Seventh Annual Duke Ellington Concert Features Jazz Club Atmosphere

“In a Mellow Tone” was one of the jazz standards played April 29th at Duke Ellington Park in the West End. That also described the tone and mood of the seventh annual concert played for Duke Ellington’s birthday, this year by Jim Levy on keyboard and Peter Fraize on saxophone.

The two professional jazz musicians, both associated with the George Washington University’s Department of Music, gave the audience several moody and mellow improvisations of works made popular by Duke Ellington and his orchestras, including “Satin Doll,” “Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got that Swing,” “Take the A-Train,” “The Mooch,” “Caravan,” and others in the 90-minute concert.

The triangular park at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue, M Street, and 21st Street NW was named Duke Ellington Park in a resolution by ANC 2A in 2009 in honor of the legendary composer, who was born near the park, on Ward Place NW, in 1899. The DC Council and the U.S. Congress made the name official in 2010.

Organized by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A, the birthday concert is a neighborhood effort. Again this year, the Golden Triangle BID provided the tent and generator.

Past concerts have featured appearances by bands from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the George Washington University. Mr. Levy and Mr. Fraize have appeared together in several of the past concerts, but their sensitive musicianship and the overcast day gave this year’s event what one member of the audience termed “a sophisticated jazz-club atmosphere.”

ANC 2A extends its thanks to Mr. Levy and Mr. Fraize, along with the Golden Triangle BID, for their support of this annual event.