Courtesy of The Duke Ellington Center Center for the Arts

Free admission (all visitors, all hours)


 The American Tap Dance Foundation and The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts announced recently the return of their FREE, annual outdoor event to commemorate Duke Ellington’s birthday. This year’s celebration will take place on Sunday, Sept. 19, from 2-4pm at the Duke Ellington Statue in Harlem, 5th Avenue and 110th Street, NYC. Co-produced by the American Tap Dance Foundation and The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, the Ellington birthday celebration will include performances by The Duke Ellington Center Big Band and a host of musicians, dancers and vocalists.

Programming will feature the Duke Ellington Center Big Band (musical director Eli Yamen) with guest artist conductor George Caldwell and violinist Sandra Billingslea; actor Miles Purinton in a piece from Ellington’s “Shakespearean Suite; City of Jazz” recited by Mercedes Ellington, Tony Waag and his rendition of “I’m Just a Lucky So and So” from “Sophisticated Ladies,” Karen Callaway Williams & Sharon K. Janda in “Sugar Rum Cherry” from Ellington’s “Nutcracker,” and DeWitt and Jennie Fleming in “Come Sunday/David Danced Before the Lord” from Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concert.”

Additional cast members include vocalists Marion Cowings, Antoinette Montague and Ty Stevens, ballroom dancers Michael Choi and Vanda Polyakava, belly dancer Anna Pipoyan, tap dancer Dexter Jones, and Mark Mindek on stilts.