Madame Tussauds - Washington D.C.

Duke Ellington PNG

Duke Ellington

Play the ivories with one of Jazz's greatest

"Duke" Ellington is recognized as one of the most influential jazz performers and composers. With a career spanning the 1920’s to present day, Duke’s legacy continues to live on. A gifted piano player, Duke’s real talent arose as orchestra leader to his bands. He began his professional career in Washington D.C., as a ragtime band leader and artist.

During racially divided times, Ellington made a successful career playing for white audiences. His big break came when his band was elected to play as a regular in Harlem’s famous Cotton Club. With a weekly radio broadcast, famous clientèle and recordings for US, English and French music labels, Ellington became internationally renowned as the foremost jazz composer and bandleader.

  • April 29,1899: Edward Kennedy Ellington was born
  • 1959-99: Duke Ellington won 12 Grammy Awards in the span of 40 years
  • 1959: NAACP Spingarn Medal
  • 1966: Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 1969: Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • 1971: Songwriters Hall of Fame

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