Essay on A Portrait Of Duke Ellington By Tracy Frech

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A Portrait of Duke Ellington By Tracy Frech Duke Ellington is considered to be one of the greatest figures in the history of American music. Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born in Washington D.C. on April 29, 1899. His parents were James Edward and Daisy Kennedy Ellington. They raised Duke as an only child, until his sister, Ruth, was born when Duke was sixteen years old. Duke, even as a teenager, had a great talent for music. In the beginning of his musical life, Duke began to take a promising interest in a new type of music that would later be called jazz. Choosing to base his career on a new idea may not have been smart, but Duke did take this chance and in turn became one of the most famous musicians in America.…show more content…
Although he had many friends he never really told them everything about himself. He would often guard his privacy probably because he had so little of it. When he was alone though, he would almost always be arranging the next tune for the band to play, and was always thinking or preparing something for the band to do in the next performance. Duke attracted some of the greatest musicians to join his band. Because of this it has been said that many of Duke's pieces are almost impossible to exactly duplicate without the personal style of the original musicians. One of the strange things that was known about Duke was that his school music teacher, Mrs. Clinkscales, who played the piano, was always the inspiration for him to just sit down and start tinkering around with a few notes that usually became big hits. In his band the two, probably most famous musicians were the trumpeter Whetsol and the saxophonist Hodges. As the band became more and more popular, saxophonist Hodges became the highest paid performer in the United States. The 1920's became known as "the Jazz Age" because jazz had hit its first great burst of popularity. At that time Duke then added a young drummer named Sonny Greer. A few years after Greer was hired, Duke's band hit a very rough

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