Jazz man is first African-American to solo on U.S. circulating coin
Mint produces D.C. quarter
Duke Ellington: Perdido
Duke Ellington's Washington
The United States Mint Collector's Club
During his lifetime Edward Kennedy Ellington (better known as Duke) composed a body of musical works which remain standards some thirty-five years after his death in 1974. Along with leading his own band for well over a half a century, Ellington also composed thousands of works, including a series of sacred concerts, and songs that include "Take the 'A' Train" and "Solitude". Ellington always referred to the people and music he loved as "beyond category", and he fits that description as well. This Tuesday, the U.S. Mint honored Ellington with a place on the quarter coin issued to celebrate his birthplace, the District of Columbia. The coin depicts Ellington sitting at a piano surrounded by the words "District of Columbia". Ellington is the first African American to appear by himself on a circulating coin, and the first African American to appear was York, the slave who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their journey westward across the United States. The 2003 Missouri quarter features the three men together in a canoe.
The first link will take users to a news piece from CNN International, which provides a bit of background on this new quarter. The second link will whisk users away to a similarly informative article from George Washington University's student newspaper, The Hatchet. Moving on, the third link leads to the official homepage of Duke Ellington. Here, visitors can view a photo gallery, shop for Ellington merchandise, and read about his life. Those persons looking for a taste of the Ellington sound will be delighted to learn that the fourth link leads to a 1964 performance of Perdido by Ellington and his band. The fifth link leads to a site produced by PBS, which complements their program "Duke Ellington's Washington". Here visitors can learn about the cultural and social milieu in D.C. during Ellington's lifetime. Finally, the last link leads to The United States Mint's Collector's Club, where visitors can learn more about numismatics.