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Ellington was listed in the list of 100 Greatest African-American by scholar Molefi Kete Asante in 2002. https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/duke-ellington-352.php, Top NBA Players With No Championship Rings, Famous Role Models You Would Like To Meet, Celebrities Who Are Not In The Limelight Anymore, Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band, Best Instrumental Jazz Performance - Large Group or Soloist with Large Group, Best Instrumental Jazz Performance, Large Group or Soloist with Large Group, Best Soundtrack Album - Background Score From A Motion Picture Or Television, Best Musical Composition First Recorded And Released In 1959 (More Than 5 Minutes Duration), Best Musical Composition First Recorded and Released in 1959 (More than 5 Minutes in Duration), Best Soundtrack Album, Background Score - Motion Picture or Television. Early Life. The broken, eighth-note melodies and arrhythms of bebop had little impact on him, though on occasion he recorded with musicians who were not band members—not only with other swing-era luminaries such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Coleman Hawkins but also with later bop musicians John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. He was such a talented artist that he was awarded a scholarship to a school called the Pratt Institute, but he did not accept it. Ellington’s stylistic qualities were shared by Strayhorn, who increasingly participated in composing and orchestrating music for the Ellington band. One of the twentieth century's greatest artists, Ellington led a fascinating life. A giant on the 20th century American cultural scene, Duke Ellington was widely regarded as a legend during his own lifetime. By now Ellington’s Kentucky Club Orchestra grew to a group of ten players and they developed their own unique sound. The Life of Duke Ellington Timeline created by amoser. In 1931 Ellington began to create extended works, including such pieces as Creole Rhapsody, Reminiscing in Tempo, and Diminuendo in Blue/Crescendo in Blue. Biography Early life and education. In the case of Ellington’s Orchestra, radio exposure helped maintain popularity and his orchestra began to tour. ISBN 978-0-330-36732-5. The very first performance that he gave was at the True Reformer's Hall, from where he earned 75 cents. Second cousin of the artist Romare Bearden . A high point in Ellington’s career came in the early 1940s, when he composed several masterworks—including the above-mentioned “Concerto for Cootie,” his fast-tempo showpieces “Cotton Tail” and “Ko-Ko,” and the uniquely structured, compressed panoramas “Main Stem” and “Harlem Air Shaft”—in which successions of soloists are accompanied by diverse ensemble colours. They lived with his maternal grandparents at 2129 Ward Place, NW in Washington, D.C., USA. Not least of the band’s musicians was Ellington himself, a pianist whose style originated in ragtime and the stride piano idiom of James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith. It returned him to wider prominence and introduced him to a new generation of jazz fans. Duke Ellington's Early Years Duke Ellington was born in Washington D.C., and from an early age he loved music. He was truly a genius in the sense of instrument combinations, arranging jazz and improvising music that made Ellington stand unique among other composers of his time. In 1917 he started working as a freelance sign-painter and simultaneously began his hunt for bringing in together groups that could play for dances. During 1939–67 Strayhorn collaborated so closely with Ellington that jazz scholars may never determine how much the gifted deputy influenced or even composed works attributed to Ellington. Has one sister: Ruth. Ellington c. 1940s. Duke Ellington. His peers noticed his dressing style and natural grace and began referring to him as Duke. They performed for both African-American and white audiences which was quite rare in those times. Gjon Mili The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images SEE DETAILS. He usually played for embassy and private parties. 3 His image is part the central design on the reverse of the District of Columbia 25¢ commemorative coin issued in 2009, as part of the USA's Statehood Quarters series. Early life. One of American jazz’s most influential figures. Ellington grew up primarily in Harlem from the age of eight. He adapted his style for orchestral purposes, accompanying with vivid harmonic colours and, especially in later years, offering swinging solos with angular melodies. He was entombed in the Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York City. A number of these hits were introduced by Ivy Anderson, who was the band’s female vocalist in the 1930s. Duke Ellington was a prominent figure in the movement of African Americans. Apr 29, 1899. born in washington d.c. as edward ellington Duke was born in Washington DC. - Biography of Duke Ellington, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame - Biography of Duke