Duke Ellington

American composer, pianist, & jazz bandleader. Born 29 April 1899. Died 24 May 1974
Duke Ellington
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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 leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than 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. Although 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 jazz musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in the idiom. 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 wrote more than one thousand compositions; his extensive body of work is the largest recorded personal jazz legacy, with many of his pieces having become standards. Ellington also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, for example Juan Tizol's "Caravan", and "Perdido", which brought a Spanish tinge to big band jazz. In the early 1940s, Ellington began a nearly thirty-year collaboration with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his writing and arranging companion. With Strayhorn, he composed many extended compositions, or suites, as well as additional short pieces. Following an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, in July 1956, Ellington and his orchestra enjoyed a major revival and embarked on world tours. Ellington recorded for most American record companies of his era, performed in several films, scored several, and composed a...

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Duke Ellington Performances & Interviews


Duke Ellington Tracks

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Duke Ellington
Come Sunday (Accapella)
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Come Sunday (Accapella)
Duke Ellington
Mood Indigo
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Mood Indigo
Duke Ellington
Just Squeeze Me
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Just Squeeze Me
Duke Ellington
Tulip Or Turnip
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Tulip Or Turnip
Duke Ellington
Morning Glory
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Morning Glory
Duke Ellington
Black and Tan Fantasy
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Black and Tan Fantasy

Black and Tan Fantasy

Performer
his Orchestra
Duke Ellington
Creole Love Call
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Creole Love Call
Duke Ellington
Isfahan (Far East Suite)
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Isfahan (Far East Suite)
Duke Ellington
Body and Soul
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Body and Soul
Duke Ellington
Take the "A" Train (Live at Newport 1956)
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Take the "A" Train (Live at Newport 1956)
Duke Ellington
At Your Beck And Call
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At Your Beck And Call
Duke Ellington
Mood Indigo
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Mood Indigo

Mood Indigo

Orchestra
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Ella Fitzgerald
Mack The Knife
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Mack The Knife
Duke Ellington
In A Sentimental Mood
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In A Sentimental Mood
Duke Ellington
Let's Do It - Live (Stockholm 1966)
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Let's Do It - Live (Stockholm 1966)
Duke Ellington
Take The A Train
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Take The A Train
Duke Ellington
Take the "A" Train
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Take the "A" Train
Duke Ellington
African Flowers
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African Flowers
Duke Ellington
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)
Louis Armstrong
Duke`s Place
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Duke`s Place
Voces8
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
Satin Doll
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Satin Doll
Duke Ellington
Paris Blues
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Paris Blues
Duke Ellington
Anatomy Of A Murder
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Anatomy Of A Murder
Duke Ellington
Sophisticated Lady
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Sophisticated Lady
Duke Ellington
East St Louis Toodle-Oo
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East St Louis Toodle-Oo
Duke Ellington
The Feeling Of Jazz
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The Feeling Of Jazz
Duke Ellington
Drop Me Off in Harlem
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Drop Me Off in Harlem

Drop Me Off in Harlem

Ensemble
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Duke Ellington
2 pieces from 'Anatomy of a Murder' Suite
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2 pieces from 'Anatomy of a Murder' Suite
Duke Ellington
Blues In Orbit
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Blues In Orbit
Louis Armstrong
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
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Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
Duke Ellington
Sidewalks of New York
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Sidewalks of New York
Edvard Grieg
Solveig's Song (Peer Gynt)
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Solveig's Song (Peer Gynt)
Duke Ellington
Blue Pepper (Far East Of The Blues)
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Blue Pepper (Far East Of The Blues)
Duke Ellington
Come Sunday Interlude (excerpt)
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Come Sunday Interlude (excerpt)

Come Sunday Interlude (excerpt)

Performer
Ray Nance (violin), Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
Duke Ellington
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
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Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Duke Ellington
Sugar Rum Cherry (The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy)
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Sugar Rum Cherry (The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy)
Duke Ellington
Jones
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Jones
Duke Ellington
The Jeep Is Jumping
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The Jeep Is Jumping
Duke Ellington
Fleurette Africaine
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Fleurette Africaine
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Playlists featuring Duke Ellington


Past BBC Events

Proms 2012: Prom 38: National Youth Jazz Orchestra
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e9crzc
Royal Albert Hall
2012-08-10T22:31:27
10
Aug
2012

Proms 2012: Prom 38: National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Royal Albert Hall

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