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Legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes was awarded the Ellington Medal last Friday, November 8. Willie Ruff, the director of the Ellington Fellowship at Yale, conferred the medal at a concert featuring Haynes and his Fountain of Youth Band.
In 1972, Yale 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 performed by a virtual Who’s Who of jazz: Eubie Blake, Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Odetta, Joe Williams, Art Blakey, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Greer, Jo Jones, Max Roach, Ray Brown, Charlie Mingus, and Dizzy Gillespie, among others.
Ruff said, “It was thrilling to present to him the same Ellington medal that forty years ago was given to Sonny Greer, Papa Jo Jones, Kenney Clarke, and Max Roach: all his heroes and mine.” MORE