Duke Ellington was a distinctive and pivotal figure in the world of jazz. While many critics agree that his flair for style far exceeded his raw musical talent, few dispute the significance of his impact on the music scene in the United States and abroad. With the variously named bands he led for more than fifty years, Ellington was responsible for many innovations in the jazz field, such as "jungle-style" use of the growl and plunger and the manipulation of the human voice as an instrument--singing notes without words. During the course of his long career, Ellington was showered with many honors, including the highest civilian award granted by the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was presented to him by President Richard M.
Sources Duke Ellington was a distinctive and pivotal figure in the world of jazz. While many critics agree that his flair for style far exceeded his raw musical talent, few dispute the significance of his impact on the music scene in the United States and abroad.
During the course of his long career, Ellington was showered with many honors, including the highest civilian award granted by the United Statesthe Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was presented to him by President Richard M. He was brought up in a cultured, middle-class household: Navy and served as a White House butler for extra income, and his mother, who hailed from a respected Washington family, set a dignified tone for the family to follow.
The Harlem Renaissance —a period of heightened pride, interest, and activity in black arts and culture—was beginning to dawn. Rigid self-discipline was cast aside, and people began to indulge in the satisfaction of a variety of earthly desires.
Left high school in his senior year; later received honorary diploma. Worked in a soda shop and as a sign painter, c. Navy and State Department messenger during World War I ; formed his first band, ; performed in Washington, DC and New York City during the s; toured Europe in the s; appeared many times at Newport Jazz Festival ; concert performer and recording artist primarily on Reprise and RCA labels with his various bands until his death in New OrleansLouisiana is generally regarded as the hot spot in music history where ragtime, blues, and other forms coalesced, giving birth to jazz.
The stir it created there encouraged an entrepreneur to bring… the Original Dixieland Jazz Band to New Yorkwhere it also made a hit… [Their] records became best-sellers, and the jazz boom began. The independent-minded Ellington fell in love with the sounds of the time.
His Life and Music. A Late Bloomer Both his father and his mother could play the piano, and Ellington was exposed to music at an early age.
The Ellingtons were strongly religious and hoped that if their son learned piano he would later exchange it for the church organ, but at first he showed little interest in music. He proved to be an uncooperative student of his ironically named piano teacher—Miss Clinkscales—and managed to wrangle his way out of lessons after just a few months.
As he grew older, Ellington became interested in drawing and painting. But a latent interest in music kept him from pursuing a career in art. Ellington lacked the self-discipline to engage in the formal study of the piano.
But Ellington never really learned to read music, and he could never play a musical selection for piano on demand. In an essay dated September in Duke Ellington: Around the same time, Ellington married schoolmate Edna Thompson, who had become pregnant with their son, Mercer.
Influenced by the style of earlier jazz artist Doc Perry, Ellington continued to work on his piano playing and, after the end of World War Iformed his own band. Critics contend that it was his band, rather than his piano, that was his true instrument.
He composed not so much with a particular instrument in mind, but rather thinking of the current band member who played that instrument, suiting the music to the style of the player.
Ellington and his band, then known as the Washingtonians, began playing local clubs and parties in Washington, D.Ellington recorded for most American record companies of his era, performed in several films, scoring several, and composed stage musicals.
There are hundreds of albums dedicated to the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn by artists famous and obscure. Sophisticated Ladies.
Duke Ellington (Edward Kennedy Ellington), –, American jazz musician and composer, b. Washington, D.C.
Ellington made his first professional appearance as a jazz pianist in Washington, D.C. Ellington made his first professional appearance as a jazz pianist in “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” Considered one of the greatest jazz composers of all time, Duke Ellington had an enormous impact on the popular music .
Sep 27, · Jimmy Blanton, byname of James Blanton, (born October , Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.—died July 30, , Monrovia, California), African American jazz musician whose innovative string bass techniques and concepts, displayed during his two years in the Duke Ellington band, made him by far the major influence on subsequent jazz bassists for several decades.
Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington, American pianist who was the greatest jazz composer and bandleader of his time. One of the originators of big-band jazz, Ellington led his band for more than half a century, composed thousands of scores, and created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in .
Duke Ellington: Biography. Duke Ellington's contributions to jazz and American music were simply enormous. As a bandleader, his orchestra during was always among the top five, whether it be or