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Duke Ellington Jazz Festival To Debut In D.C.

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

An annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival will debut in Washington, D.C. from September 28-October 2. The five-day event will feature the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Wallace Roney, the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Jerry Gonzalez & the Fort Apache Band, D.C.'s own Chuck Brown, vocalist Sunny Sumter, and many others.

"We are honored to sponsor and host this great event, which pays tribute to the legendary Duke Ellington–a proud native Washingtonian and one of the most important and celebrated musical geniuses of the 20th century," said Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, honorary chairman of the Festival. "As this festival grows over the years, we hope it will be a tourist boon for the city, attracting a diverse audience of music enthusiasts from across the country."

Highlight of the festival will feature a full day of free performances on The National Mall. Other venues include the Lincoln Theatre, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns–which will host an International Jazz Showcase–and 14 other clubs and restaurants along Washington's vaunted U Street Corridor.

"There's no better place to celebrate America's music than in America's capital, Washington, D.C.," said Charles Fishman, executive producer of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival and former personal manager/producer of the late Dizzy Gillespie. "Washingtonians and music lovers nationwide will now have another great reason to enjoy our wonderful city."

A full listing of performers and a schedule of events will be released in the coming weeks. The Washington, D.C. Jazz Hall of Fame and an annual Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award will also be launched during the festival.

The Government of the District of Columbia is the principal sponsor of the Duke Ellington Festival. Foundations. Corporate and individual sponsors include the Fannie Mae Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Philip L. Graham Fund, The Daimler Chrysler Corporate Fund, The Washington Post, ABC 7 and News Channel 8, Chevron, Borders Books and Records, Laurel Consulting Group, METRO -The Washington DC Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Sage Communications, Patton Boggs, Whole Foods, Nigel Gragg, and Yamaha. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen