streamed at Chris Anderson’s Jazz Record Art Collective, JRAC, in Chicago. The band included Lenard Simpson, Artie Black, Hunter Diamond, Alex Beltran, and Andy Schlinder on reeds, Luke Malewicz, Josh Torrey, and Michael Nearpass on Trombone, Chris Davis, Drew Hanson, Quentin Coaxum, and John Moore on trumpet, Lara Driscoll - piano, Ashley Summers - bass and Alejandro Salazar - drums. Visual artist Lewis Achenbach created artwork in response to the music.

The show was also presented as a Live stream (see below) and virtual tips are appreciated! Here is a recap the night set in photos by Harvey Tillis.

Harvey Tillis is a documentary still photographer with a fine art eye available for recording sessions, environmental portraits, and creative projects. Contact him at

Watch the Livestream

MICHAEL NEARPASS LARGE ENSEMBLE Reeds: Lenard Simpson, Artie Black, Hunter Diamond, Dustin Laurenzi, Alex Blomarz

Trumpets: Chuck Parrish, Quentin Coaxum, James Davis, Drew Hansen

Trombones: Matt Davis, Josh Torrey, Michael Nearpass, Don Knotts

Piano: Wes Dziedzic

Bass: Katie Ernst

Drums: Clif Wallace

BAND Venmo: Michael-Nearpass

PayPal: @michaelnearpass

CashApp: $MichaelNearpass

ARTIST Venmo: @lewisachenbach




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