Announcing the 24th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference

Robin Bell-Stevens, Director of Jazzmobile, Inc., to keynote; Legendary performer Carmen de Lavallade to receive the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts "Beyond Category Award" -- Performances by the Duke Ellington Center Big Band -- and more!

​​​The 24th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference will be presented by the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA) in New York City from Thursday, May 19, through Sunday, May 22, 2016, it was announced today by acclaimed dancer/choreographer Mercedes Ellington, Founder and President of the New York based arts organization created in 2004 to further the legacy of her grandfather, the legendary composer/Jazz musician/Orchestra leader Duke Ellington.

The public is invited to join music lovers, musicians and leading scholars from around the world for a series of panels at St. Peter’s Church as well as at musical events across New York City designed to celebrate, preserve and expand the legacy of Duke Ellington, who is widely recognized as America’s most prolific American composer of the 20th century.

Highlights of the Conference will include:

Gala Opening Night Reception at St. Peter’s (‘The Jazz Church), 54th Street and Lexington Avenue), where attendees will meet jazz devotees from around the world as well as Ellington family members;

Panels led by eminent scholars and artists covering topics as Duke’s career, influence and culture; 

Historic reunion of producers and performers from Broadway productions that featured the Duke’s music, such as After Midnight and the Tony Award-winning Sophisticated Ladies;

Performances by world renowned artists and Broadway celebrities at the MIST Harlem and St. Peter’s Church;

Guided bus tours and excursions to Jazz at Lincoln Center, Cotton Club, The Apollo, the Ellington Statue, Duke Ellington Boulevard, plus Harlem speakeasies and clubs frequented by the Duke;

Screenings of rare footage from documentaries, performances and family archives;

A Special Screening at The Paley Center for Media (25 West 52nd Street) of Duke Ellington’s ground-breaking 1956 musical allegory A Drum Is a Woman; about Carribee Joe and his drum which evolves into a woman’s persona known as Madam Zajj. Pioneer dancer/ choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, who played Madam Zajj in the original, will join the panel which includes Candido Camero and Bobby Sanabria

A champagne brunch which will honor Carmen de Lavallade, who will receive the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts “Beyond Category Award.”

 Jazz lovers and Ellington aficionados are expected to attend from all parts of the globe. Space at the conference is limited and those planning to attend are invited to purchase their tickets as soon as possible to avoid being shut out!  There are three ticket prices: Tickets guarantee entrance at all Conference Events. Regular tickets for the four-day conference are priced at $325; Seniors 65 and older may purchase discount tickets for $175; and Students with ID may purchase $125 discount tickets. Special rates for groups of 10 or more, contact  For complete Conference Information, visit

24th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference

When:  Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 12:30 PM – Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 6:00 PM (EDT)

Where:  Saint Peter's Church - 

MIST Harlem,

Jazz at Lincoln Center, 

National Jazz Museum, 

Fly to The Conference

If you are flying, DECFA highly recommends that you book your ticket ahead of schedule and receive steep discounts for airfare.

NYC Subway Access

Over six major train lines will get you to the 54th and Lexington where St. Peter's Church is located. You can easily get to the event.

Hotel Rates

DECFA has arranged discounted hotel rates for all their national and international attendees. Group rates available and get 15% off at The  Row NYC Hotel in the middle of Times Square District. at 700 Eighth Avenue. Tel: 212- 869-3600. Use Coupon Code: DUKE 16 (while rooms last)

Online Ticket Sales

Easily buy your tickets online through their seamless fully integrated digital box office. Complete with printable tickets. Buy tickets at:


Categories: Music, Conventions, Trade Shows, Meetings and Events, Arts and Entertainment

Tags: conference, duke ellington, jazz, mercedes ellington, music

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About The Duke Ellington Center For The Arts

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The Duke Ellington Center For The Arts is a non-profit organization focused on scholarship, education and performance connected to the legacy of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974), who is considered one of America's greatest composers.

Les Schecter
Vice President of Communications - DECFA, The Duke Ellington Center For The Arts
The Duke Ellington Center For The Arts
211 Duke Ellington Boulevard (Suite 7A)
New York, NY 10025
United States