Duke Ellington Center For The Arts Celebrates Duke Ellington's 114th Birthday, 4/28-29
Mercedes Ellington, President of The Duke Ellington Center For The Arts, has announced that the 114th Birthday of her grandfather Duke Ellington will be celebrated with two events this year -- today, April 28, and Monday, April 29 (the Duke's actual birthday).
The Sunday event will be a Free Outdoor Concert from 1:00 - 3:00 PM at the Duke Ellington Statue, Fifth Avenue and 110 Street, the Gateway to Harlem. The following night, Monday, April 29, there will be a Happy Birthday Party and Show from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Dance Times Square & Latin Ballroom, 156 West 44Street, 3rd Floor, in the heart of Times Square, for which there will be a nominal admission charge.
The Free Sunday afternoon concert will feature an all-Ellington jazz program performed by young jazz musicians and singers from the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (The LaGuardia High School Big Band & Gospel Choir), Grammy-nominated percussionist and Latin bandleader Bobby Sanabria with the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Big Band, jazz-blues pianist and Band Leader Eli Yamin and his student musicians from Jazz at Lincoln Center's Middle School Jazz Academy, The Tap City Youth Ensemble from the American Tap Dance Foundation, Rumba Tap Master Max Pollak, jazz singers Rosemary Loar, Marion Cowings and Antoinette Montague, tap dancers Kathy Conry, Linda Rose, Karen Callaway, Alex Cowings and Tony Waag, and swing dancers Jeff Leyco and Mimi Yiu,
On Monday, April 29, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, the Happy Birthday Party and Show at Dance Times Square & Latin Ballroom will feature performances by Bobby Sanabria and his Afro-jazz sextet, Broadway and cabaret stars Tim Reid and Erick Pinnick, jazz-blues pianist Eli Yamin, tap dancers extraordinaire Kathy Conry, Linda Rose, Karen Callaway, Alex Cowings and Tony Waag, singers Rosemary Loar, Marion Cowings and Antoinette Montague, award-winning Ballroom Dancer Michael Choi and partner, plus Latin Dancers and more! There will be food, liquid refreshments and a Birthday Cake honoring the Duke's 114th birthday! There will also be a raffle for a dinner for four, hosted by Mercedes Ellington, at The New York Friars Club. Tickets for this gala party are just $45 and may be purchased in advance on www.thedukeellingtoncenter.org.
Mercedes Ellington, who will host both events, says, "These birthday events are very special to me. 'Uncle Edward'-- the name Ellington preferred to be called by family and friends alike -- tried to instill his values with me. I started The Duke Ellington Center For The Arts to ensure that these values -- his musical legacy and the term 'beyond category,' which he used to define excellence -- will live on. Along with the great work of Wynton Marsalis in this area, we are dedicated to making Uncle Edward's legacy continually meaningful to new generations of musicians and music lovers."