Duke Ellington (1899-1974) had three times visits to Japan, and it is quite predestined that all of three times had special relationship with NIIGATA (新潟）prefecture.
1st visit to Japan on 1964, Jun.19: It was the 3rd day after Niigata Earthquake of magnitude 7.5.
He had decided to have a charity concert to support Niigata on Jul.8 (,which needed cancellation of the next concert in Hawai.) at Tokyo Koseinenkin Kaikan Hall.
All of the benefit at the concert were given to Niigata.
2nd visit to Japan on 1966: Duke was awarded as “International Amity Honorary Citizen” by Niigata Prefecture.
3rd visit to Japan on 1970: As for the reply to that award, Duke coordinated special concert in Niigata.
It is said that such total, strong friendship was influenced with ROOT IN JAZZ to all Niigata citizen. In fact, in every year twice in Jan.and July, there were coordinated with “Duke Ellington Memorial Jazz Street” in Niigata !!
Let’s check it after COVID 19 problem.
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