Duke Ellington is an American Director of the jazz orchestra, a jazz composer, and a pianist. He is one of the most prominent jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Besides, he looks creative at the painting of a famous artist, Leonid Afremov. Being made with Ellington oil, the artwork here is called “Duke Ellington.” How did he contribute to the musical world? Feel free to read below:
- Happy Childhood
Duke Ellington had quite a happy childhood unlike many of his black compatriots. His father, James Edward was a butler, and he worked in the White House for some time. Later, he worked as a copyist in the Navy. In parallel, Duke`s mother was deeply religious, and she played the piano well. Therefore, religion and music played a significant role in the musician’s upbringing.
- Musical Awards
As a composer, he won the Grammy awards for eleven times since the mid-1960s. Ellington also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Richard Nixon in 1969. He was awarded the prize in the category of “best large jazz ensemble” for the album known as “Ellington ’66” in 1965. The track “In the Beginning, God” was also noted in 1966 as the best jazz composition ever.
- Concert Tours
The band performed in the White House, on the Virgin Islands and came back to Europe again. Duke also played with the Boston Symphony orchestra. Both in 1966 and 1967, Ellington had two series of European concerts with Ella Fitzgerald. Not many people have such achievements to consider …
- Numerous Discoveries
The career of Ellington was full of discoveries. He created the style of the jungle, the style of mood, and then turned to academic European musical forms, such as the suites, rhapsodies, ballets, and operas. His original orchestral works had an enormous aesthetic impact on the development of the 20th century-culture. Every famous jazz orchestra experiences this effect directly or indirectly based on the contribution.
Ellington changed the role of bass, tenor and baritone saxophones in a big band. He started using a human voice as an instrument. “The oil voice” also marked the beginning of a Latin jazz by a composition “Caravan.”
As a pianist, Duke Ellington upgraded his style by showing the art of “percussive piano.” Surely, it is a talented person. That`s why many artists, as Leonid Afremov painted him. Take a look at the painting and you will see that Ellington still inspires millions of people worldwide!