Duke Ellington

"A problem is a chance to do your best" - Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington - It don't mean a thing (1943)

This is one of Duke Ellingtons famous pieces. "It don't mean a thing.

This piece was written and arranged by Duke Ellington in 1931 with lyrics by Irving Mills. This piece is significant because it was his first Giant hit in music. It was so popular and that kept him making music because of all the support he got.

Biography of Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was born April 29, 1899 in Washington, DC. Duke Ellington was a famous Composer, bandleader of jazz orchestras and pianist. His career was over 50 years from 1923 to when he died in 1974 because of pneumonia, and Lung Cancer. He wrote many famous pieces including the one above "It don't mean a thing", and "Take the A train." He began playing the piano when he was a child. His mother also played the piano. When he was seventeen he started to professional play. He moved to New York in 1923 to start his own band called the Washingtonians. He died in New York City, New York on May 27th, 1974. His career was over 50 years from 1923 to when he died in 1974 because of pneumonia, and Lung Cancer.


Duke Ellington had enormous contributions to the world. He had over 2,000 songs and many of them were big hits! He toured the world for almost 50 years, and had over 20,000 performances. Even today his recordings are still some of the most popular jazz pieces. He had one of the most spectacular developments in the history of music. He was considered Americas best bandleader, composer, and recording artist. The extent of Ellington's actions helped to redefine the various forms that he worked. Ellington also made many of the elements of American music including the minstrel song, and ragtime.

Kari Ikonen

The man that I chose to compare with Duke Ellington was Kari Ikonen. One of his pieces is down below as you listen try to hear the piano. That is Kari Ikonen. Like Duke Ellington he also started on the piano and is still playing it today. Ikonen is named the top jazz musician of these days and has really surprised many people just like Duke Ellington. Kari Ikonen was born on 1973 and is still living. He also has many famous pieces including this one "My Land".
My Land