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Memories of the Duke will come to life

THE ghost of Duke Ellington, one of the legends of jazz, will be hanging around the Shanghai Concert Hall later this month. The Duke Ellington Orchestra will take the stage on May 23 in memory of one of the most influential figures ever in jazz.

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974) is widely considered as one of the best-known African-American celebrities of the 20th century. He called his music "American music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category."

As both a prolific composer and a band leader, Ellington created more than 2,000 works, including the standards "Take the A-Train" and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." Other works include "Solitude," "Mood Indigo," "Caravan," "Sophisticated Lady," "Prelude To A Kiss," "Satin Doll," "Things Ain't What They Used To Be," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "C Jam Blues," "I'm Beginning To See The Light" and "Perdido."

Ellington's reputation has increased since his death, with thematic repackaging of his signature music often becoming best sellers. The posthumous recognition of his work includes a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra started as a jazz band in New York City called the "Washingtonians" in 1923. The original group stayed together for over 50 years and created and recorded some of America's greatest music.

After 1931 the band was billed as Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. It's widely regarded as the preeminent performer of the music of Ellington and also the greatest of all swing jazz bands.

The group played around the world. More than 800 musicians have played with the Ellington orchestra at one time or another. This current orchestra has traveled over four continents to play and promote the music of Ellington.

In the concert in Shanghai, the orchestra will bring a classic 20-member ensemble, and Paul Ellington, the grandson of Duke Ellington, will lead his grandfather's band. The great man's ghost will look on with approval, no doubt.

Date: May 23, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall, 523 Yan'an Rd E.

Tickets: 100-880 yuan


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