Edward Kennedy Ellington Essay

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Who was Edward Kennedy Ellington? “Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years” (allmusic.com). Edward Kennedy Ellington was born in April 29, 1899, to a middle-classed neighborhood of Washington, D.C., also known as U Street. “Duke Ellington grew up in Washington, D.C. during one of the most difficult periods for African-Americans” (gwu.edu). When Ellington was 14, he received the nickname Duke. “Ellington’s childhood friends noticed that "his casual, offhand manner, his easy grace, and his dapper dress gave him the bearing of a young nobleman", and began calling him Duke” (allmusicyouwant.weebly.com). Ellington Also, he chose this nickname because of his gentleman ways. At the age of seven he began to learn …show more content…

When Duke Ellington was 7 years old, he received piano lessons from Marietta Clinkscales. “[Only why he had a female teacher was because his mother,] Daisy surrounded her son with dignified women to reinforce his manners and teach him to live elegantly” ( Encyclopedia.com) This was his only teacher until he began to play professionally and started to from his band, but Duke didn't go to all of his lessons because he didn't have a music interest. “[Duke]managed to wrangle his way out of lessons after just a few months”(Encyclopedia.com). At Dunbar High School, the music teacher, Henry Lee Grant, gave Duke Ellington private lessons in harmony. Later he received lessons from Oliver “Doc” Perry, a pianist Duke used to watch from a child. “With the additional guidance of Washington pianist and band leader Oliver "Doc" Perry, Ellington learned to read sheet music, project a professional style, and improve his technique” (allmusciyouwant.weebly.com). This was all the lessons he received, but he did take advice from other pianists, such as Will Marion Cooks, Fats Waller, and Sidney

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