Duke Ellington With Hookah and Tea in Iraq
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C., was a global giant in jazz for more than 50 years. As a cultural ambassador, Ellington garnered global recognition for jazz as an original American art form and was admired by fans and heads of state, worldwide, for his artistry. Over the years, Washington, D.C. has celebrated its native son with numerous honors including a community-building contemporary art mural, the development of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a statue of Ellington at the piano in front of the legendary Howard Theater and the dedication of a park in his name in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.
But perhaps two of the city’s best tributes to Ellington was the installation of the Duke Ellington Collection—an archival treasure trove of photographs, records and other materials, including 100,000 sheets of unpublished Ellington music at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s Archives Center, and the establishment, through federal appropriation, of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra as ”the nation’s jazz orchestra” to preserve and disseminate Ellington’s jazz legacy and that of other jazz legends, to the nation and the world via tours, recordings, education, and concerts. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photo courtesy of Duke Ellington Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History