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Ellington Jazz Series

For over forty years, the Duke Ellington Fellowship has brought the giants of jazz to Yale’s concert halls and to the city’s public schools. In 1972, Yale’s president Kingman Brewster presented the first Ellington medals to thirty jazz greats, including the Duke himself. That year marked the beginning of a series of extraordinary jazz concerts by Eubie Blake, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Odetta, Max Roach, and Charles Mingus, to name just a few.

2014–2015 Season


The Ellington Series continues to present concerts and residencies by jazz legends as well as the new generation of artists. Hosted by the program’s founder and director, Willie Ruff, recent seasons have featured Joshua Redman, James Moody, the Heath Brothers, Ahmad Jamal, Lou Donaldson, and Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Gamak.

The Ellington Series also presents “Home Grown on Common Ground” concerts, which showcase the breadth of New Haven’s musical communities by bringing together local talent with stars who have grown up in the New Haven area. Past “Home Grown on Common Ground” concerts have featured bassist Ben Allison, the St. Luke’s Steel Band, pianist Christian Sands, and more.