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Duke Ellington Statue

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Duke Ellington Statue NYC Statues

 

Formerly named "Frawley Circle", the traffic circle was renamed "Duke Ellington Circle" in 1995. In 1997, a 25 feet (7.6 m) tall statue by sculptor Robert Graham, depicting the Muses — nine nude caryatids — supporting a grand piano and Duke Ellington on their heads was erected in the middle of the shallow amphitheater composing the circle. Though the circle diverts the flow of 110th street, Fifth Avenue maintains a direct route through the intersection.

 

This monumental piece depicts the composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington standing beside a concert grand, supported by nine latter-day caryatid figures. The sculpture is set within a multi-leveled semi-circular plaza at the gateway to Harlem --the community in which Ellington lived for much of his adult life and with which he is creatively associated.

 

The sculpture of Edward Kennedy Ellington at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue is the first monument in New York City dedicated to an African American and the first memorial to Ellington in the United States. A composer, orchestra conductor, and musician, Duke Ellington elevated jazz to the most American of art forms. Colorful, blues-oriented players such as Johnnie Hodges and Cootie Williams played with him, helping to shape his style and inspire his compositions. The December 1927 opening at the Cotton Club �" the showplace of Harlem speakeasies �" put the Duke Ellington Orchestra on the jazz map. With Harlem and the Cotton Club as home base, Ellington began radio broadcasts and recorded for American, English, and French labels. Between 1930 and 1942 he was at his most creative, composing such classics as Mood Indigo, Sophisticated Lady, In a Sentimental Mood, and Don't Get Around Much Anymore. Increasingly recognized as a major American composer, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969.

 

HTB QUICK FACT: 2008. Artist Alison Saar created a memorial statue to Harriet Tubman in Harlem to honor all that she did and the many lives she saved.

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    Duke Ellington Statue
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5th Avenue and 110th Street  NY, NY 10029

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Last modified on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 11:57
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The major objective of the Harlem Tourism Board will be to create partnerships with tourism related businesses in Harlem and members of the New York City tourism industry to develop a mutually beneficial economic growth engine for one of the most famous urban communities in the world.