The Kennedy Center

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts


Duke Ellington School of the Arts is a public arts high school in partnership with the District of Columbia Public Schools, The George Washington University, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Ellington offers an academically rigorous college-preparatory curriculum and intensive arts training in vocal and instrumental music, dance, visual arts, museum studies, literary media, theater, musical theater, and technical theater.

Watch Past Performances

Video 5/8/2017: The Duke Ellington School of the Arts

A select group of music students from Washington, D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts perform jazz standards and original compositions created over the 2016–2017 school year under the tutelage of trumpeter, composer, and educator Terence Blanchard; Duke Ellington School Director of Jazz Davey Yarborough; and D.C. based alumni of the Center’s professional development program Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, Elijah Jamal Balbed, Shacara Rogers, and Integriti Reeves. This is the culminating event of an eight-month Terence Blanchard All-In Kennedy Center residency, which included a performance by Blanchard’s E-Collective jazz group; the premiere of a family theater production of Bud, Not Buddy with original music by Blanchard; and the WNO presentation of Blanchard’s opera, Champion.

Video 4/4/2016: Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Students from The Duke Ellington School of the Arts perform in recognition of the 2016 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert (8 p.m. in the Concert Hall), an annual event honoring the 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters.

Video 3/22/2016: Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Duke Ellington School of the Arts celebrates Women's History Month through dance, song, music, and prose. Performances will speak to the contribution of women over the course of time including the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Rights Movement, Transatlantic Slave Trade, and more.

Video 2/2/2016: Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir

The Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir presents A Spiritual Experience, a set of choreographed gospel pieces that will drive the beat of your heart and inspire the soul. The Show Choir is directed by Dr. Monique Holmes.

Video 5/4/2015: Duke Ellington Jazz Presents Reignite: Fanning The Flames

The Jazz Orchestra and The Mellow Tones, two student groups, present Reignite: Fanning the Flames, featuring music of Ellington, Strayhorn, Holiday, and Gaye.

Video 3/2/2015: Duke Ellington School of the Arts: American Innocents

The school presents American Innocents: An Evening with the Dance and Literary Media & Communication Departments, which looks at the way art continues to inspire young people in a world that is seen as increasingly unsafe.

duke ellington