WASHINGTON (AP) – Tony Bennett donated a watercolor he made of longtime friend Duke Ellington to the Smithsonian on Wednesday, the 110th anniversary of the jazz great’s birth.
The painting depicts Ellington with a bouquet of pink roses in the background. The jazz musician made a habit of sending Bennett a dozen roses when he wrote a new tune in hopes that Bennett would record the piece.
“Every time the roses came, I said, ‘Oh, Duke wrote another song,'” Bennett said.
The 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer said Ellington told him years ago to maintain a second art form beyond music.