Special Event Celebrating the Life and Works of Legendary Composer and Musician, Duke Ellington, Hosted by Granddaughter, Mercedes Ellington and the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, at Ellington on Broadway, on July 31st from 6pm to 9pm
WHAT: Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of the legendary Duke Ellington, and the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts will host a special performance featuring special guests, talented piano virtuoso, Danny Mixon and acclaimed American jazz and blues singer, Antoinette Montague on July 31st from 6pm to 9pm at Ellington on Broadway (2745 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Streets). It is apt that the special performance to honor Duke Ellington and to showcase the legendary composer and pianist’s musical creations is being held at the restaurant and bar named in his honor.
The owner of Ellington on Broadway is also featuring a special beverage named in honor of Duke Ellington, called the “Duke’s Wish” (dry vermouth, aperol, macerated raspberries, rose, soda), which will be served specially on July 31st for those attending the performance.
WHO: Mercedes Ellington: Founder and Artistic Director of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA), Mercedes Ellington is the oldest of Ellington’s four grandchildren and the daughter of Mercer Ellington. The United States has had few notable three generation families in the Entertainment Industry - and fewer still with persons of color. The Ellington family is one of those unique entities.
With the medical advice to ‘keep her moving’ due to poor circulation as a child, Mercedes chose the world of dance for her artistic expression. Continuing her training through Catholic grammar and high school despite the color restrictions of the day, Mercedes was awarded a scholarship to the Metropolitan Opera School of Ballet where she acquired dance connections to audition for the Juilliard School of Music. Her teachers included Antony Tudor, Martha Graham, Jose Limon, La Meri and other guest artists.
With a B.S. degree in Dance, and after auditioning for the original film version of West Side Story, Mercedes was selected for the road company which toured Australia for seven months. Fast forward through some mean and lean years, her next significant gig came after performing in productions at the Jones Beach Marine Theater choreographed by June Taylor. After several attempts, when she auditioned for The Jackie Gleason Show in 1963, she got the job! Mercedes was a June Taylor Dancer on the popular TV show until Gleason retired. Upon returning to New York, she assisted her mentor, Donald Saddler on multiple projects, Broadway, off Broadway, Industrial Shows.
Danny Mixon: A prolific piano virtuoso who has performed in the U. S. and Internationally, Mixon was born on August 19, 1949 in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in a musical household he was influenced by his mother and grandparents beginning his early artistic expression at the age of 3. He studied and performed as a tap dancer at the Ruth Williams Dance Studio and even then, was known as “The Show Stopper.” Danny attended the High School of Performing Arts with dance as his major.
Antoinette Montague: Hailing from the Great City of Newark, Montague is beloved and highly respected as a great crowd-pleasing New York Jazz, Blues, and more performer. She hosts a Saturday morning jazz radio talk show on WHCR 90.3fm celebrating multi-generational jazz artists and legends. She has been mentored by many greats including Etta Jones, Carrie Smith, Inez McClendon and others. Montague herself has mentored many current artists and teaches for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Syncopated Leadership for MBA Students. She is an Adjunct Professor at Marymount Manhattan College teaching Jazz and Blues singing and History, stage presence, auditioning, and organic music theory. She also instructs jazz and blues singing and history for Jazz Power Initiative as Sr. Vocal Instructor, The New School, NY, The Newark School of the Arts, teaches incarcerated persons for MOTI (Music on the Inside), teaches foster care children the Blues of Inspiration and Jazz at NYC’s ACS for Jazz Power Initiative. A
WHEN: Sunday, July 31st, from 6pm to 9pm
WHERE: Ellington on Broadway (2745 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Streets)
WHY: A special performance hosted by the Ellington family to showcase the legendary Duke Ellington’s most cherished works. An opportunity to learn more about Duke Ellington and to also enjoy
All events and times are subject to change.