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Duke Ellington

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By Andrea Davis Pinkney | April 25, 1999
Editor's note: The story of the musician and composer who helped shape the future of jazzDuke's name fit him rightly. He was a smooth-talkin', slick-steppin', piano-playin' kid. But his piano playing wasn't always as breezy as his stride. When Duke's mother, Daisy, and his father, J.E., enrolled him in piano lessons, Duke didn't want to go. Baseball was Duke's idea of fun. But his parents had other notions for their child.Duke had to start with the piano basics, his fingers playing the same tired tune -- one-and-two-and-one-and-two.
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NEWS
By GARRISON KEILLOR | June 12, 2008
Hot night, New York: a little breeze in the trees in the deep stone canyons as I look out my window, thousands of little lighted windows of private lives, one of which is mine. I'm reminded of this by the fact that a hundred feet away, a man stands at a window looking through binoculars that seem to be trained precisely on me, and though he surely would prefer looking at someone more exciting than a tall bespectacled man in black T-shirt and jeans, a man who is not jumping around playing air guitar or fastening his hair to his head with strips of tape or unzipping the dress of a beautiful woman, nonetheless he is focused on me, and I don't leap back from the window in horror - I feel (slightly)
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NEWS
By GARRISON KEILLOR | June 12, 2008
Hot night, New York: a little breeze in the trees in the deep stone canyons as I look out my window, thousands of little lighted windows of private lives, one of which is mine. I'm reminded of this by the fact that a hundred feet away, a man stands at a window looking through binoculars that seem to be trained precisely on me, and though he surely would prefer looking at someone more exciting than a tall bespectacled man in black T-shirt and jeans, a man who is not jumping around playing air guitar or fastening his hair to his head with strips of tape or unzipping the dress of a beautiful woman, nonetheless he is focused on me, and I don't leap back from the window in horror - I feel (slightly)
NEWS
By Judah E. Adashi and Judah E. Adashi,special to the Sun | March 7, 2008
In his recent book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Alex Ross, music critic for the New Yorker, notes these strong words from Duke Ellington: "To attempt to elevate the status of the jazz musician by forcing the level of his best work into comparisons with classical music is to deny him his rightful share of originality." Despite Ellington's reservations about such comparisons, the legendary composer and bandleader was among those leading the way in exploring the nexus of the two genres.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | February 3, 2000
Dr. John Duke Elegant (Blue Note 7243 8 23220) During the Duke Ellington centenary, much was made about the weight and importance of Ellington's ouevre. He wasn't just an important bandleader or lively, expressive jazz pianist; he was a Great Composer, whose works deserve to rank among the greatest American music of the last century. All of which is true, but it overlooks one important detail: Duke Ellington was a very funky guy. When Ellington began to make his name, it was with dance music, and the sound of his early "jungle band" was blues-drenched and rhythmically vital, making it more the equivalent of contemporary R&B than the art music it's currently compared to. Unfortunately, the rhythms Ellington and his men worked with sound awfully quaint these days, so it's hard for modern listeners to appreciate just how funky this stuff was. Enter Dr. John.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Pop Music Critic | April 11, 1993
As the first musician ever to have been signed simultaneously to the jazz and classical divisions of Columbia Records, Wynton Marsalis is intimately familiar with the differences and similarities between the two worlds. We spoke to him over the phone, during a tour stop in Boston, and asked what he thought about treating jazz like classical music.Q: Lately, it seems as if certain kinds of music from the pre-rock era are being treated with the same reverence as classical music. What does this portend for jazz?
FEATURES
By FROM SUN NEWS SERVICES | April 13, 1999
NEW YORK -- Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux had a good day yesterday, winning two awards in the Pulitzer Prize arts categories: in fiction for "The Hours," a novel by Michael Cunningham, and non-fiction for "Annals of the Former World" by John McPhee."
NEWS
By TaNoah Morgan and TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF | April 8, 1999
The music world is paying homage to Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington this month, which would have marked his 100th birthday. In Annapolis, jazz vocalist Ethel Ennis will lead the celebration."
