Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington sunrise 4/29/1899 Washington D.C., sunset 5/24/74, New York, New York.
Both his parents were pianists.
Duke was a childhood nickname based on how he dressed and how he carried himself, very noble-like.
He was more interested in baseball than music as a child and President Roosevelt would ride by on horseback to watch him and his team play.
His first composition was written when he was 15 years old, Soda Fountain Rag, he was working as a soda jerk.
He was a composer, pianist, and bandleader. He wrote more than one thousand compositions.
In his autobiography, “Music is My Mistress” he wrote that he did not think that playing piano was his talent.
He called his music “beyond category”.
He wrote more than one thousand compositions.
He recorded one album with Frank Sinatra.
He was awarded a special posthumous prize for music in 1999.