[Unveiled 1997] 1899-1974
b. Washington, D.C. • d. New York, N.Y
Sculptor: Robert Graham 1938 • USA
Gift of The Duke Ellington Memorial Fund
The elegant and dapper, legendary American
jazz composer, bandleader & pianist,
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington is forever
immortalized at Ellington Circle in Harlem,
the first African American figure to have a
memorial in Central Park dedicated in his memory.
This soaring monument of black patina bronze
tableau rises 25-feet high, featuring an eight-foot
tall sculpture of Ellington standing next to an
open grand piano. Three 10-foot tall pillars
each crowned with three nude caryatid female
figures representing the muses support it.
Though not a native New Yorker, it was his
time spent in Harlem and the Cotton Club
that solidified Duke Ellington's influence as
one of the originators of big-band jazz.