Growing up in what is now called South Central Los Angeles, Duane was exposed to some of the best musicians and widely diverse music on the planet. He attended Locke High School, which was a fertile breeding ground for local talent. His peers included Patrice Rushen, Gerald Albright, Gary Bias, and Ndugu Leon Chancellor; just to name a few.
It was no accident so many excellent musicians sprung up out of Locke High School. The music teachers, Donald Dustin, Frank Harris, and Reggie Andrews created a program geared to the growth of musicianship. They were able to recruit professional jazz musicians working in the L.A. area to come in to provide private lessons and present master classes to the students. Because of this program, Duane was fortunate enough to study under trumpet greats Bobby Bryant, Sr. and Oscar Brashear.
While attending California State University Los Angeles, Duane performed with his own bands Axis and Watashi, as well as freelancing in various top 40 and jazz groups in town. In 1981 he joined the Army Band where he served as a primary soloist, arranger, and combo leader for 10 years.
Returning to civilian life, Duane settled in the Inland Empire where he taught and continued to freelance. In recent years he has been a part of Tibor Molnar's Sevensemble, Nate Morgan's Ujaama Ensemble, the Nightfire Orchestra, Pro2Call, and the J-Love Band. In 2000, he received his Master of Arts Degree from Cal State University San Bernardino in Interdisciplinary Studies - Music, Theatre, and English - focusing on writing for musical theatre