Ellington, Songwriters Hall of Fame - Biography of Duke Ellington, Duke Ellington - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Duke Ellington - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Not limiting himself to jazz innovation, Ellington also wrote such great popular songs as “Sophisticated Lady,” “Rocks in My Bed,” and “Satin Doll;” in other songs, such as “Don’t Get Around Much Any More,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “Solitude,” and “I Let a Song Go out of My Heart,” he made wide interval leaps an Ellington trademark. He is regarded as one of the greatest jazz composers and a prolific performer of his time. Charles Ives is perhaps his only rival for the title of the greatest American composer. Edward Kennedy Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 to James Edward Ellington and Daisy Kennedy Ellington. Childhood & Early Life Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington D.C. His father James Edward Ellington and mother Daisy Kennedy Ellington were pianists. In 2010, a park was named after him across the street from his birth site named Duke Ellington Park. He began performing music professionally at age 17. Often collaborating with his longtime composing-arranging partner Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington was responsible for big-band jazz classics such as “Take the ‘A’ Train” (written by Strayhorn), “Mood Indigo,” “Echoes of Harlem,” “Concerto for Cootie,” “Cotton Tail,” and “Ko-Ko” as well as popular songs such as “Sophisticated Lady” and “Prelude to a Kiss.”. Three months shy of graduation, Duke dropped out of school and began his life as a professional musician. Duke couldn’t wait to get home and try them out. It was one of the many collaborations of Duke Ellington in the early 1960s with musicians like; Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Max Roach, and Charles Mingus. Ellington was celebrated in Stevie Wonder's song "Sir Duke" (from "Songs in the Key of Life" (1976)). Most of his musical works on instruments set standards for others, which were later adapted into songs. Ellington wrote motion-picture scores for The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and composed for the ballet and theatre—including, at the height of the American civil rights movement, the show My People (1964), a celebration of African American life. 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 six decades. With his creative genius, Ellington elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional musical genres. Early Life Edward Kennedy Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Christopher Cameron When Ellington’s drummer Sonny Greer joined the Wilber Sweatman Orchestra in New York City, he decided to leave behind his successful career in Washington, D.C., and moved to Harlem. This school was originally build in 1935 and named the Calvert Street Bridge. Ellington was celebrated in Stevie Wonder's song "Sir Duke" (from "Songs in the Key of Life" (1976)). One of Ellington's first professional gigs was a party where he played so long that his hand bled. ISBN 978-1-592-40749-1. He continued to lead the band until shortly before his death in 1974. Duke Ellington's original 14-member band included such musicians as cornetist Rex Stewart, trombonist Lawrence Brown, baritone saxophonist Harry Carney, and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges. Some records of this era include: "Mood Indigo", "Sophisticated Lady", "Solitude", and "In a Sentimental Mood". When Duke was seven years old, he began taking piano lessons. About Duke Ellington. When he was four years old, he listened to his mother play a popular piano tune called "The Rosary" and he cried, saying, "It was so pretty. Corrections? Early Life. Duke had a job once as a soda jerk, later he wrote his very first composition, "Soda Fountain Rag" at age 15. Skip to content. He helped compose more than 1,000 original pieces, many of which became standards. They named him Mercer Kennedy Ellington. Famous as: Composer, Pianist and Bandleader, Quotes By Duke Ellington Extended residencies at the Cotton Club in Harlem (1927–32, 1937–38) stimulated Ellington to enlarge his band to 14 musicians and to expand his compositional scope. Period: Nov 8, 1900 to Nov 8, 1975. The first job that he did was of selling peanuts at Washington Senators baseball games. He started building his music business through sign painting. It was into this world that Duke Ellington was born in Washington's west end on April 29, 1899 and through which he moved as a young man. 