WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Duke Ellington Statue Graces Soon-To-Reopen Howard Theatre

Play associated audio
A new statue of Duke Ellington gleams in front of Howard Theater, which is scheduled to reopen April 9.
Armando Trull
A new statue of Duke Ellington gleams in front of Howard Theater, which is scheduled to reopen April 9.

A gleaming new statue of legendary musician Duke Ellington has been erected outside the iconic Howard Theatre. The statue is one of the final finishing touches to the theater, which is set to reopen next month, after being closed for 20 years.

Howard Theatre, located at 620 T Street, NW, launched the careers of some of the biggest African American stars in the last century, including Duke Ellington's. The statue depicts the musician seated at a treble clef, surrounded by a swirling keyboard. Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye also got their start at the landmark theater.

"It actually had to embody I think the classic history of public art in the city but this is about a project about the renewal of this community," says Zachary Oxman, the sculptor who won a competition with his design. "A community that was so rich with talent. Duke Ellington became an icon not just of this community but of this city."

One walking into the lobby of the Howard Theater may find it hard to believe it was built in 1910. The renovation is spectacular and modern. The floor and walls are covered in cream-colored marble and honey-colored wood. There's a lot of gleaming glass and chrome and steel. The main stage is flanked by two flat screen monitors and the seating brown and green leather.

Even today, workers are putting the finishing touches on it before the ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for April 9. It will reopen to the public on April 12.

NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

Got To Catch Peter The Great And Ivan The Terrible

Think of it as an intellectual version of Pokémon Go. Moscow's City Hall will launch an app next month that allows players to catch long-dead historical figures on the streets of the capital.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.