Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

The most significant composer in jazz history.

Founded

April 29, 1899 in Washington, DC

Full Name

Edward Kennedy Ellington

Date of Birth

April 29, 1899 in Washington, DC

Still Alive

Date of Death

May 24, 1974 in New York, New York

Influenced By

Ragtime pianists, James P. Johnson, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Fats Waller

Later Influenced

Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, and almost every other jazz artist who followed him.

Duke Ellington at the piano.
Duke Ellington at the piano.

About The artist

"Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his band members, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards."
William Ruhlmann, Allmusic.com

Did you know...

Duke's father, James Edward Ellington, was a butler in the White House.

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