Duke Ellington

"Music, of course, is what I hear and something that I more or less live by. It's not an occupation or profession, it's a compulsion."

  • Born Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington on April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. Died May 24, 1974, in New York, New York.
  • A legendary jazz composer, arranger and bandleader, Duke Ellington wrote a series of songs that became standards, including "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Cotton Tail," "Mood Indigo," "Sophisticated Lady," "Solitude," and "In A Sentimental Mood."
  • Ellington won his first three GRAMMY Awards for the 2nd GRAMMY Awards for 1959, Best Performance By A Dance Band for Anatomy Of A Murder. He made his GRAMMY performance debut with "Satin Doll" on "The Best On Record" in 1966, which commemorated the 8th GRAMMY Awards.
  • In 1986 a United States commemorative stamp was issued featuring Ellington's likeness.
  • Ellington received the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966 and the Trustees Award, along with Billy Strayhorn, in 1968. "Mood Indigo" was his first recording inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 1975.
  • The Duke Ellington School of the Arts was founded in 1974 in Washington, D.C., a public high school offering a "dual curriculum encompassing professional arts training and academic enrichment, in preparation for college and careers in the arts."



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