Photo Exhibit at the NAC




Relaxing and Rehearsing: Rare Photographs and Film of Duke Ellington

In the Dennis Tourbin Gallery and on the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace

At the Niagara Artists Centre – 354 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, Ontario

Photographs on display from Saturday 23 July – Saturday 6 August 2016

Opening Reception Thursday 28 July at 7:30PM; Film Screening at 9:00PM




In conjunction with the Niagara Jazz Fest, the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of photographs taken of Duke Ellington during a visit to CBC studios in Toronto in September 1964. Taken by Claude Miles for the now-defunct Toronto Telegram, the pictures show an infrequently seen side of Duke Ellington, a man known for his polish and panache. This black and white documentary photo-essay presents unique insights into an Ellington rehearsal including the inner workings of Ellington’s renowned orchestra, as well as rare glimpses of the bandleader in relaxed dress and manner.

Claude Miles was born in 1922 and discovered the art of photography while processing prints for shipmates on merchant navy tankers during WWII. He went on to study journalism at Ryerson University and worked as a journalist for several newspapers. Introduced to jazz as a twelve-year-old through a Louis Armstrong concert at Shea’s Hippodrome, Toronto’s major vaudeville theatre, Miles became devoted to this musical genre. Miles’ approach to photography is both candid and intimate, while presenting access to a rarely seen side of Duke Ellington’s persona.

THE DUKE: A Documentary Screening (60 min)Unknown-2

On the Thomas Craig Oliver Terrace of the Niagara Artists Centre – 354 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, ON

One Time Only!  Thursday 28 July, Screening begins at 9:00PM

In collaboration with Niagara Jazz Fest, NAC invites you to enjoy a free public screening of a rarely seen 1965 CBC documentary entitled The Duke. Shot at the CBC television studios after the September 1964 rehearsals that Claude Miles photographed, this documentary highlights Duke Ellington at the piano (at one point playing the very first song he wrote), as well as demonstrates the tremendous synchronistic talents of his big band. Aired only a couple of times since its production, this documentary screening presents an opportunity to see footage of one of the most elegant piano players and significant musical visionaries of the 20th century in the beautiful open air setting of NAC’s rooftop terrace. Don’t miss this chance to catch this one-time only screening.

Refreshments at the reception and screening will be provided by Mahtay Café.


About the Niagara Artists Centre

Niagara Artists Centre is a not-for-profit, charitably registered, collective formed by and dedicated to serving the working artists and community of Niagara. NAC provides a forum for the development, exhibition and appreciation of contemporary art by providing facilities, equipment, professional expertise, and a supportive atmosphere for arts research, advocacy, and dissemination. NAC believes that the arts and a critical dialogue on the arts are integral to a healthy community.


DATE: Thursday, July 28th
EVENT: The Duke: Photo Exhibit at the NAC – Opening Reception
STAGE: Niagara Arts Centre (NAC)
ADDRESS: 354 St. Paul St., St. Catharines, ON
TIME: Opening Reception 7:30 pm / Film Screening 9:00 pm