Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
Duke Ellington continues to be a strong influence to this day, even receiving a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.
Duke Ellington continues to be a strong influence to this day, even receiving a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, designated by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History as a time to celebrate the life and legacy of jazz. Many legendary jazz artists were born in April, which made it a natural for the designation.
To celebrate JAM, WDUQ has posted a weekly music list celebrating a notable jazz artist born that week. This time around, it's Duke Ellington.
Ellington was the most prolific jazz composer of all time, writing and performing tirelessly for more than 50 years. Many of his compositions also bear the name of composer Billy Strayhorn, his longtime collaborator and friend. Ellington composed for every kind of musical setting imaginable, from his famed orchestra to small groups to film scores to musical stage productions. His mark can be found everywhere on jazz, both past and present.