Since 1985, The Duke Ellington Society Southern California has promoted and presented the music of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington for his fans and scholars of his music in the greater Los Angeles area. Regularly scheduled meetings, 10 times per year, feature presentations of scholarship, showings of rare films, or performances of Ellington's music by contemporary jazz artists. Presenters have included some of the best known scholars of Ellington's life and music. Musicians have included former members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra as well as leading jazz musicians from the greater Los Angeles area.  

On two occasions (1991 and 2000), DES SOCAL has hosted multi-day international study conferences featuring world-renowned jazz scholars and musicians.

Twice a year celebrations with live Jazz and shared buffet are held: one in December and one in April as a celebration of Duke's birthday. At these events, $20 for members and $25 for non-members with a 1 (one) year membership.

At the meetings held February & September, a donation is requested of $5.00 per member and $8.00 for non-member guest.

The general purposes of the Duke Ellington Society of Southern California are:

  • Promote the appreciation and preserve the music of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, including both his compositions and recordings, and the musicians associated with him.
  • Sponsor  regularly scheduled meetings and programs for members that present either information about Ellington, his orchestra, his musicians, and his legacy or performances by contemporary artists of his music.
  • Foster social connections between members at the meetings.
  • Encourage the study of Ellington and his music at area schools and colleges and to recognize scholarship in Ellingtonia at such schools and colleges.
  • Coordinate with similar organizations elsewhere.
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