ABC Jazz Home > Just Played > Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington

Artist Note

Duke Ellington's Wikipedia Entry



Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 - May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist and bandleader of jazz orchestras. He led his orchestra from 1923 until his death, his career spanning over 50 years. Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward, and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a liberating principle, and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music, rather than to a musical genre such as jazz. Some of the musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered to be among the best players in jazz. Ellington melded them into the best-known orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Some members stayed with the...

This entry is automatically sourced from Wikipedia external link, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under CC-BY-SA external link. Visit Duke Ellington external link on Wikipedia to correct or update this entry. Any changes made to the Wikipedia article will not be immediately available here. The ABC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Alert moderator


tag Register to add tags

Recently Played on ABC Jazz.

9:32am Aug 7
album cover
SongConcerto For Cootie
ArtistDuke Ellington
AlbumThe Great Paris Concert
LabelAtlantic Jazz
1:44am Aug 7
album cover
SongBrown-skin Gal
ArtistDuke Ellington
AlbumElla At Duke's Place
10:00pm Aug 5
album cover
ArtistDuke Ellington
Album...And His Mother Called Him Bill
9:34am Aug 5
album cover
ArtistDuke Ellington
AlbumDuke Ellington & John Coltrane
8:13pm Aug 4
album cover
ArtistDuke Ellington
AlbumDuke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
See more 'Just Played' Songs on ABC Jazz
Duke EllingtonDuke EllingtonDuke EllingtonDuke EllingtonDuke Ellington

Non-ABC images are automatically sourced from Discogs external link, a community-built database of music information. The ABC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Alert moderator


Jun 10, 2016. 9:06pm
portableac91 recommended this
Mar 8, 2010. 5:47pm
akey recommended this
Aug 6, 2009. 12:01pm
Swingwombat recommended this
Jul 13, 2009. 3:55pm
simonhn recommended this


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
On Jul 29, 2009. 11:50am
Gemusic said

What would be be without the Duke? He was and always will be Jazz.

On Jun 6, 2010. 5:00pm
Anonymous said

recommend this

On Apr 6, 2011. 12:38pm
Christopher Lynch said

Duke to me, is "The Emperor" in terms of jazz royalty. If I were to pick the greatest live jazz concert I ever attended, it would be Duke's live performance at Melbourne's Festival Hall many decades ago when I was a wide-eyed young jazz lover. To say that astonishing band was star-studded, would be a gross understatement! - Cat Anderson, Cootie Williams, Rufus 'Speedy'Jones, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, Lawrence Brown and more, all right there in front of me in their smart band uniforms. Even the way the guys loosely wandered on stage one at a time had style! That band was as hot as the night on which it took place, but how blessed I was to be there. I wonder if any other readers remember that thrilling night? (I recall being driven there with some other passionate jazz lovers whose names I fully recall, in a wonderful old Morris Oxford, if my memory is correct.) The band played all those superb old tunes - we sang along with "I'm Beginning To See The Light" - along with excerpts from the then new "Far East Suite." The highlight that night musically for me was "Harlem", from "Black, Brown & Beige".

On May 1, 2013. 2:37pm
Grace said

Great music, and I love it, but it wasn't really jazz, you know. One or two players got the odd 8 bars of glorious freedom to improvise, but in general all the parts were written and not very much at all was improvised on the spot. But it's still great music. I'd call it swing, rather than jazz. As a player myself, the "player conditions" I really envy is, Duke wrote these parts especially for the players he had, to highlight their individual best characteristics. How good would that be? I'd think I had died and gone to heaven.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Comments from unregistered users are subject to ABC moderation and will not appear until they are approved - there will be a delay until they are published.
Create A Profile to add comments straight away.

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
30 minus equals zero
Solve this math question and enter the solution with digits. E.g. for "two plus four = ?" enter "6".
Sign up to the weekly newsletter
Enter your email address
Other ABC music sites