The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra Pays Tribute To J.Dilla

The Sounds of VTech / Suite for Ma Dukes in Cedar Falls   

On February 6th this year, a day before J.Dilla’s birthday, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra performed a tribute to him by performing selections from The Suite For Ma Dukes. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson who did the arrangements for Suite and The Mochilla crew flew out to see the performance. Ferguson put together this kind of classical rendering of Dilla’s music for a public performance and iTunes purchase for the first time last year. The tribute was a part of the orchestra’s acknowledgment of Black History Month and the achievements of African-Americans in orchestral music. Duke Ellington, William Grant Still and the work of George Gershwin was also explored. Although Gershwin was a Russian Jew his contributions to Black music are embedded in American culture.