Duke Ellington wax figure at 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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