Duke Ellington Birthday

April 28, 2021
sky cloud
"Gray skies are just clouds passing over."

On this day in 1899, Edward "Duke" Ellington, a founding father of jazz, was born in Washington D.C. For nearly his entire legendary career of over 50 years, he led a jazz orchestra originally based out of Harlem (NYC) that became world famous. Pres. Nixon awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969. Fun fact: Ellington's friends nicknamed him "Duke" as a kid because of his manners and suave, cool demeanor.

PBS-American Masters "About Duke Ellington" https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/duke-ellington-about-duke-ellington/586/

The Story of “Take the A Train,” Duke Ellington’s Signature https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/the-story-of-take-the-a-train/13781/

https://www.francemusique.fr/en/5-reasons-why-duke-ellington-one-most-important-jazzmen-20th-century-20741 (Beautiful videos of him performing)

Review of Duke Ellington bio, New York Times https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/l/lawrence-ellington.html

NPR on Five Sacred Jazz Records (Scroll down for Ellington) https://www.npr.org/sections/ablogsupreme/2015/12/23/397139466/god-is-in-the-house-five-sacred-jazz-recordings

Pres. Nixon's speech upon giving Ellington the Presidential Honor of Freedom https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/remarks-presenting-the-presidential-medal-freedom-duke-ellington

by Jenna Lee,