New Downtown Mural Celebrates Duke Ellington’s Tie To Fargo
Recording Of Ellington Orchestra's Concert In 1940 Won Grammy 40 Years Later
FARGO (KVRR) – A new mural is up in downtown Fargo honoring one of the greatest jazz musicians ever and his ties to Fargo.
A mural of Duke Ellington now adorns the side of the Rhombus Guys building in the alley on the south side of Main Avenue. The mural is near the former site of the Crystal Ballroom, where Ellington and his band played in 1940.
A recording made that night was not released commercially until 1978. The record won a Grammy in 1980.
Artist Jeff Knight painted the mural.
The Front Street Taproom is hosting an unveiling celebration Thursday night from 5:00-8:00 by playing the album and bringing in a DJ.
Until then, he’s got some last minute touches to finish.
Knight says, “I’ve still got some tiny little details that I’m working out, but year, we’re kind of working up to the wire. I’ve been out at the wall now for probably the last three weeks so if people in that area have seen me that’s what I’ve been doing out there.”
One dollar from beer sales during the unveiling will go towards developing other possible music murals from icons with Fargo ties, including Bob Dylan, Peggy Lee and Bobby Vee.