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Ellington, Duke

Duke Ellington (1899-1974), a composer, conductor, and pianist, was one of the most respected figures in the history of jazz, and brought jazz into concert halls and religious services. He was born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington, D.C., and played professionally from the age of 17. In 1923 he moved to New York City and organized a ten-piece band. Through the 1930s and 1940s Ellington and his band, greatly enlarged, appeared in theatres and nightclubs, on the radio and in foreign tours.

Among his most famous songs are "Mood Indigo" (1931), "Sophisticated Lady" (1933), and "Solitude" (1934). His large-scale works include Black, Brown, and Beige (1943), Liberian Suite (1948), A Concert of Sacred Music (1965), and Far East Suite (1967); scores for the motion pictures Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and Paris Blues (1961); and for the musical comedies BEGGAR'S OPERA (1947) and POUSSE-CAFÃ0 (1966). Ellington's autobiography is Music Is My Mistress (1973).  SOPHISTICATED LADIES, a theatrical retrospective of his work, opened on Broadway in 1981 and garnered 8 Tony Award Nominations, including one for Best Musical.

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      SOPHISTICATED LADIES on So You Think You Can Dance...

      Did you catch So You Think You Can Dance this week? Check out this great performance to "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" from Duke Ellington's SOPHISTICATED LADIES.

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      Trivia about this writer

      In 1899 pianist and jazz legend Duke Ellington was born. In 1981, his life and songs were celebrated in the Broadway revue SOPHISTICATED LADIES.
      In 1981, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, a revue with the music of Duke Ellington, opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre where it ran for 767 performances. The show was nominated for eight Tony Awards, and won Best Costume Design and Best Featured Actor in 1981.
      In 1983, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, a revue with the music of Duke Ellington, closed on Broadway after 767 performances and eight Tony nominations.