Sunday, April 29, 2012

Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington, Great American Composer Born April 29, 1899

Duke Ellington's Concert of Sacred Music; Duke Ellington Harlem on Chandos; Duke Ellington's My People on Contact;  Duke Ellington: Black, Brown, and Beige: A Tone Parallel to the History of the American Negro on RCA Victor.

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an African American composer, pianist and jazz band leader who is featured at  He was born into a middle-class family in Washington, D.C. on April 29, 1899.  When he died in 1974, he had global stature as an All-American musician. 
A prominent figure in the history of jazz, Ellington's music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death, the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowing a special posthumous honor in 1999.

Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category".

No comments: