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Entertainment Last Updated: Aug 13th, 2009 - 16:35:56

Embassy of France Honors New Orleans Jazz
By Kim Betton,
Jun 11, 2009, 10:34

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Washington, DC – Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans welcomed jazz enthusiasts and fans alike in celebration of New Orleans jazz at the Embassy of France Wednesday in the Nation’s Capital.

The gala concert, appropriately called “Vivre la Nouvelle Orleans,” is a part of the kick off for the 17th annual Duke Ellington Jazz Fest.

Two sold out shows featured Paquito D’Rivera, the festival’s artistic adviser, and a stunning performance by New Orleans jazz great Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band. The band sat center stage playing authentic jazz tunes that placed fans right in the heart of the Crescent City.
Duke Ellington

In a press statement given to Duke Ellington Jazz Fest, Pierre Vimont, Ambassador of France of the United States expressed, “We at the Embassy of France are delighted to support the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, particularly since this year will celebrate New Orleans, which has a French flair and a shared history.”

The Duke Ellington Jazz Fest has done tremendous work and educational awareness through the years preserving jazz music and its heritage.

Duke Ellington, also featured, in 2006 as a "CRESCENDOjazz Legend," is touted as one of the greatest composers and musicians of all times. During his 50 year musical career, he created sounds of music that were profoundly enchanting and eloquently inspiring. From ragtime to concert jazz, Ellington offered swift, smooth moves, both on the piano and on front, center stage. Ellington and his band played for royalty to common audiences across the world. They performed with such jazz greats as Miles Davis, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, and Louis Armstrong.

Ellington wrote and recorded hundreds of musical compositions. Some of his greatest works include: “Rockin’ in Rhythm,” “Satin Doll,” “New Orleans,” “A Drum is a Women,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Happy-Go-Lucky Local,” and “Crescendo in Blue.” The French government honored Ellington with their highest award, the Legion of Honor, while the government of the United States bestowed upon him the highest civil honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Duke Ellington Jazz Fest runs through June 15, 2009.
For more information on the Duke Ellington Jazz Fest's schedule and events visit

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