When The Bed Breaks: Duke Ellington's Life And Music

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Duke Ellington was an African American composer, pianist and bandleader who composed thousands of songs over his 50-year career during the World War 1, The Great Depression and World War 2. Duke Ellington was born on April 29, 1899, his parents were James Edward and Daisy Ellington. With his father, a Methodist, and his mother, a Baptist, Ellington 's upbringing had strong religious influences. An artistic child, Ellington passed up his art scholarship to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, in order to devote his time to his first love: music, specifically the piano. By the age of fourteen, Ellington had written his first two songs, "Soda Fountain Rag" and "What You Gonna Do When the Bed Breaks Down?" During this time Ellington gained his nickname, "Duke," for being very gentlemen like. Duke Ellington followed his passion for ragtime and began to play professionally at age 17. Ellington was different from other people at this time because he was like the first voice for African Americans, not just for jazz music, but he was able to spread African culture and arts through his music. Ellington wrote more than one…show more content…
Duke Ellington was a musician active during the Harlem Renaissance. In the 1920s, Ellington moved to Harlem and started to play shows at The Cotton Club. Though he mainly focused on jazz, Ellington 's music spanned many genres, including blues, gospel, and classical. During his 50-year career Ellington composed over a thousand pieces and was a widespread influence on jazz music. Duke Ellington represents the Harlem Renaissance theme of pride. He believed that representing African-American culture in a positive way was the best way to fight racisms. Duke Ellington played his music during World War 1, the Great Depression and World War 2. After World War 1, many whites took up an interest in African American culture. Harlem nightclubs thrived, spotlighting numerous artists such as jazz musicians, Duke Ellington being one of the main

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