Vocalist Candice Hoyes and Pianist Damien Sneed Present Duke Ellington’s On a Turquoise Cloud at Caramoor on July 30

Presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center for their Summer Jazz Festival, Caramoor will host the duo as they celebrate the 75th anniversary of Duke Ellington’s ‘On a Turquoise Cloud’

“She has a powerhouse of a voice that will easily sweep you off your feet and has captured audiences at Lincoln Center, international music festivals and even New York Fashion Week,” – Rikki Byrd, Repeller    

Vocalist and archival scholar Candice Hoyes and composer, conductor and pianist Damien Sneed are thrilled to perform the incomparable works of jazz icon Duke Ellington at the upcoming Summer Jazz Festival at Caramoor on July 30. The prolific duo presents Duke Ellington’s On A Turquoise Cloud, a suite of high-flying, lyrical Ellington works that remain as innovative today as they were in Ellington’s time. The pair appears at Caramoor in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 30. The music for the day begins at 1pm on multiple stages, with Candice and Damien expected to take the Spanish Courtyard stage in mid-afternoon. More information on this outdoor festival and tickets can be found here.

The rare, genre-bending compositions of On a Turquoise Cloud add to Ellington’s seldom-performed song list, yet remain sanctified in Hoyes’ own musical output — in 2015, the tour-de-force vocalist first reimagined the suite on her acclaimed 2015 E.P. of the same title. Now, Hoyes has rallied the mastery of Sneed to join her for this special live performance. The two began their collaborative friendship when Hoyes sang for the first national tour of Wynton Marsalis’ The Abyssinian Mass, which Sneed conducted.

On July 30, Caramoor audience will enjoy a performance and conversation exploring Duke Ellington as a global artist who generated a broader cultural movement across borders, and the value of the Harlem Renaissance in the digital age.

“We are both inspired to highlight the 75th anniversary of these works,” Hoyes shares. “To me, On a Turquoise Cloud paved the way in style and substance for today’s musical theater, soul and contemporary classical music.” A collection that was largely untouched since Duke Ellington’s performances over 70 years ago, On A Turquoise Cloud has been revived by Hoyes through her research over many years.

Hoyes returns to Caramoor after singing the lead soprano role “The Girl” in the acclaimed broadcast of Shirley Graham DuBois’ opera, Tom-Tom back in 2020. Notably, Graham DuBois was the first Black woman opera composer, a pioneering human rights activist and wife of W.E.B. DuBois. As a student, Hoyes was a young artist at Bel Canto at Caramoor for two seasons (2009-2010). Hoyes is inspired by her upcoming appearance at Caramoor this season, where she will continue to honor Black jazz legends while engaging audiences with her contemporary sound. For more information on Caramoor and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s collaborative Jazz Festival, please visit https://caramoor.org/events/.

More about Candice Hoyes

Candice Hoyes is an artist with a “chill-inducing range” (Vogue). Candice’s 2021 EP Blue Lagoon Woman is regaled in Carnegie Hall’s Timeline of African American Music (2022): “More recently, artists such as Flying Lotus, Future, RZA, Thundercat, Moor Mother, and others, including singer and songwriter Candice Hoyes, have made [Afrofuturist] contributions. A graduate of Harvard who earned a JD degree from Columbia University, Hoyes is an artist-intellectual whose 2021 EP Blue Lagoon Woman exemplifies several Afrofuturist characteristics….Her scholarship on such luminaries of African American cultural history represents a noticeable departure from the usual practice of isolating creativity and critical analysis, and the textures of her sound exemplify Afrofuturism as well.” 

Born to Jamaican parents, Candice is a performance artist and archivist mutually steeped in exploring the untold stories of her heritage and envisioning the next leg of Black liberation. She gravitated towards Black feminist musicians and writers at an early age and began composing after starting an acclaimed career as a classical Soprano soloist who has recorded and collaborated with Philip Glass, Ricky Ian Gordon, Wynton Marsalis and the late Lorin Maazel, her prizes including the International Liszt Vocal Competition, Oratorio Society of NY, and Paul Robeson Vocal Competition.

Candice’s recent works include Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 2022 NYC JazzFest, Detroit Symphony, the Blue Note and supporting Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway and Lin-Manuel Miranda. As an activist, she was commissioned in 2020 by Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote and National Black Theater to compose music to mobilize Black voters. Candice is a mother of two, a TED alumna and serial lecturer at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and she anticipates two new album releases next year. In multiple aspects, Candice brings “Black history into the present” (NPR). 

Getting to Caramoor 

Getting to Caramoor is simple by car or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available. By car from New York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684 north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south, and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour. By train from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro-North Railroad heading to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station. 

A FREE shuttle from Metro North’s Katonah station runs before and after every concert. 

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