Tuesday, 19 April 2011

VIDEOS ~ "Mood Indigo" ~ Duke Ellington 1969

EDWARD KENNEDY "DUKE" ELLINGTON (b. April 29, 1899; d. May 24, 1974).  Composer.  Bandleader.  Pianist.  Regarded as the greatest composer in jazz history.  "Duke" Ellington (called "Duke" because of the manner in which he dressed and conducted himself) composed approximately two thousand songs, covering a huge array of genres including ballet, nightclub, motion pictures, live theater, and concert halls.  In 1930 he formed the Duke Ellington orchestra, which became prominent through radio broadcasts and film performances.  During the 1940s he toured with his band both in the United States and in Europe.  Among his most well-known songs are:  "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" (1932), which came alive during the swing era, and "Take the 'A' Train" (1941).  Throughout his career, Ellington won eleven Grammys, was honored with nineteen doctorate degrees, and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and the French Legion of Honor in 1973.  He was truly the duke of jazz.
               ~ Biographical Notes taken from "Ellington was not a Street"  By:  Ntozake Shange

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