Hot Horns

Lennie Foy
Lennie Foy Khaled Farid/ NMAH, SI

The boisterous sound of American jazz echoed among the ancient pyramids at Giza this past February. With the Sphinx at their shoulders, members of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra—in Egypt as part of a cultural exchange program—played a Duke Ellington standard, "Take the 'A' Train." It's a fitting tune for traveling musicians. Composer Billy Strayhorn penned the song around 1939. The title came from a new subway line, the fastest way to get from Midtown Manhattan to Ellington's home in Harlem.

Music courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. Please click here to purchase or for more information

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