The Duke Ellington Symposium

The year 1999 marks the Centennial Anniversary of the birth of the great African-American composer, pianist, and bandleader Edward Kennedy Ellington. This occasion has not gone unnoticed, but has been celebrated around the country and the world with concerts, symposia, publications, and recordings.

A Symposium on the Music of Duke Ellington will take place on the University of Kentucky Campus Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning, October 28-31. The Symposium will feature a concert of Ellington's music, played from transcriptions and original scores by the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra, with David Baker as guest conductor. Small group performances including Dr. Aaron Bell, former bassist with the Ellington Orchestra, will also be offered. Finally, discussions of various aspects of Ellington's music will be presented by Ellington experts David Baker, Aaron Bell, John Edward Hasse, Andrew Jaffe, and Ann Kuebler.

The registration fee for this entire event is $35.00 ($25.00 for students) which covers the cost of attendance at all sessions, recitals, the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra Concert, and dinner on Thursday evening.

This is a wonderful opportunity to hear Ellington's music re-created live and to learn more about his musical aims, creative process, and style. The sessions will be informal, but also informative, and will provide a great deal of insight into the musical and cultural contributions of Duke Ellington.

Information on registration and lodging is presented below. We hope to see you in Lexington at the end of October for this exciting Ellington event.

You may register on-line by completing the form at the end of this page, or you may copy the form and fax or mail your registration information as indicated below.

The Program

(The Symposium begins with registration at 11 AM Thursday, October 28. Opening session is a 2 PM on Thursday. The program concludes at 11:30 AM, Saturday, Oct. 30.)

Ellington as Composer for the Piano

RALEIGH DAILEY, University of Kentucky

Between the Sheets: Relationships Uncovered in the Duke Ellington Collection

ANN K. KUEBLER, Archivist, Duke Ellington Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Motivic Development and Thematic Unity in Duke Ellington Extended Works

ANDREW JAFFE, Professor, Williams College

Ellington as Musician and Composer

DAVID BAKER, Distinguished Professor of Music, Indiana University;

Director, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

A Comparison of Ellington to Master Composers

AARON BELL, Former member, Duke Ellington Orchestra

Panel Discussion: The Musical and Cultural Contribution of Duke Ellington


Duke Ellington: Genius Beyond Category

JOHN EDWARD HASSE, Curator of American Music, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; Executive Producer, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra

Changes in the Ellington Style as Revealed in Reworkings of Earlier Material

LAWRENCE D. NELSON, University of Kentucky


Dinner and Piano Recital of Ellington Music

ORVILLE HAMMOND, Professor of Piano, University of Kentucky

Small Group Performances by AARON BELL, MILES OSLAND, and University of Kentucky Students and Faculty

Concert of Duke Ellington Music (Performed from Transcriptions and Original Scores)


TRAVEL AND LODGING: The University of Kentucky campus is located in Lexington, Kentucky, 80 miles south of Cincinnati and 80 miles east of Louisville. For travel by car, I-64 and I-75 run directly to Lexington. Lexington is also served by Delta, USAir, Continental, United, and Northwest airlines.

The Kentucky Inn, 525 Waller Avenue, Lexington, is offering a special rate of $50 plus tax (single) and $55 plus tax (double) per night. You can reach the Kentucky Inn toll free at 1-800-221-6652. To obtain the special rate, please inform the registration clerk that you will be attending the Ellington Symposium at the University of Kentucky.

Registration Information

Advance Registration (Prior to October 20)

All events, including Dinner October 28 and Concert by the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra, October 29: $35.00 (Students: $25.00)

Registration October 21 or Later

All Events$40.00 (Students $30.00)

To Register, please submit the following information, or print the form below and fax to 606-257-9576.
If you need any assistance please email your request to:


Name Title, if Applicable

Are you a Student? yes

Institution, if applicable


Phone email

Special dietary preferences, if any:


Registration fees cannot be paid on-line, so please send your check, payable to the University of Kentucky, to:

Ellington Symposium, Fine Arts 105, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0022 Thank you