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. Using new harmonies to blend his musicians’ individual sounds and illuminating subtle moods with ingenious combinations of instruments, he created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds of Western music. A coin featuring Ellington was launched on February 24, 2009, in the United States. Ellington’s sense of musical drama and of his players’ special talents and his wide range of moods were rare indeed. He was raised by a middle-class African-American family, and his parents were both pianists. He earned 75 cents. Inducted into the International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers (ISJAC) Hall of Fame in 2017 (inaugural class). By his late teens, he was making enough money to help his parents move into a better house. His band included Sonny Greer on drums, his childhood friend Otto Hardwick on alto saxophone, Elmer Snowden on banjo and Arthur Whetsol on trumpet. Jazz’s evolution moved … He took lessons for the same from Marietta Clinkscales. His career spanned more than half a century—most of the documented history of jazz. Benefiting from the expertise of a large ensemble that included several important jazz artists, Duke Ellington broke away from the conventions of band-section scoring. Duke Ellington, byname of Edward Kennedy Ellington, (born April 29, 1899, Washington, D.C., U.S.—died May 24, 1974, New York, N.Y.), American pianist who was … Latest Issue + Gallery Of. Quote Of The Day | Top 100 Quotes, See the events in life of Duke Ellington in Chronological Order. Duke Ellington Building at 2121 Ward Place, NW got a bronze plaque attached to it in 1989. They parted ways in late twenties and in the year 1928 Mildred Dixon became Ellington’s companion and managed his company and travelled with him on his tours. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Tucker traces Ellington's childhood and young adult years in Washington, D. C. where he got his start as a ragtime pianist, and also draws on accounts from newspapers, periodicals, and trade publications. Ellington married his high school sweetheart Edna Thompson on July 2, 1918 at the age of 19. After his death, his band was controlled by his son, and they continued to release albums even after his death. Battling both lung cancer and pneumonia, Ellington and his jazz orchestra nonetheless delighted a capacity crowd in the University Center (now HSC) ballroom on March 20, 1974. EDWARD KENNEDY ELLINGTON was born in a middle class family on April 29th 1899 in Washington DC. Duke - A Life of Duke Ellington. African American Men, children: Beatrice Ellis, Mercer Kennedy Ellington, Quotes By Duke Ellington | Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Whenever someone asked him to make a sign for a dance or party, he enquired if they had arranged for music and offered to play for them. *Includes pictures *Includes Duke Ellington's quotes about his life and career *Includes a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.” – Duke Ellington “Art is dangerous. Duke Ellington was born to James Edward and Daisy Ellington on April 29th, 1899 in Washington D.C. Ellington was brought up by talented musical parents. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Photos of Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie and other jazz legends playing at photographer Gjon Mili's studio in the 1940s. New York: Gotham Books. He drew inspiration from many piano players namely Phil Wurd, Caroline Thornton, Luckey Roberts, Turner Layton, Gertie Wells, Clarence Bowser, Sticky Mack, Harvey Brooks, Claude Hopkins, Eubie Blake, Doc Perry, Cliff Jackson, Joe Rochester, Lester Dishman, Louis Brown and Blind Johnny. Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, in Washington DC to parents James Ellington and Daisy Ellington. Both of his parents were pianists, and his father also made blueprints for the United States Navy. preferred operatic arias. Few of Ellington’s soloists, despite their importance to jazz history, played as effectively in other contexts; no one else, it seemed, could match the inspiration that Ellington provided with his sensitive, masterful settings. It was followed by, among others, Liberian Suite (1947); A Drum Is a Woman (1956), created for a television production; Such Sweet Thunder (1957), impressions of William Shakespeare’s scenes and characters; a recomposed, reorchestrated version of Nutcracker Suite (1960; after Peter Tchaikovsky); Far East Suite (1964); and Togo Brava Suite (1971). Edward Kennedy Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 to James Edward Ellington and Daisy Kennedy Ellington. Daisy primarily played parlor songs and J.E. This agreement with Mills allowed him to record prolifically, which, in turn, brought popular recognition to Ellington. A dapper dresser from an early age, Ellington was given the name “Duke” by friends who admired his style. Early life. By the end of 1924 Ellington made eight records among three of which received composing credit, which included, ‘ChooChoo’. Early career In 1917, Ellington formed his first group, The Duke’s Serenaders. