Duke Ellington's 110th on 110th
HARLEM, New York-April 20, 2009
On April 29, 2009, at 1:10 p.m., Duke Ellington's family and The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts will be launching a series of activities to commemorate and celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Duke Ellington.
The kickoff affair will be held at The Duke Ellington Memorial, located inside Duke Ellington Circle, on 110th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Open to the public, the program will feature tributes to The Duke, followed by a brass band and second line procession through Central Park.
Members of the performing arts community, friends, local dignitaries and students from neighborhood schools along with well-wishers from all walks of life are expected to join the Ellington family and board members of The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts for their announcement of the yearlong anniversary season-which will include numerous events in New York, across the U.S. and over 250 festivals around the world.
It is common knowledge that Duke Ellington was the most prolific composer on earth during the twentieth century. This applies both in terms of the number of compositions and the variety of forms. His development was one of the most spectacular in the history of music-underscored by more than fifty years of sustained achievement as an artist and entertainer. He is considered by many, worldwide, to be America's greatest composer, bandleader and recording artist.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 to May 24, 1974) was, without question, the most significant figure in jazz and, in fact, all American music. Regarded in his lifetime as the most influential contributor to our music culture, he received in 1966 the President's Gold Medal from Lyndon Johnson and in 1969 the Medal of Freedom from President Nixon. After his death, recognition for The Duke actually increased-including a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 1999.
The Duke Ellington Memorial is located at Duke Ellington Circle on Central Park's northeast corner. The sculpture of Edward Kennedy Ellington at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue is the first monument in New York City dedicated to an African American and the first memorial to The Duke in the United States.
The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts is a not-for-profit organization formed by Mercedes Ellington-the eldest of only four surviving descendants of Duke Ellington. The Center is coordinating the 110th Anniversary of Duke Ellington under the theme "110 Years Duke!" and is collaborating with several other organizations and entities throughout this momentous year of festivities.
More Information: http://www.decfa.org
The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts