Duke Ellington sculpture makes commute to D.C.

A sculpture of jazz legend Duke Ellington that stands 20 feet tall will stand in front of the newly renovated Howard Theatre.

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

MANASSAS, Va. – Early morning commuters may have seen something unique on the road Thursday morning. It’s an icon that will grace D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood for centuries.

The sculpture of jazz legend Duke Ellington will stand 20 feet tall once all three pieces of the stainless steel sculpture are mounted on a granite base.

The sculpture Thursday morning moved from Manassas, Va., to its new home at Florida Avenue and T Street in front of the newly renovated Howard Theatre. The area is being renamed “Ellington Plaza.”

“He’s at the piano, but the piano itself turns into notes and moves up, almost like music,” says sculptor Zachary Oxman, who spent the last two years making the sculpture.

“The G clef that he’s sitting on is actually not your traditional G clef, but it’s inspired like his actual handwriting,” Oxman says.

Oxman worked on a $150,000 commission from D.C.’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities after winning a competition more than five years ago.

To watch video of Zachary Oxman working on the statue, follow this YouTube link.

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