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