Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Edward Kennedy Ellington was born in Washington D.C.

  • one of Ellington’s high school friends gave him the name Duke figuring and

  • rightly so that the noble name would give them more clout at parties well it would help

  • them to get in anyways

  • now because of Duke’s regal style his nickname stuck and we still are at it today

  • calling him Duke

  • he began playing the piano at a very young age 7 or 8 you know

  • the age that you really don’t feel like playing the piano

  • he even had a piano teacher name Mrs. Clinkscales I am serious

  • now when Duke became a young man I am talking about 24 years old

  • he moved to New York

  • there were many great pianists living in NY at that time and Duke was smart

  • he learned from all of them

  • Duke went on to form a band with his musician friends from Washington who had

  • come to NY in search of work

  • then Duke met trumpeter Bubber Miley and his music changed

  • in 1927 the band went into the Cotton Club in Harlem and this

  • is where they became know as The Duke Ellington Orchestra

  • at the Cotton Club the band’s personality matured and the nation wide radio

  • broadcast of their shows made Duke into a national star

  • in 1956 Ellington played at the Newport Jazz Festival

  • he played Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue actually a composition of

  • his from 1937 well

  • this performance was so singularly swinging

  • it caused a near riot and Duke became more popular than ever

  • Duke was unbelievable

Edward Kennedy Ellington was born in Washington D.C.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it