Duke Ellington

Jazz Composer

Duke Ellington's Biography

On April 29, 1899 in Washinton D.C. Duke Ellington was born. He was raised by two musically talented parents and he began studing the piano at age seven. When Duke was 15 he wrote his first piece of music called, "Soda Fountian Rag." He began performing at age 17. Duke married Enda Thompson when he was 19. Duke performed in Broadway nightclubs in the 20s. He also performed in the Cotton Club. In the 30s, Duke toured Europe and his music was becoming a big hit. Some of his music was in radio shows and movies. In the 1940s, Duke hit his prime. He composed many amazing pieces like "Concerto for Cootie," "Cotton Tail" and "Ko-Ko." "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing," "Sophisticated Lady," Prelude to a Kiss," "Solitude", and "Satin Doll" were some of Duke's most popular songs. Duke Ellington won 13 Grammys for his music. He died on May 24, 1974. He was killed by lung cancer. Duke Ellington's music will always be remembered.
Duke Ellington - It don't mean a thing (1943)

"It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing"

This is Duke Ellington and his band performing "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing." Duke is playing the piano. Thsi piece of music was significant because it was on of the first songs to use swing. The swing in this song was before its time because the swing era in music was from 1935 to 1945 and this song was made in 1932. So this song came up with that type of music before it really existed. A swing is a musical term for rhythm between two different performers.

Duke Ellington and a Present Day musician

I think Duke Ellington is like the music group Daft Punk because they both introduced new sounds. Duke Ellington introduced the swing style of music and Daft Punk introduced a new techno sound. They have also won many Grammys. Duke Ellington has won 13 Grammys and Daft Punk won 5 this past Grammys.

How was Duke Ellington Significant to American culture

Duke Ellington was significant to American culture because he introduced the swing style of music. His music is still some of the most popular jazz music today. Duke was also important to the Harlem Renaissance because he was the main entertainment in Harlem.