duke ellington school of the arts

Jazz at the Village Gate

The Village Gate was a nightclub at the corner of Thompson and Bleecker Streets in Greenwich Village, New York. Art D'Lugoff opened the club in 1958, on the ground floor and basement of 160 Bleecker Street. The large 1896 Chicago School structure by architect Ernest Flagg was known at the time as Mills House No. 1 and served as a flophouse for transient men. In its heyday, the Village Gate also included an upper-story performance space, known as the Top of the Gate.

Throughout its 38 years, the Village Gate featured such musicians as John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Miles Davis, Vasant Rai, Nina Simone, Herbie Mann, Woody Allen, Patti Smith, Velvet Underground, Edgard Varèse, and Aretha Franklin, who made her first New York appearance there. The show Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, debuted at the Village Gate in 1968.

A woman who graduated from my high school a couple years before me was shot to death by VA Beach Police with her four month old son in the car because of the man who she was with and I’ve seen absolutely no posts on Tumblr about it. Fucked up part is that I STILL haven’t seen it reported on the news, but it’s been floating around Facebook between my friends that knew her and our alumni association.

She’s a child and grandchild of DC Police officers and was in the military.

It’s absolutely devastating how news like this can never make it to where it needs to go but I can repeatedly hear the news report how Black people are fucking up and not when they’re taken down by the police.

RIP India Krager. Even if everyone else does, trust that the Ellington family won’t forget you.


Poem: God Given Talent 

by Malik Hilton

Hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard.

So why walk away from your goal when it is but so far.

They say the biggest stars shine in the biggest moments.

But some can’t handle it.

Maybe the moment is too big, maybe their hearts are too small.

Only time will tell because time tells all.

You see, we are the type of people to never settle for less.

You are the best of the best, the best of the rest.

Writing down your stress or lifting your leg past your neck.

You work so hard that you can taste your sweat.

Sitting in amazement as liquid takes a journey down your flesh.

You have the skills to write, create, draw, display.

Dance, sing, act, portray. But you waste it!

It’s right in front of you, so close that you can taste it.

But you don’t want it that bad do you? So just face it.

Because it’s another person out there sitting watching you

in your spot ready to take it.

You see, when you have god given talent, there is

no question that you are elite, picked from the

selection to bring your craft to a level of perfection

and master it from section to section.

God given talent. God given talent means that the Lord himself gave

you a piece of him. A piece of greatness, a piece of skill.

You use it as you please, in your own free will.

What will you do with yours? What does it mean to you?

How does it feel to be one of the few that can produce

a reflection of your skills and make it through?

Let the walls of Duke bring you your everyday challenge.

Testing your skills, your God given talent

What a man doesn’t see, will automatically be ignored.

Our spring production this year is For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange! We have 4 shows: Thursday @ 7:30, Friday @ 7:30, Saturday @ 2:30 & 7:30. All shows will be at Duke Ellington School of the Arts (located at 1698 35th St NW, Washington, DC 20007). All shows are sold out, but we will be selling balcony seats at the door for $5 each. Come on out and support some young artists!


HeelZone: “Apologize” (by HEELLZONE)

Shoutout out to Chyna BLLack Allen. Duke Ellington class of 2008. Saw this and remembered how fucking fabulous knowing you is.