Duke Ellington School of the Arts Alumni Engagement
"I am the class of 1994. Proud graduate of the Jazz program. Mr. Yarborough was my hero and mentor and saved my life. I will never forget what this school did for me and want to see it continue for other kids."
- Michael Aarons (Instrumental Music, Class of 1994)
Ellington is a hub for excellence and innovation. Ellington alumni have achieved exceptional success in the arts and art adjacent fields across the country and many have gone on to win Grammy, Tony, and Emmy awards. Click here to see some of our more notable alumni!
Micaela Angela Davis, writer on African-American style, race, gender and hip-hop culture
Quique Aviles, DC poet, performer, and community activist
Christylez Bacon, a progressive hip-hop artist
Amy Bormet, Washington Women in Jazz Festival Founder
Dave Chappelle, Emmy and Grammy-winning comedian and actor
Maya Cunningham, Fulbright scholar, ethnomusicologist, Africanist/African Americanist scholar, a cultural activist, and Black music practitioner
Donnell Floyd, founding member of Go-Go band Rare Essence
Denyce Graves, international opera mezzo soprano
Cory Hawkins, Tony-nominated actor, In The Heights and Straight Outta Compton
Sandra Jackson-DuMont, Director of Education at MOMA
Tracie Jade Jenkins, Executive Director at The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
Tracy Inman, dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Jamie Lawson, actress, Batman and Farewell Amor
Ari Lennox, Grammy-nominated musician and composer
Lamann Rucker, actor, Why Did I Get Married? and Greenleaf
Adam Serwer, Best-Selling Author and CNN Commentator
Meshell Ndegeocello, Grammy-award winner singer-songwriter, rapper, and bassist
Clifton Powell, actor and comedian, Ray and Next Friday
Sylver Logan Sharpe, a soul, jazz, gospel & blues singer
Stan Squirewell, visual artist
Maimouna Youssef, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter
YahZara, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter
Ben Williams, Grammy-winning bassist
Hank Willis Thomas, Conceptual artist
Samira Wiley, Emmy-nominated actress, Orange is the New Black and Handmaid’s Tale
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