MODA Entertainment is proud to announce that New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will declare April 29th, 2009 “Duke Ellington Day” in honor of the 110th anniversary of the jazz legend’s birth. The proclamation will be presented to Duke Ellington’s grandson, Paul Ellington. Paul is the executor of the Duke Ellington Estate and musical director/ leader of the world famous Duke Ellington Orchestra.
The Duke Ellington Estate is represented by New York based MODA Entertainment for marketing, merchandising and licensing. In honor of the 110th Anniversary of Duke Ellington’s birth, MODA Entertainment is proud to present special events on “Duke Ellington Day” in New York City to coincide with the proclamation.
In commemoration and celebration of the legendary musician and cultural icon, The Islands Of The Bahamas is sponsoring an April 29th run of the last surviving 1939 “A” train. The inspiration for Duke Ellington’s signature tune, Take the A Train, the historic and beautifully restored “A” train will depart 125th Street at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29, making express stops through Manhattan and Brooklyn to Howard Beach in Queens. Open to the public, the festive round-trip runs will prove once again that taking the “A” train is still indeed the quickest way to Sugar Hill in Harlem.
Duke Ellington, one of the 20th century’s most renowned musicians, is among the signature figures in the history of jazz. Whether as composer or band leader, Ellington transcended musical and racial boundaries. When asked what inspired him to write, Ellington replied, “My men and my race are the inspiration of my work. I try to catch the character and mood and feeling of my people.”
In his fifty-year career, Ellington played over 20,000 performances worldwide.
Duke Ellington received 13 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement. He also was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor and the Pulitzer Prize. His image appeared on a US stamp in 1986. Ellington is the first African-American to solo on a U.S. coin. The Duke Ellington quarter was released in January of this year.
Ellington died on May 24, 1974, a month after his 75th birthday. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in NYC. His funeral at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine was attended by over 12,000 people.
Ella Fitzgerald nailed it for the world: “A genius has passed.”
About MODA Entertainment, Inc.:
MODA Entertainment, headquartered in New York City, is a multi-media entertainment company. MODA Entertainment has a particularly strong presence in the Classic Hollywood and Golden Age of Hollywood sectors of the entertainment market. Key clients in this category include Abbott & Costello, Duke Ellington, Greta Garbo, Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, William Holden, Ida Lupino, George Raft, Loretta Young, Eartha Kitt, amongst others. MODA’s fully owned subsidiaries include MODA Productions, MODA Publishing, LICENSEBOX, PUBLICITYBOX and ICONS.