Duke Ellington

US 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

Duke Ellington
Creole Love Call
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Creole Love Call

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Duke Ellington
Take all my loves & My love is a fever
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Take all my loves & My love is a fever
Duke Ellington
Take the "A" Train (Live at Newport 1956)
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Take the "A" Train (Live at Newport 1956)
Duke Ellington
Sultry Sunset
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Sultry Sunset
Duke Ellington
In A Sentimental Mood
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In A Sentimental Mood
Duke Ellington
Blue Skies
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Blue Skies
Ella Fitzgerald
Mack The Knife
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Mack The Knife
Duke Ellington
Make No Mistake
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Make No Mistake
Duke Ellington
Portrait Of Mahalia Jackson
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Portrait Of Mahalia Jackson
Duke Ellington
Black And Tan Fantasy
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Black And Tan Fantasy
Duke Ellington
In The Beginning God (Excerpt)
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In The Beginning God (Excerpt)
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Three Black Kings: No. 1, King of the Magi (feat. JoAnn Falletta)
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Three Black Kings: No. 1, King of the Magi (feat. JoAnn Falletta)
Duke Ellington
Mr J B Blues
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Mr J B Blues
Duke Ellington
I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart
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I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart
Duke Ellington
Take The A Train
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Take The A Train
Duke Ellington
Creole Love Call
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Creole Love Call
Duke Ellington
Black And Tan Fantasy (live)
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Black And Tan Fantasy (live)
Duke Ellington
Ad Lib On Nippon
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Ad Lib On Nippon
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
Mood Indigo
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Mood Indigo
Duke Ellington
Wild Man (Wild Man Moore)
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Wild Man (Wild Man Moore)
Duke Ellington
Lotus Blossom
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Lotus Blossom
Duke Ellington
Sophisticated Lady
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Sophisticated Lady
Duke Ellington
Money Jungle
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Money Jungle
Duke Ellington
Isfahan
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Isfahan
Duke Ellington
Tootin' Through the Roof
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Tootin' Through the Roof
Louis Armstrong
The Beautiful American
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The Beautiful American
Duke Ellington
Jumpin' At The Woodside
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Jumpin' At The Woodside
Duke Ellington
Bluebird of Delhi
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Bluebird of Delhi
Duke Ellington
Very Special
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Very Special
Duke Ellington
Up and Down, Up and Down (I will lead them up and down) from Such Sweet Thunder
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Up and Down, Up and Down (I will lead them up and down) from Such Sweet Thunder
Duke Ellington
It Dont Mean A Thing
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It Dont Mean A Thing
Duke Ellington
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
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Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Duke Ellington
Such Sweet Thunder (Cleo)
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Such Sweet Thunder (Cleo)
Duke Ellington
Isfahan (Far East Suite)
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Isfahan (Far East Suite)
Duke Ellington
St. Louis Blues
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St. Louis Blues
Duke Ellington
Star Dust
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Star Dust
Duke Ellington
Cotton Tail
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Cotton Tail
Duke Ellington
Across The Track Blues
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Across The Track Blues
Duke Ellington
Conga Brava
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Conga Brava
Duke Ellington
Whispering Grass
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Whispering Grass
Duke Ellington
Rockin In Rhythm
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Rockin In Rhythm
Duke Ellington
Sepia Panorama
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Sepia Panorama
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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
2012-08-10T09:19:46
10
Aug
2012

Proms 2012: Prom 38: National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Royal Albert Hall

Latest Duke Ellington News

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