A Portrait Of Duke Ellington By Tracy Frech



Duke Ellington is considered to be one of the greatest figures in the history of
American music. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born in Washington D.C. on
April 29, 1899. His parents were James Edward and Daisy Kennedy Ellington. They
raised Duke as an only child, until his sister, Ruth, was born when Duke was
sixteen years old. Duke, even as a teenager, had a great talent for music. In
the beginning of his musical life, Duke began to take a promising interest in a
new type of music that would later be called jazz. Choosing to base his career
on a new idea may not have been smart, but Duke did take this chance and in turn
became one of the most famous musicians in America.

...

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point in his life things started to change for the better for Duke,
but not for long. In those days, this new music was just beginning to develop and
would later be given the name of jazz. In that time it was considered to be low
and vulgar because it was music that grew directly out of the Black culture. In
those early years, segregation was at one of its all time worst points in
history. I think that is why Duke Ellington was one of the most
important individuals to the growth and development of jazz. During Duke's long
career, the new music slowly spread out of bars and saloons, to dance and night
clubs and then eventually onto the concert stage. In time, jazz became a
universally recognized form of art and has been said that it is the only real
form that has originated from the American soul. By the 1960's Duke traveled the
globe so many times that he became known as the unofficial ambassador to the
United States. Duke's band had played in Russia, Japan, Latin America, the ...

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two, probably most famous
musicians were the trumpeter Whetsol and the saxophonist Hodges. As the band
became more and more popular, saxophonist Hodges became the highest paid
performer in the United States.

The 1920's became known as "the Jazz Age" because jazz had hit its first
great burst of popularity. At that time Duke then added a young drummer named
Sonny Greer. A few years after Greer was hired, Duke's band hit a very
rough spot. They were often stuck in the street with no money and nowhere
to go. Duke and his band often were stuck doing crude recordings just for
a few dollars to buy a meal. In the Autumn of 1927, luck had crossed paths
with Duke again. The manager of Duke's ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/17/2005 05:07:43 AM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1730
Pages: 7

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