"Duke" Ellington

Ellie Simonpietri

"Music is how I live, why I live and how I will be remembered."

Duke Elington

Edward Ellington was born on April 19, 1899 in Washington D.C. to two talented middle-class parents. Ellington started to study piano at the age of 17. When he was 19 he married Edna Thomson, who was his girlfriend since highschoool. After marrige, they had a child named Mercer Kennedy Ellington. He got his nickname "Duke" for being such a gentleman. Duke started his career by preforming in night clubs. Eventually they even took two tours in Europe. He died of lung cancer and pneumonia at 75 his last words were "Music is how I live, why I live, and how I will be remembered."

How Was Duke Ellington Significant to American Culture?

Duke Ellington set the standards for jazz. For all the other musicians in the Harlem Renaissance, and even up to today, they had to reach a certain standard for people to listen to them that Ellington had exceeded. Also Ellington was a "Founding Father" of jazz. The way jazz sounds is because Duke Ellington did jazz that way, and people liked it.
Duke Ellington - It don't mean a thing (1943)

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

This was one of the first song title to have swing in it. This made the word "swing" into everyday language. Ray Nance was the vocalist most often. This song was entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire is an American jazz musician. He went on tours in Europe. In 2007 he won Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. If you listen to the trumpet music he is making you can relate it to Duke Ellington. I think this because they can both use very long notes. Of course I think this because I can't play the trumpet at all. Of course Duke Ellington is most famous for his quick short notes, I think if you put Ambrose Akinmusire's music with Duke Ellington's music, it would sound really good.

Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet - Like a Jazz Machine 2014

An Exapmle of Ambrose Akinmusire's Long Notes

Duke Ellington - Switzerland '59 6/7 [Cat Anderson's "El Gato"]

An Example of Duke Ellington's Quick Notes