Duke Ellington's D.C.

View of Duke Ellington mural from atop the Ellington Building 1301 U Street

Duke Ellington: Born and Raised in Washington, D.C.

Duke Ellington’s music is one of the cornerstones of jazz.  He is considered the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century.  Before he achieved fame in Harlem nightclubs and eventually worldwide, though, he was Edward Kennedy Ellington born and raised in Washington, D.C. 

Celebrate the 125th anniversary of his birth on this walking tour that visits sites associated with the Ellington’s formative years in the LeDroit Park and Shaw neighborhoods and today’s U Street Historic District including:

- The site of the poolroom where young Edward first listened to piano music

- Venues like the Howard Theater where he attended performances—and where he later performed with his band

- Black-owned businesses that contributed to the “city within a city” atmosphere of the segregated Washington in Ellington’s day

These and other sites form the mosaic of Duke Ellington’s childhood and teenage years.  Although he departed his nation’s capital hometown as a young man, never to return as a fulltime resident, D.C. left an indelible impression on him.


Discover more great D.C. walking tour adventures: U Street and Logan Circle

Looking for a private guided tour of Washington, D.C.?  Any of our tours can be booked privately on a day and at a time of your choice!  Details here.

Guides that may lead this tour: 
Portrait of Carolyn

CAROLYN attributes her devotion to walking tours to perambulations through her new hometown when she arrived to earn an M.F.A. in Acting from The Catholic University of America. She is the founder of Washington Walks.

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Available for private bookings. Please email info@washingtonwalks.com for more information.

Approximately 2 hours
Contact us to book this walk.

Email info@washingtonwalks.com for a private tour quote.

Meet in the park of Anna J. Cooper Circle (3rd and T Streets, NW)
Questions? Answers here.

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