November 09, 2011

Istanbul Prepares to Host Duke Ellington Orchestra

The Duke Ellington Orchestra, which was founded by one of the greatest jazz musicians of the past 50 years, Edward Kennedy Duke Ellington, will take the Istanbul stage for two concerts on Nov. 18 and 19.

The orchestra was led by the American Ellington, who was known as a very productive composer, pianist and orchestra conductor, until his death in 1974. His son, Mercer Ellington, who had already been handling all the administrative aspects of his father’s business for several decades, led the band until his own death in 1996. In the same year, the original band dissolved, but Paul Ellington, Mercer’s youngest son, has kept the Duke Ellington Orchestra going since his father’s death.

Ellington is one of the most influential figures in jazz and is widely considered to be one of the 21st century’s best known African-American personalities. As both a composer and a band leader, Ellington’s reputation has increased since his death, with thematic repackaging of his signature music often becoming best-sellers.

He is best remembered for the over 3,000 songs that he composed during his lifetime. His best-known titles include “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” “Solitude,” “In a Mellotone” and “Satin Doll.”

Ellington was most creative while he was on the road. It was during this time when he wrote his most famous piece, “Mood Indigo” which brought him worldwide fame.

Ellington was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966. He was later awarded several other prizes, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and the Legion of Honor by France in 1973, the highest civilian honors in each country.

The artist influenced millions of people around the world, giving American music its own sound for the first time. In his 50-year career, he played over 20,000 performances in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East as well as Asia.


Post a Comment