Duke Ellington
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p01bqfxj.jpg
1899-04-29
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/3af06bc4-68ad-4cae-bb7a-7eeeb45e411f
Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington Biography (BBC)

Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington was born in Washington at the end of the nineteenth century during the height of the ragtime era. His piano teacher, the aptly-named Miss Clinkscales, may have disapproved, but at sixteen he had written his own Soda Fountain Rag, the start of a sixty-year career as a composer.

He had also acquired his nickname 'Duke', from his dapper appearance as he worked as a soda-jerk at Washington's Poodle Dog Cafe. In 1927, Ellington got his big break and moved into the Cotton Club in Harlem.

Run by gangsters, featuring a dazzling floor show built around a jungle theme, and attended by well-to-do white audiences seeking some exotic night life, the Cotton Club offered a platform for Ellington to develop his career, and broadcasts, films and discs for several labels followed in profusion.

By 1931, Ellington's Cotton Club orchestra had become the leading big band in the USA. In the mid-1930s, Ellington began to experiment with large scale compositions, such as Reminiscing in Tempo and Creole Rhapsody.

At the end of the decade he had assembled his finest band, featuring Ben Webster's tough and lyrical tenor sax, and the tragically short-lived bassist Jimmy Blanton, who introduced a new rhythmic freedom. In 1939, pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn joined Ellington, and the two men found they had a natural talent for writing music together, continuing. until Strayhorn's death in 1967.

Strayhorn wrote the band's theme Take The A-Train. In 1943, at Carnegie Hall Ellington premiered his 45-minute Black Brown and Beige, and although its lukewarm critical reaction briefly deterred him, he began a sequence of further long pieces with the Deep South Suite in 1946.

From the 1950s, Ellington toured internationally, wrote many long suites, and also composed for films and the stage. His best-known film score was Anatomy of a Murder (1959). In his last years, Ellington wrote much sacred music, which he performed in churches and cathedrals round the world. His other extended suites were inspired by ideas as different as New Orleans music, Shakespeare and visits to Asia.

Duke Ellington Biography (Wikipedia)

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death in a career spanning over fifty years.

Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward, and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a liberating principle, and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music, rather than to a musical genre such as jazz.

Some of the musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in jazz. Ellington melded them into the best-known orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Some members stayed with the orchestra for several decades. A master at writing miniatures for the three-minute 78 rpm recording format, Ellington often composed specifically to feature the style and skills of his individual musicians.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.



Duke Ellington Tracks

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Duke Ellington
Satin Doll
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Satin Doll
Count Basie
Jumpin' At The Woodside
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Jumpin' At The Woodside
Duke Ellington
Take The A Train
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Take The A Train
Duke Ellington
Black, Brown and Beige: Part V (Come Sunday Interlude)
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Black, Brown and Beige: Part V (Come Sunday Interlude)
Duke Ellington
East St Louis Toodle-Oo
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East St Louis Toodle-Oo
Louis Armstrong
It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
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It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
Duke Ellington
Diminuendo In Blue (excerpt)
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Diminuendo In Blue (excerpt)
Duke Ellington
Bugle Breaks
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Bugle Breaks
Duke Ellington
Main Stem
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Main Stem
Duke Ellington
Fragmented Suite
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Fragmented Suite
Duke Ellington
Come Sunday (feat. Mahalia Jackson)
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Come Sunday (feat. Mahalia Jackson)
Duke Ellington
Jeep's Blues
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Jeep's Blues
Duke Ellington
Thanks For The Beautiful Land On The Delta
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Thanks For The Beautiful Land On The Delta
Duke Ellington
Take the "A" Train (Live at Newport 1956)
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Take the "A" Train (Live at Newport 1956)
Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Duke Ellington & Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
Sugar Rum Cherry
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Sugar Rum Cherry
Duke Ellington
Rockin' In Rhythm (Proms 2014)
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Rockin' In Rhythm (Proms 2014)
Duke Ellington
Little Brown Book
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Little Brown Book
Duke Ellington
La Plus Belle Africaine
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La Plus Belle Africaine
Louis Armstrong
It Don’t Mean A Thing
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It Don’t Mean A Thing
Duke Ellington
I Can’t Get Started
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I Can’t Get Started
Duke Ellington
In A Mellow Tone
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In A Mellow Tone
Duke Ellington
I'm Checkin' Out, Goombye
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I'm Checkin' Out, Goombye
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Playlists featuring Duke Ellington


Past BBC Events

Proms 2012: Prom 38: National Youth Jazz Orchestra
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e9crzc
Royal Albert Hall
2012-08-10T19:43:56
10
Aug
2012

Proms 2012: Prom 38: National Youth Jazz Orchestra

22:15
Royal Albert Hall

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