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African American Music History pt . 8 Internet Vol-8 MAESTRO

No Matter what part of the world or what level music is discussed Duke Ellington’s name is more than likely to be mentioned. During his life time he won just about every musical honor that one can think of. Duke  Ellington was born Edward Kennendy Ellington in 1898, in Washington, D. C. Many African American Music  History buffs refer to him as the ” Duke”  History records that he was called this because of his flashy style of clothes.

History records that he was noticed to be a very creative person early in his life. History notes that he was playing the piano at the age of seven and composed his first piece. It was called ” Soda Fountain Rag,” Between the ages of seventeen of eighteen he started playing professionally. History records that by the age of twenty- four he made it to broadway with his own band, They where called the Washingtonians.

History notes that by the time he was twenty- eight he was booked to play the Cotton Club. This is where his nation-wide fame started. When he was thirty-four he played for royalty in London and toured Europe as a concert artist. History records that he made a second tour of Europe when he was forty. At the age of forty-four he performed the first of his many concerts at Carnegie Hall; and at forty-five History notes that he added SanFrancisco’s Philharmonic and Chicago’s Opera House to his long list of “first”.

Duke Ellington’s national recognition dates all the way back to the 1940’s. He has been hailed by such outstanding names in music, as Lauritz Melchior, Stokowski, Reiner and Deems Taylor. History records that he was the first living  artist to sponsor a scholarship fund to the Julliard School of Music. The “Duke” had creative talent , as well . A few of  his more ambitious musical scores was said to be Black, Brown and Beige, a tone poem about the history of the then called American Negro; Perfume Suite, and a musical salute to the Negro entitled My People.

Some of his more popular song classics are: “Mood Indigo,” “Solitude.” “Black and Tan Fantasy.” “Flamingo,” “The A Trian.” “Caravan,” “Sophisticated Lady.” “Perido.” “I Got It Bad.” and the list goes on and on. SoulTic Magazine salutes Duke Ellington for his innovative style in our African American Music History.

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