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Duke Ellington Day declared in NYC

A number of the greatest jazz musicians in the world gathered last night 1/8/1971 at the Tropicana Htel in Las Vegas to pay tribute to the grandaddy of jazz, Louis Satchmo Armstrong. Seventy years old and still going strong, Armstrong received a trophy topped by a silver trumpet mouthpiece from two other all-time greats, Ella Fitzgerald (L) and Duke Ellington (R).
A number of the greatest jazz musicians in the world gathered last night 1/8/1971 at the Tropicana Htel in Las Vegas to pay tribute to the "grandaddy" of jazz, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. Seventy years old and still going strong, Armstrong received a trophy topped by a silver trumpet mouthpiece from two other all-time greats, Ella Fitzgerald (L) and Duke Ellington (R). | License Photo

NEW YORK, April 29 (UPI) -- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has declared Wednesday Duke Ellington Day in New York in honor of the 110th anniversary of the late jazz great's birth.

Ellington died in New York in 1974 at the age of 75.

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To commemorate the musician's life, The Islands of the Bahamas said they are sponsoring a special run of New York's last surviving 1939 A Train, made famous in

Ellington's signature tune "Take the A Train."

Paul Mercer Ellington, his grandson, and members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, as well as musicians from Music Under New York were scheduled to perform the song on the mezzanine at 125th Street and St. Nicholas stop in Manhattan. The musicians will then board and perform on the historic train as it travels out to JFK Airport in regular service.

Mercedes Ellington, Duke Ellington's granddaughter, is also expected to attend the event.

Representatives from The Islands of the Bahamas described the tropical locale as one of Duke Ellington's favorite haunts and noted it was home to the famous Cat and Fiddle club in Nassau where top jazz musicians from around the world entertained in the '50s and '60s.

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