Duke Ellington's Birthplace

Rock Creek Park Trails

Arts, Entertainment & Sports Black History

Duke Ellington is seen here performing with other jazz musicians at a club in New York in November of 1946. Ellington is most famously known for his talent as a pianist as well as leading his orchestra.

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born in 1899 in a house that used to exist on this site. Today it’s a post office but a mural (by Aniekan Udofia) and plaque commemorate the birth of one of America’s most important musicians. Ellington was a songwriter and bandleader in addition to a renowned trumpet player and vocalist. His parents were both musicians, and when Ellington was born they were living with his maternal grandparents. (It was their house that used to stand here.) By the time he was 7, when he started playing the piano, the family had moved on to a series of homes in LeDroit Park, near Howard University.



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