Duke Ellington


The Life of Duke Ellington

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington D.C and was raised by his two musical parents. At the young age of seven, he started learning piano and earned the name "Duke" because of his gentlemen ways. Ellington began to play professionally at only 17. He performed in Broadway nightclubs as the leader of a sextet. He searched for musicians who had unique playing styles, like Bubber Miley, who used a plunger to make a "wa-wa" sound. Ellington made hundreds of recordings, appeared in films and on radio, and even toured Europe twice in the 1930s. He composed many pieces, such as, "Cotton Tail," "Solitude," "Prelude to a Kiss," and "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing." Ellington had a sense of musical drama that made him stand out from other musicians. He blended melodies, and rhythms to give the audience a new experience like no other musician could.

Duke Ellington - It don't mean a thing (if it ain't got that swing)

This song was written in 1931 and lyrics were provided by Irving Mills. It is significant because it is one of Duke Ellington's most famous songs.
It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) - Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra (1932)

Duke Ellington Vs. Bruno Mars

Duke Ellington and Bruno Mars had one thing in common that completely influenced their life. Without it, they wouldn't be who they were or who they are today. They both had musical loving parents. Ellington's parents helped him pick up Piano, the instrument that started his career. Since Mars' parents loved music too, Bruno began making music at a young age and performed in many different musical venues in his hometown throughout his childhood. It is amazing to think that without the influence of two people, someone's whole life could change. I guess one person, or in this case two, can make a difference.

Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars

This is one of Bruno Mars' most popular songs. It was No. 1 for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2010.
Bruno Mars - Just The Way You Are [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Significance of Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was different from other Jazz artists. He used combinations of instruments, scales and harmonies that were mind blowing for his time. He took Jazz to a new level that no one had taken it before. Jazz was just starting to spread across the United States and Ellington took advantage of it and shared his music with the whole country. Ellington was also a composer of jazz. He helped bring it out of the darkness and into the world. He turned jazz from chaotic and disorganized, to ordered and organized. They sounded great too.