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Norwalk Library Has Music Exhibit For Black History Month

Duke Ellington, famous jazz musician, poses with his piano at the KFG Radio Studio, in 1954.
Duke Ellington, famous jazz musician, poses with his piano at the KFG Radio Studio, in 1954. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

NORWALK, Conn. -- Jazz lovers will be treated to a special exhibit featuring African American music and the contributions of Duke Ellington and his orchestra to the genre, during Black History Month at the Norwalk Public Library.

Included in the display are photos, books, ephemera, vintage concert posters and wooden sculptures of various jazz musicians. There are also examples of early sheet music from the 1890's through the 1920's, showing the development of African American music -- from the cakewalk to ragtime and the two-step march.

An originator of big-band jazz, Duke Ellington was an American composer, pianist and bandleader who composed thousands of scores over his 50-year career. Born Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington in Washington, D.C. at the dawn of the 20th century, he later moved to New York City. There, with his big-band sound, he ushered in the swing era.

Ellington's autograph, along with those of his band members and collaborators like Bill Strayhorn, Wilson Myers, Johnny Hodges, Shelton Hemphill and Cat Anderson are also on display. The items in this exhibit are from the personal collection of Kathleen and Gil Rodriguez, who own Gilann Books, in Darien.

For more information, contact Cynde Bloom Lahey, director of Library Information Services, at 203-899-2780, ext. 15133, or clahey@norwalkpubliclibrary.org.

The main branch is located at 1 Belden Ave., in Norwalk. For more information about library events, visit its website, or follow it on Facebook or Twitter.

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