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My View: Drop Me Off At The Friars To Hear Ellington, Ella & Tito

My View: Drop Me Off At The Friars To Hear Ellington, Ella & Tito

If you are a Friar you can sometimes hear an Oy Vey from a comic or fellow member at the club, but last night you heard that Tito Puente classic Oye Como Va. It was a celebration of the birthdays of three music legends, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Tito Puente. “It Don’t Mean A Thing If it Ain’t Got That Swing” and the smaller style Ellington band gloriously swung out with the great sounds of the Duke in the Milton Berle Room. Great performances by Andrea Frierson, Dezhon Fields, Loni Ackerman, Alex Cowings, Kathy Conry, Larry Marshall and hosted by co-producers Mercedes Ellington & Judi Mark. They all “Let A Song Go Out Of Their Heart” and Friars certainly can’t say they “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”

Frank Owen, musical director    Ron Abel music director for Andrea Frierson

(For another article by Stephen and complete photo coverage of this event go to

The Band

The Band

Mercedes Ellington & Judi Mark

Mercedes Ellington & Judi Mark

Duke Ellington - Ella Fitzgerald - Tito Puente Birthday Celebration at the Friars Club

Duke Ellington – Ella Fitzgerald – Tito Puente Birthday Celebration at the Friars Club


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen

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