Duke started off during the Big Band era and has never strayed far from his roots. After touring with name bands and drumming with the house band at The Celebrity Club, he formed his own orchestra in 1967 and is credited with keeping the big band sound alive.
Drummer Anthony “Duke” DeCubellis was born to his calling. His father, Ray Belaire, led one of the top New England big bands of the Swing era and also ran The Arcadia Ballroom in downtown Providence where Duke got his start. Following in his dad’s footsteps, he adopted the Belaire stage name and organized the house band at The Celebrity Club, Rhode Island’s first integrated nightspot, backing every major star who came through the area.
In 1967, he founded his own big band and secured a Monday night residency at Bovi’s Tavern in East Providence in 1969. Duke is credited with keeping the big band sound alive for the next 25 years. The orchestra, still based at Bovi’s and now under the direction of trumpeter John Allmark, is considered the longest continually running big band in the United States.