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, to James Edward Ellington and Daisy (Kennedy) Ellington in Washington, DC. He began singing with the blues. By age seven he was taking piano lessons, and he was a comp… Duke Ellington's contributions to jazz and American music were simply enormous. With the additional guidance that he received from the pianists in his home town and from band leader Oliver "Doc" Perry, he inculcated a better understanding of the instrument, learned to read music sheets, improved his technique and projected a professional style. Like Duke his parents were pretty talented musical people. Early life. Duke Ellington grew up in Washington, D.C., in a secure middle-class family that encouraged his interests in the fine arts. Early Life Born April 29, 1899, Ellington was raised by two talented and musical parents in a bourgeois district of Washington, DC. We know Edward Kennedy Ellington as "the Duke": innovative composer, indefatigable jazz orchestra leader; elegant, witty, sensual, sophisticated citizen of the world. For nearly fifty years, Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington was one of America's most famous musicians. On March 11, 1919 they were blessed with a baby boy, their first and only child. Duke Ellington's Early Years At age 15, Ellington worked at a soda fountain and wrote his first song, "Soda Fountain Rag." Early Life of a Star. They stayed with his maternal grandparents at 2129 Ida Place which is now called Ward Place, NW in the West End neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Early Life Experience of Duke Ellington. He was the only child of the composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington and his high school sweetheart Edna Thompson (d. 1967). Strayhorn was born in Dayton, Ohio.His family soon moved to the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.However, his mother's family was from Hillsborough, North Carolina, and she sent him there to protect him from his father's drunken sprees.Strayhorn spent many months of his childhood at his grandparents' house in Hillsborough. He was the only child of the composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington and his high school sweetheart Edna Thompson (d. 1967). They moved back to Washington D.C. and struggled for a while. "It was the most money I had ever seen," he said. The story goes that Ellington’s self-confidence and flashy clothes as a young man won him the nickname “Duke.” Early on, he felt the pull of the bright lights of the big city up north. He pursued his education from Armstrong Technical High School in Washington, D.C. Early Life Born April 29, 1899, Ellington was raised by two talented and musical parents in a bourgeois district of Washington, DC. Ellington died on May 24, 1974, due to pneumonia and lung cancer. Oct 26, 1918. he play misc at partys. He called his music American Music, not jazz. Duke Ellington's Early Years At age 15, Ellington worked at a soda fountain and wrote his first song, "Soda Fountain Rag." Edward Kennedy Ellington, better known as Duke, played the last full concert of his 75-year life as the highlight of NIU’s 75 th anniversary celebration in 1974.. As a composer, Ellington ranked with George … Introducing, the band leader who is famous for wearing a sharp tuxedo and writing and playing great jazz music: Mr. Duke Ellington! With these exceptional musicians, who remained with him throughout the 1930s, Ellington made hundreds of recordings, appeared in films and on radio, and toured Europe in 1933 and 1939. Duke Ellington was the greatest jazz composer and bandleader of his time. When Duke was 7 years old he started to study to play piano. Updates? Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C provides education to students who aspire to consider career in arts. MENU. John Coltrane & Duke Ellington In the early 60’s an album was release with the title John Coltrane & Duke Ellington. In September 1927, King Oliver's (American jazz cornet player and bandleader) refusal to play as the house band at Harlem's Cotton Club landed the deal in Ellington's favor and weekly radio broadcasts from the club gave Ellington national exposure. They got to play in Atlantic City and the limited exposure they got earned them a gig at Exclusive Club in Harlem. He also wrote many great and popular songs as “Sophisticated Lady,” “Rocks in My Bed,” and “Satin Doll”; “Don’t Get Around Much Any More,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “Solitude,” and “I Let a Song Go out of My Heart”. Ellington’s symphonic A Rhapsody of Negro Life was the basis for the film short Symphony in Black (1935), which also features the voice of Billie Holiday (uncredited). Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Trivia Info. They both played instruments, and Duke developed his musical talents early thanks to their influence. In 1924, Snowden left the group and Ellington became the bandleader. A major new biography of Duke Ellington from the acclaimed author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was the greatest jazz composer of the twentieth century—and an impenetrably enigmatic personality whom no one, not even his closest friends, claimed to understand. He began studying piano at age seven, studied art during his high-school years, and was awarded (but did not accept) a scholarship to the Pratt Institute. He was a very popular musician and poet. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. 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