Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Birthday: Duke Ellington!

Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions. Ellington, performed in, jazz, blues, gospel and film scores. His career spanned more than 50 years. Because of his charisma, he is credited to have elevated the popularity of jazz to an art form. His reputation increased after his death, the Pulitzer Prize Board gave him a special posthumous honor in 1999.

Ellington, began to work in films in the year, 1929 with the short films: Black and Tan. Symphony in Black (1935). Which introduced Billie Holiday, and won an Academy Award as the best musical short subject. He also appeared in the film, Check and Double Check (1930). Murder at the Vanities, Belle of the Nineties (19340 and Cabin in the Sky (1943). In the late 1950s, he put together soundtracks for the films: Anatomy of a Murder (1959), with James Stewart, Paris Blues (1961), which featured Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier as jazz musicians.

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