When you think of jazz, a few names come to mind, but Duke Ellington is definitely in there. Since his name is synonymous with the genre, I figured we’d focus on some of the many memorials and tributes to the legend.
Numerous memorials have been dedicated to Duke Ellington, in cities from New York and Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. In his birthplace, Washington, D.C., there are many different memorials, foundations and tributes:
- The Duke Ellington School of the Arts educates talented students by providing intensive arts instruction and strong academic programs that prepare students for post-secondary education and professional careers
- Built in 1935, the Calvert Street Bridge was renamed the Duke Ellington Bridge in 1974
- In 2010 the triangular park, across the street from his birth site, at the intersection of New Hampshire and M Streets, NW was named the Duke Ellington Park
- Ellington’s residence at 2728 Sherman Avenue, NW, during the years 1919-1922, is also marked by a bronze plaque
- West 106th Street was officially renamed Duke Ellington Boulevard after his death. Ellington had lived for years in a townhouse on the corner of Manhattan’s Riverside Drive and West 106th Street
Outside his hometown, a large memorial to Ellington, created by sculptor Robert Graham, was dedicated in 1997 in New York’s Central Park, near Fifth Avenue and 110th Street, an intersection named Duke Ellington Circle.
On February 24, 2009, the United States Mint launched a new coin featuring Duke Ellington, making him the first African American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin. Ellington appears on the reverse (“tails”) side of the District of Columbia quarter The coin is part of the U.S. Mint’s program honoring the District and the U.S. territories. Ellington is depicted on the quarter seated at a piano, sheet music in hand, along with the inscription “Justice for All”, which is the District’s motto.
One Night Stand with The Duke’s Return to the Zanzibar
As Long as I Live
The Wonder of You
Walkin’ with My Honey
Three Cent Stomp
Don’t Take Your Love from Me
Let the Zoomers Drool
Fishing for the Moon
Riff ‘N’ Drill
The Kissing Bug