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AURORA, IL – Over the course of 50 years, the great Duke Ellington led a world-renowned jazz orchestra, wrote thousands of compositions and changed the American musical landscape forever.

Even decades after his death, Duke’s Orchestra still honors his incredible legacy in the best way possible: by performing his musical masterpieces for audiences around the world.

In preparation for their exclusive Labor Day weekend performance, the world-class Duke Ellington Orchestra will pack up their pianos, trumpets, drums and more and head to Aurora’s Paramount Theatre. And when they get there, it’s going to be spectacular. Jazz fans, get set for a very special evening of Duke’s biggest numbers, including his foot-tapper “It Don’t Mean A Thing,” his sultry “Take The A Train” and his heart-pounding “Rockin’ in Rhythm,” all with that swinging grandeur that would make Duke proud.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra will perform one-night-only, Saturday, September 5 at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. Tickets are $35, $40 and $45. To purchase tickets, go to ParamountAurora.com, call the box office, (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra performing the band's signature song
The Duke Ellington Orchestra performing the band’s signature song “Take the A Train”

More about The Duke Ellington Orchestra

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, born April 29, 1899, is regarded as one of the most prolific American composers of the twentieth century. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals and performing on world tours. Ellington called his music “American Music” rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as “beyond category.” He remains one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, and is widely considered as one of the twentieth century’s best-known African American personalities.

In his 50-year career, Ellington played over 20,000 performances in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. He led his band from 1923 until his death on May 24, 1974 at the age of 75. At that point, his son Mercer Ellington took leadership of the band. Mercer was an accomplished trumpet player and composer who wrote many songs for his father’s orchestra including the standard “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.” As director, he toured and recorded with the orchestra for the next 22 years until his own death in 1996, when the baton was then passed to Mercer’s son, Paul Mercer Ellington.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra has been performing worldwide for the past 91 years under the guidance of three generations of the Ellington family. Pianist and composer Tommy James now acts as the conductor for the band that continues to tour around the world year-round.
For more information, visit idealent.com.

More about Paramount Theatre’s 2015-16 Season

In addition to The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Paramount’s 2015-16 season is anchored by its Broadway musical series: Oklahoma, directed by Jim Corti(Sept. 16-Oct. 18); A Christmas Story- The Musical (Nov. 25-Jan. 3), directed by Nick Bowling, Hairspray – The Broadway Musical, directed by Amber Mak (Jan. 20-Feb. 21) and West Side Story, directed by Jim Corti (Mar. 16-Apr. 24).

Paramount is still offering the same great “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer, with four-play packages starting as low as just $82. The rewards are ample – four amazing, Broadway-quality, classic American musicals at one of the most majestic theaters in the Midwest, all for the price of one show downtown.

Subscriber benefits include the best seats, free ticket exchange privileges, 10% discounts on additional shows at the Paramount, first notice of added shows, special subscriber events and exclusive access to our Broadway Series Premium Guest Experience (including pre-show hors d’oeuvres, open bar and private intermission bar service.)

In addition to its Broadway series, Paramount’s 2015-16 season also boasts The Happy Together Tour and Season Kick-Off Party (Aug. 21), Chicago frontman and solo vocalist Peter Cetera (Sept. 4), Chicago’s own Jersey Boys Under The Streetlamp (Oct. 25), Jay Leno with special musical guest Emily West (Oct. 30), Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl (Oct. 31), Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live! (Nov. 1), star of A&E’s hit Paranormal State The Happy Medium – Kim Russo (Nov. 6), comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo (Nov. 7), Peter & Paul of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary (Nov. 8), country music hunk Josh Turner (Nov. 12), comedian and ventriloquist Terry Fator (Nov. 13), Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis (Nov. 14), The Second City’s Holidazed and Confused Revue (Dec. 4-20, in Paramount’s Copley Theatre), STOMP (Feb. 26 & 27), I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues (A Salute to Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Patsy Cline), (Feb 28), Queen cover geniuses God Save the Queen (Mar. 5), and Donny & Marie (May 25-29.) Classic Movie Mondays are back too, with $1 screenings of everyone’s favorite flicks most Monday nights.

For subscriptions, single tickets or more information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre,
23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.

Paramount’s 2015-16 Broadway Series is sponsored by the Dunham Fund,
BMO Harris Bank and Paramount Arts Centre Endowment (PACE). Broadway Series Orchestra Sponsor is Rush-Copley. Broadway Series Lighting Sponsor is ComEd. Broadway Series Costume Sponsor is Gerald Subaru.

About The Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named “One of Chicago’s Top 10 Attended Theatres” by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.

The Paramount Theatre opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by nationally renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting portrayed in the art deco influence of the 1930s. The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered the public a variety of entertainment, including “talking pictures,” vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for more than 40 years.

In 1976, Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the Paramount and closed the theater for restoration. The $1.5 million project restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. On April 29, 1978, the Paramount Arts Center opened, offering a variety of theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added, with a new, state-of-the-art box office, café and art gallery.

Today, the Paramount produces its own Broadway Musical series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie. For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com or call (630) 896-6666.

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA). ACCA also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 175-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at 8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals.

For more information, visit ParamountAurora.com.

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