Happy Birthday Duke Ellington At The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

duke ellingtonThe National Jazz Museum in Harlem celebrates the life of Duke Ellington today. Ellington’s life plays a major role in the museum and the current exhibit, VIBRATIONS, where visitors can see rare artifacts from his granddaughter Mercedes Ellington’s collection.

Some of the artifacts including a pair of dice given to him as a personal gift from Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia. The museum also houses one of the most comprehensive collections of Duke Ellington recordings ever assembled.

To celebrate his 117th birthday anniversary, the museum shared a clip on their Facebook page, of a rare 1949 film that features Ellington, along with trombonist Tyree Glenn and vocalist Kay Davis in one of the most beautiful of all Ellington creations, On A Turquoise Cloud, followed by his variations on the folk ballad Frankie and Johnny.

Also, on May 17 (12pm-8pm) and May 18 (12pm-6pm) the public can stop by the museum to preview the auction of Ellington’s nephew Stephen James’ collection, which is being handled by Guernsey’s, on May 18th at 6pm. The museum is located at 58 W. 129th Street (129th & Malcolm X Boulevard). Read more about Duke Ellington from the National Jazz Museum here.

Be sure to join us tomorrow, Saturday, April 29, for International Jazz Day with a performance curated by the museum’s Co-Artistic Director Jon Batiste who is also the bandleader for the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

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