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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Duke Ellington


DUKE ELLINGTON (pianist, composer, bandleader) was born Edward Kennedy Ellington on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. and passed away on May 24, 1974 in New York. Acquiring the nickname “Duke” for his elegant manner, Ellington is considered one of the most influential artists in American music – spanning not only jazz but gospel, blues, classical and popular. His seven decade career contributed such classics as “Mood Indigo”, “Caravan” and “Take the A Train” composed with his longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorn. Receiving countless awards and honours including 13 Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize and the Presidental Medal of Freedom Ellington remains one of the greatest figures jazz has known.