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How Duke Ellington Changed the World
Transcript of How Duke Ellington Changed the World
The phase known as "The Harlem Renaissance" will forever be the most influential cultural upbringing for individuals of African descent. The early part of the 20th century was a migration period from rural to urban life for people seeking new employment, education, and family. The creative arts were hugely prevalent in Harlem from 1910-1930, the perfect time for Duke Ellington to start getting his name out. At the Cotton Club, Duke Ellington was put under a massive spotlight because of national publications at the expense of the club. Dancing was another creative art form that was added to Duke's entertainment scene in Harlem. Other art forms that were associated with the Harlem Renaissance included visual, drama, fictional writing, and poetry. Duke's first tour in Europe was in 1933. During this time, they performed for 6 weeks in Britain before flying to Holland and France. Large audiences filled the concert halls, while critics provided extensive coverage in newspapers, magazines, and radio advertisements, the most popular being the BBC broadcast. Duke's biggest performance was at the London Palladium. His show ran for 2 weeks straight and seated 2,286 every night. The Duke Ellington Orchestra toured Europe until 1939 before taking a break from international tours until 1950, where they returned to Western Europe, specifically London and France. They returned in 1958 and '59 as well. Aside from Europe, they also toured the Middle East and India in 1963, Japan in 1964, Latin America and Mexico in 1968, and the Soviet Union in 1971 The entire nation was able to hear Duke's music at the Cotton Club due to broadcasting by NBC. Duke's success would not have been possible if it weren't for the world-class performers he hired. Some of the greats include Johnny Hodges (sax), Cootie Williams (trumpet), Sonny Greer (drums), and Clark Terry (trumpet). He also collaborated and performed frequently with John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Max Roach. Duke collaborated with many composers during the 1940s through the 70s. Billy Strayhorn was a young composer that Duke found very unique, so he was hired to write music for the traveling orchestra. Although Duke took all of the bows for the stage performances, Strayhorn was behind much of the music, the most well-known being "Take the "A" Train." Ellington's (and Strayhorn's) music is considered by many to be a "New-World Symphony." They changed the way 20th Century American-Pop music was heard and perceived and Duke showed it to the world. His name will always be remembered for energizing the night life of Harlem, New York, and his music helped break the color barrier that had existed all around the world for hundreds of years prior to his fame. Bibliography An Carr. "The Duke Ellington Society - Duke Ellington - Biography." The Duke Ellington Society - Duke Ellington - Biography. The Duke Ellington Society, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
"Category:Duke Ellington Orchestra Members." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
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Tucker, Mark. "Ellington Biography." Ellington Biography. Rude Interlude, 1993. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.