Black History Facts: Duke Ellington Composer/Musician

Duke Ellington Composer/Musician


An originator of big-band jazz, Duke Ellington was an American composer, pianist and bandleader who composed thousands of scores over his 50-year career.

Duke Ellington was born April, 1899, in Washington, D.C. A major figure in the history of jazz music, his career spanned more than half a century, He was known as the band leader of at the iconic “Cotton Club” during the Harlem Renaissance

His most popular song  It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) has been used in film and shows like dancing with the stars and been covered over 20 times. He received 12 grammy’s in his life time.

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