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Ken Wiley

Duke Ellington memorabilia auction set for May 18

An auction of personal belongings from the late great composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington will be taking place at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem on May 18.


The collection comprises approximately 250 rarities, consigned directly by one of Ellington’s closest relatives. Among the items being sold will be about two dozen original music manuscripts written in Ellington’s own hand, for titles such as “Paris Blues,” “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Mood Indigo.” One of the most significant lots included in the collection will be his very own personal white baby grand piano, on which he composed much of his music.


On top of creating great music, Ellington also took pride in his own paintings. Some of them will be sold at the auction, including a portrait of his close friend and collaborator Billy Strayhorn. This will also be only one of many other Strayhorn-related objects up for sale.


The auction will be conducted by Guernsey’s. For more information, and a comprehensive auction catalogue, go to http://guernseys.com/

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