The Duke Ellington Center for the Arts (DECFA) was formed by renowned dancer, choreographer and director Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington.

The Duke Ellington Center For The Arts is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization focused on scholarship, education, and performance to celebrate and perpetuate the legacy of “Duke” Ellington who is considered one of America’s greatest composers.
Through Duke Ellington’s extensive international travels on behalf of the US State Department, including the Soviet Union, Middle East, and Asia, he was an Ambassador of peace and understanding. DECFA’s mission is to continue his legacy by furthering understanding between peoples and nations through cultural exchange, performance and the study of music beyond category.

Among its recent accomplishments, DECFA organized, hosted and sponsored the 24th International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference in New York in May 2016. Scores of musicians and academicians from around the world convened in New York to study, discuss and perform Duke Ellington’s many compositions in jazz and orchestral music, song and dance beyond category – a pioneering concept that Duke Ellington pursued throughout his illustrious career.
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