Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington

 (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974)

Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death in a career spanning over fifty years.

Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward, and gained a national profile through his orchestra's appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase "beyond category" as a liberating principle, and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music, rather than to a musical genre such as jazz.

Listen to some of his compositions here:

It don’t mean a thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDQpZT3GhDg

Take the A train

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2w2m1JmCY

Black and Tan fantasy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5065JmEDCQ

Caravan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkLBSLxo5LE

Video: https://youtu.be/iIp0SDrlYQc