Duke Ellington Orchestra

The Duke Ellington Orchestra brings the music of Duke to new generations of music listeners, and, is an integral link to jazz's early days.  Duke Ellington was eulogized as "the supreme jazz talent of the past fifty years". A prolific composer, Duke Ellington created over two thousand pieces of music, including the standard songs "Take the A-Train" and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" and the longer works Black, Brown, and Beige, Liberian Suite, and Afro-Eurasian Eclipse. With the variously named bands he led from 1919 until his death in 1974, Ellington was responsible for many innovations in the jazz field, such as "jungle-style" use of the growl and plunger, and the manipulation of the human voice as an instrument--singing notes without words. During the course of his long career, Ellington was showered with many honors, including the highest civilian award granted by the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was presented to him by President Richard M. Nixon in 1969.

Duke Ellington was active as a performer and composer until his death on May 24, 1974, in New York City. Though his audiences constantly demanded such old standards as “Take the A Train”, "Mood Indigo" and "In a Sentimental Mood," Ellington preferred to look ahead and develop new songs for his band.  After his death, his only son, Mercer Ellington, who had been serving as the band's business manager and trumpet player, took over its leadership. Mercer Ellington led the orchestra until his father's death in 1974, continuing The Duke's tradition of constant touring, one-night engagements and high-intensity, hard-driving jazz. When Mercer passed away, Duke's grandson, Paul Ellington took over the leadership role, and the band plays all over the world, still.

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BiCoastal Productions, LLC        212.268.6969        Email:  talent@bicoastalproductions.com