Definitions for duke ellington

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  1. Ellington, Duke Ellington, Edward Kennedy Ellington(noun)

    United States jazz composer and piano player and bandleader (1899-1974)

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  1. Duke Ellington

    Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and jazz-orchestra leader. His career spanned over more than 50 years: Ellington led his orchestra from 1923 until his death. A pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington though called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category". Born in Washington DC, he was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onwards, and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club. In the 1930s they toured in Europe. Some of the musicians who were members of Ellington's orchestra, such as saxophonist Johnny Hodges, are considered among the best players in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into the best-known jazz orchestral unit in the history of jazz. Several members of the orchestra remained members for several decades. A master at writing miniatures for the 3 minute 78 rpm record format, Ellington often composed specifically for the style and skills of his individual musicians, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, and "Concerto for Cootie" for trumpeter Cootie Williams, which later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics.


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