Duke Ellington

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Arts & Music

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Duke Ellington

Family/Education/Music Background Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. His parents were Daisy and James Ellington. He had one sister, Ruth Ellington. Duke went to Armstrong technical high school, where he studied art. Duke began playing piano as a child. His mother, who also played the piano, oversaw his education, and by the time he was seventeen he began playing professionally. Making his name as a piano player in Washington, Ellington started to compose his own music. Duke died on May 24, 1974 in New York City.

The video above is one of Duke Ellington's pieces called "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing". He wrote the song in August of 1931. 5 other compositions that Duke wrote were: solitude, come Sunday, caravan, mood indigo, and David danced.

http://www.pbs.org/jazz/biography/artist_id_ellington_duke.htmThe above website is a biography of Duke Ellington. It includes audio samples of some of Duke's songs and a description of his life. I learned on this website that Duke Ellington wrote nearly 2,000 compositions before his death.

I chose to do my project on Duke Ellington because he is such an inspiring composer. He is considered by many to be America's greatest composer, bandleader, and recording artist.

By Ellie Finch


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