Memories of
Ellington '99

The Ellington Centennial Celebration

Ellingtonians at Ellington '99

One of the thrills of attending the Duke Ellington Centennial was meeting people who knew Ellington. I even got a few autographs.

George Avakian was one of Ellington's producers at Columbia. Here is his autograph on my copy of Ellington At Newport, Ellington's best selling album. George Avakian has produced many albums in my collection, both jazz and classical, so it was a pleasure to meet him. He even told me that he especially enjoyed my presentation on "Duke Ellington and the Classics."

Joya Sherrill sang with Ellington in the 1940s and I always loved hearing her sing "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart." I was able to meet her briefly and obtain this autograph on a picture of her on one of my CDs.

Here is another picture of Joya, this time sitting with Sjef Hoefsmit, who is editor of the Duke Ellington Music Society Bulletin.

It was also a pleasure meeting and talking to Yvonne Lanauze (now recording under the name Eve Smith). Yvonne sang those tremendous verions of "Mood Indigo" and "Sophisticated Lady" on the Masterpieces album. Yvonne was kind enough to autograph my copy of the album.
Art Baron, who played trombone for Duke, played for us at the closing banquet ...

... and Yvonne sang!

Right after Ellington '99, the National Gallery of Art opened it's new sculpture garden. Who should the Gallery pick to provide the entertainment? None other than the Duke Ellington Orchestra lead by Duke's grandson Paul Ellington. Duke Ellington's signature still graces the bandstand.

A splendid time was had by all.

Take The 'A' Train