Cellpic Sunday – 5 September 2021

Fargo, North Dakota.

The southwest corner of Main Avenue and Broadway is now home to a jewelry store, a coffee house, and a pizza place. Prior to the “new” buildings where these businesses reside, a large building housed the Fargo Armory, and on the second floor, an entertainment venue known as the Crystal Ballroom. That building was in existence in 1916 documented by a postcard from that era.

From 1929 through 1957, the Crystal Ballroom was a true entertainment venue that featured nationally famous entertainers as well as local dance bands. On November 7, 1940, Duke Ellington and his band arrived for a rare performance as a dance band instead of a concert band. That one-night performance might have gone relatively unnoticed, but a recording of the evening’s entertainment was made.

Though it wasn’t released commercially until 38 years later, the record became a commercial success and won a Grammy for best jazz instrumental performance by a big band. in 1980. The album titled “Duke Ellington At Fargo, 1940 Live” (vinyl or CD) is apparently still available on Amazon and possibly other retailers.

About the photo: On the alley side of Rhombus Guys Pizza, a new mural was unveiled on Thursday, July 29, 2021. That wall is as close as they could put the mural to the location of the Crystal Ballroom. Artist Jeff Knight painted the mural depicting Duke and his tie to Fargo, North Dakota in another Grammy-winning performance.

The image was captured with my Samsung S20U in 108MP mode. Processed in Adobe Lightroom and Luminar AI, the photo can be viewed close up in 4K HD on my Flickr site by simply clicking on the image above.

I am entering this post as a challenge-response to Marsha Ingrao and Cee Neuner’s Photographing Public Art Challenge #PPAC. Cee’s challenge rules are posted here.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone or even a dash cam, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge-response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment.

John Steiner


New Downtown Mural Celebrates Duke Ellington’s Tie to Fargo

Fargo, North Dakota: Its History and Images


  1. Supposedly, the Duke once said, “There are only two kinds of music: good and bad.” I think contemporary “music” is almost exclusively the latter. I am entitled to my opinion, even if it differs from the opinions of others. By the way, I know where F-Sharp above Middle C is on a keyboard and I can even play an arpeggio.


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