NEWS
By Judah E. Adashi and Judah E. Adashi,special to the Sun | March 7, 2008
In his recent book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Alex Ross, music critic for the New Yorker, notes these strong words from Duke Ellington: "To attempt to elevate the status of the jazz musician by forcing the level of his best work into comparisons with classical music is to deny him his rightful share of originality." Despite Ellington's reservations about such comparisons, the legendary composer and bandleader was among those leading the way in exploring the nexus of the two genres.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,sun pop music critic | April 25, 1999
Who was the greatest American composer of the 20th century? Some would say it was Aaron Copland, who evoked the American landscape as vividly in music as John Ford did in film. Others would argue that it was Charles Ives, who composed music unlike anything heard before or since. Still others would strike up the band for George Gershwin, who brought the blues to symphony hall.Yet as admirable as those men were, another composer towers over them: Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, who was born in Washington 100 years ago this Thursday.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | February 29, 2008
The Bank Job, this weekend's Cinema Sundays feature, stars Jason Statham as a small-time bank robber who seizes the opportunity of a lifetime: a job that could put him on easy street. But the heist turns out to be a lot more complicated -- and perilous -- than he expected. Showtime is 10:35 a.m. Sunday at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St., preceded by 50 minutes of no-additional-charge coffee and bagels. Tickets are $15. Information: 410-727-3456 or cinemasundays.com. Civil rights documentary Documentary filmmaker Laura J. Lipson's Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders, the story of the female veterans of the civil rights movement in Mississippi during the 1950s and '60s, will be shown at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St. The screening is free with paid admission to the museum.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter | February 9, 2007
Amonthly film series highlighting African-American jazz musicians and their contributions to popular culture begins Tuesday at An die Musik Live, 409 N. Charles St., with Cartoons That Sing. The night will feature animation going back to the years before World War II, and will be replete with music from Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie (in 1962's Oscar-winning short, The Hole), Ella Fitzgerald, the Mills Brothers, Roberta Flack and others. Future series offerings include Baltimore Musicians in Film and Song (March 13)
NEWS
By FROM STAFF REPORTS | February 20, 2004
In Baltimore City Hotel owner gets 41 months, fine in tax evasion scheme An Ocean City hotel owner convicted of tax evasion was sentenced yesterday to 41 months in prison and fined $800,000 by a federal judge in Baltimore. Adel "Ed" Iskander, 61, owned and ran the Georgia Belle hotel in Ocean City and the Iskander Island Inn in Fenwick Island, Del. Prosecutors said he engaged in a complicated tax evasion scheme, reporting no taxable income and paying no federal income tax from 1994 to 1996, even though the hotels were profitable and Iskander was "earning substantial income."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN ART CRITIC | February 19, 2004
In a pluralistic art world, fine art is where you find it, be it at a gallery exhibition, on an interactive Web site or in a handmade artist's book. Brian Pinkney's imaginative illustrations for children's books are also fine art, as a charming exhibition at the Walters Art Museum that opens Saturday amply attests. Pinkney's whimsical portrayals of historical figures such as Duke Ellington, fairy-tale personages such as Cinderella and impressions of African-American characters in original works of fiction have won him wide acclaim for their vibrant sense of color and movement.
ENTERTAINMENT
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic | February 3, 2000
Dr. John Duke Elegant (Blue Note 7243 8 23220) During the Duke Ellington centenary, much was made about the weight and importance of Ellington's ouevre. He wasn't just an important bandleader or lively, expressive jazz pianist; he was a Great Composer, whose works deserve to rank among the greatest American music of the last century. All of which is true, but it overlooks one important detail: Duke Ellington was a very funky guy. When Ellington began to make his name, it was with dance music, and the sound of his early "jungle band" was blues-drenched and rhythmically vital, making it more the equivalent of contemporary R&B than the art music it's currently compared to. Unfortunately, the rhythms Ellington and his men worked with sound awfully quaint these days, so it's hard for modern listeners to appreciate just how funky this stuff was. Enter Dr. John.
NEWS
November 27, 1999
Charles Thomas, 64, a jazz pianist who shunned the spotlight of touring with Duke Ellington's band to play in his home state of Arkansas, died Tuesday of prostate cancer. Mr. Thomas headlined numerous jazz festivals and accompanied vocalists such as Tony Bennett. After Ellington's death, members of the bandleader's orchestra asked Mr. Thomas to take his place on the piano.Mr. Thomas didn't last long with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He "got tired of being Duke Ellington -- he wanted to be Charlie Thomas," said his longtime manager, Jim Porter.
FEATURES
By M. Dion Thompson and M. Dion Thompson,Sun Staff | April 29, 1999
WASHINGTON -- You can see him from a block away, his profile dominating a brilliantly colored, 24-foot by 35-foot mural.The eyes with their familiar bags underneath seem to follow passers-by along this revitalized stretch of U Street. In this painting, Duke Ellington looks as if he might have been up all night, composing, thinking about music.Ellington, born 100 years ago today, grew up here. He lived in the 1200 block of T Street, a block from where this mural casts a steady eye over the old neighborhood.
NEWS
By Dan Berger | May 5, 1999
Now those cocky Cubans want to play a real major league team.Irreconcilable impeachers insist that Bill's moral depravity prevents this country from playing ball with Serbia and bombing Havana.If Duke Ellington were alive now, he would be 100 and not dated.The Dow never lies. Sometimes, it exaggerates.Ban tornadoes!Pub Date: 5/05/99
NEWS
By David Hinckley and David Hinckley,NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | July 12, 1999
NEW YORK -- Call it America's greatest popular music -- America's greatest music, period. But as the Golden Age of songs from writers like the Gershwin brothers, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern and Hoagy Carmichael move toward their second century, all is not blue skies.In highbrow meccas like Lincoln Center, its artistry has never been more revered. It thrives in cabarets and on the soundtracks of great and beloved old movies.
NEWS
By Dan Berger | May 5, 1999
Now those cocky Cubans want to play a real major league team.Irreconcilable impeachers insist that Bill's moral depravity prevents this country from playing ball with Serbia and bombing Havana.If Duke Ellington were alive now, he would be 100 and not dated.The Dow never lies. Sometimes, it exaggerates.Ban tornadoes!Pub Date: 5/05/99
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