Duke Ellington Biography

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Music 101- Music History and Appreciation Research Paper 20 April 2012 Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974) Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington is an African American and he wasn’t any ordinary man you just might be thinking where did the name “Duke” come from and who gave it to him. As you read on you will learn some interesting facts about Ellington. Well to start it all of Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born the April 29, 1899 in Washington D.C. (G.schirmer). He started piano lessons at the age of 7 and was taught private lessons in harmony (G.schirmer). He was a composer who played the piano who wrote over 3000 compositions and ragtime pianists was one of Ellington’s earliest influences (Ellington). The music he played wasn’t…show more content…
What you will be reading next is about his music career and his achievements he made through music. From the year 1917 through 1919 Ellington’s music career launched. He worked at a shop making signs and would ask customers that ask for party or dance sign do they have musical entertainment and if they say no he would ask if he could play for them. In 1917 he formed his first group called “The Duke’s Serenades.” he played at the True Reformer’s Hall and made 75cents and that was his first play date (robinson) they also did as well as any black band could in the 1930s and 1940s (joseph kerman). Ellington won lots of Grammy Awards from 1959 through 1999, he got awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and best Jazz Performance by a big band (e. ellington). Even though he was known for composing leading and performing just about 2000 big band Jazz pieces, Ellington also found time to compose orchestral, chamber, and solo piano works in the classical genre also he was most prolific composer of the twentieth (e. ellington). In the history of music his development was one of the most spectacular. He underscored more than fifty years of sustained achievements as an artist and entertainer (e. ellington). Many people consider Ellington to be America’s greatest composer, recording artist and band leader (PBS). He synthesized many of the elements of American music “The Minstrel Song”, “Ragtime”, “Tin Pan Alley Tunes”,…show more content…
ellington). Ellington was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 (G.schirmer). In 1970 he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters (e. ellington). On Ellington’s seventieth birthday he was honored by President Richard Nixon at the white house ceremony and was given the Medal of Freedom (Ellington). He was awarded a doctor of music degree in 1967 from Yale University and the city of New York gave him a prize. Morgan State and Washington Universities gave him honorary degree that same year (e. ellington). Ellington was the recipient of numerous Grammy Awards throughout his career also he was awarded the Springarn Medal from the (NAACP) National Association for the Advancement of Color People. His influence over musicians is as important today as it was during Ellington’s time because many people learned from Ellington and want to be great just like him. He continued to compose and perform until he died May 24, 1974 in New York also Ellington’s son Mercer headed the band for his father (d. ellington). Phyl Garland said in Ebony “Ellington will always be remembered for the daring innovations that came to mark his music” (e. ellington), he was also one of the five jazz musicians ever to have been featured on the cover of “Time” and the other four being Louis Armstrong,

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