Duke Ellington, composer, bandleader, pianist
Composer ~ Bandleader
birth name: Edward Kennedy Ellington

Duke Ellington

April 29, 1899, Washington DC ~ May 24, 1974, New York, NY

“It's like an act of murder; you play with intent to commit something.” ~ Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington called his music “American Music” rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as “beyond category.” He remains one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music and is widely considered as one of the twentieth century's best known African American personalites. ~ DukeEllington.com: Duke Ellington ~ retrieved April 21, 2014 © DukeEllington.com

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Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

April 29, 1961 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Ernie K-Doe, Mother-In-Law ~ #2 (1) the Marcels, Blue Moon ~ #1 (2) Del Shannon, Runaway


By the time of his passing, he was considered amongst the world's greatest composers and musicians. The French government honored him with their highest award, the Legion of Honor, while the government of the United States bestowed upon him the highest civil honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He played for the royalty and for the common people and by the end of his 50-year career, he had played over 20,000 performances worldwide. He was The Duke, Duke Ellington. ~ All about Jazz: Duke Ellington ~ retrieved April 21, 2014 © All About Jazz

Nicknamed “Duke” as a youngster, Ellington turned down a visual arts scholarship to focus his life on music. With a background in classical, popular, ragtime, and stride music, Ellington emerged as arguably the greatest single talent in the history of jazz. ~ Library Of Congress: April 29, Duke Ellington ~ retrieved May 1, 2016 © Library Of Congress

Duke Ellington ~ Inducted in the 1971 Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

Duke Ellington ~ Live: At Newport (1956) ~ Named one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die in 2008.

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