Duke Ellington

by Christian King

A Short Biography of Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was born in Washington D.C. on April 29th, 1899. In his days of youth, Ellington was raised by two parents, both talented in music. Whenever he was a teenager, he worked as a soda jerk. This career path inspired him to create his first composition, "Soda Fountain Rag," at the early age of 15. Due to this composition, he was awarded an Art Scholarship at the Pratt institute. Despite this, Ellington chose to follow his affection for ragtime, and began to play it professionally at 17 years old. Duke Ellington's major role during the 1920's was being an entertainer for the people. He was a major jazz musician for more than half a century, who was brought to fame by the diverse sounds he used in his music.

Duke Ellington was a large influence on the Harlem Renaissance, and a large supporter of the nightclubs, due to it being his main source of income. He also had very negative opinions on the Klu Klux Klan. Throughout his life, Ellington won 9 Grammy's, along with 3 Grammy's after his death. The main thing that made him famous during the 1920's was his sextet which he preformed with in Broadway nightclubs. His group impacted the society of the '20s primarily through entertainment, and his music got many people to start frequently going to nightclubs to listen to jazz, blues and ragtime. Duke Ellington is currently mainly remembered for the way he changed ragtime music, along with his large impact of American people through his music.

Duke Ellington Video BIO

Duke Ellington - Mini Bio

Movie Questions

Q.1: When was Duke Ellington born?

Q.2: When did Duke Ellington die?