Duke Ellington is one of my favorite jazz musicians that we have so far learned about. Ellington’s career started out when he was 17 and lasted for fifty years. How his career started with is style of music and how everything in his music blended so well together, to what he is still remembered for and all the things in his life that he did, to all the people he sang with and had a chance to sing with some great people. One thing that caught my eye about Ellington is how he grew up not knowing what he wanted to do in life and growing up during the time white and African-Americans didn’t get along. So many people judged him for the things he did. He was so talented. The way his music sounds is fresh and how it probably took him awhile to come up with the songs. He put all of his effort into writing music. He made writing music look easy and that anyone could do it. Ellington had such an amazing voice that anyone would want. Duke Ellington’s carrier didn’t just come naturally; He didn’t know growing up that he was going to be known all around the world for years to come. His whole household was full of music with his mom and dad playing the piano and his dad also being in a barbershop quartet. He wanted to play sports and not sit and learn notes for hours he wanted to be a normal kid. After he knew sports wasn’t really his thing he decided he wanted to be an artist. He started coloring and painting. When he got into high school he wanted to pursue commercial art. He ended up getting a scholarship to National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) but during this time he was going into nightclubs singing and enjoying the sound of music he once loved. He knew from that day on he wanted to make music and start his music career up once again. The thing I think about is how Ellington’s career came to him naturally, but he just didn’t understand that in the future he would make big that everyone would still remember him to this day. For him to have found other things in his life that wasn’t related to music, that he wanted to purse, makes people that want to pursue different things in life at the same time possible. Not only that it’s crazy how he found his way back into the music industry. His family was big on music and how they taught him how to play the piano but didn’t force him to do it. That how every music family should be. No matter what Ellington would have pursued his family would have been right by his side cheering him on. Duke Ellington made so much music that most of his music was big time hits back then and still is. One of my favorites is Take the “A” Train, because of how he sounds in it. How his voice helps keep everything on track. How the instruments in the song pitches all together to make one unique sound. The song had a bunch of meaning to him because they are talking about going to Sugar Hill, Hamilton like they said back then “The good life.” He sang about how all African-Americans wanted to live there because that’s where all of their dreams would come true. That’s where all the most famous people went and how most of them got their fame. The reason this is one of my favorites is due to how he talked about not himself but for all the African-Americans that wanted to go there and be rich and live the life everyone wants to live. His music tells a story of his race, his family, and is life events that happened in his life. depending on the song. Most of his music always starts off with instruments playing. It keeps going for the longest time till another instrument comes in. His music to me shows that the sound of the instruments goes well together and he can make them sound just like one sound. His music is mostly fast beat and speedy. His music was all types it ranged to sad, happy, life crisis, etc. Duke Ellington’s style was different then other musicians. He was not only a pianist in his music industry he was also well known for becoming a jazz orchestra leader. His style was more fast paced and more sound. Most of Ellington’s music you can hear all the loud instruments and also the very quiet ones. The way he wrote his music to sound like a story is like nobody else’s music I’ve heard. His music has a meaning even without him saying what his song is. The way that Ellington’s voice sounds with the instruments is something I can listen to everyday. He has a voice that you would never get tired listening to. I still think it’s crazy how all his music that was big time hits back then is still remembered and listened to to this day. Ellington’s live mostly revolved around music. Everything he did was about playing, leading, and writing music. One thing Ellington did that stood him out from all other African-Americans and other people is how he was happy to be African-American. He didn’t shame himself. He wrote songs about his race like “Black Beauty”, “Black and Tan Fantasy”, etc. He didn’t give up on his dreams, due to him being different. He wanted the world to know he was successful and not only that, he wanted everyone to know he succeeded in life while being African-American. Another thing Ellington did that stood out was that he wasn’t a drug user like most jazz musicians. “They quote jazz pianist and composer Duke Ellington, “Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one else,” this is referencing how many musicians would have to put their music on the backburner for their drug addictions. Duke wasn’t about the drugs, music was his life and he didn’t want any part of that mess.”(Arnold, Jake) Ellington put all his time into music, he had no time to make bad choices and end up possibly losing his music career. He thought that the idea of drugs was dumb and had no point in a person’s life. He thought that the people that used drugs who were famous didn’t deserve the fame. To me this means that all he needed was music to be happy in life and to stand out in the world. Music was his passion and he didn’t want to lose the one thing that meant the world to him. Ellington is remembered for his great mind in music. How he could have one little topic and make that little topic into a piece of art. Fifty years later his music is still played around the world and being downloaded on every device. If I wouldn’t have heard at least one of his songs I wouldn’t understand the idea of jazz music and how it was so popular back then. I look at Ellington as one of the most important jazz musicians because of how he lived and how he didn’t let things get in his way of his career. People say that he is one of the greatest musicians in the world and I believe that. Ellington received many medals in his career, but I think the biggest one he received was from the President during the time. The medal indicated Presidential Medal of Freedom. Which means how he acted is the real way everyone should act and live. How he lived his how without making the wrong decisions. He was free and lived his dream and everyone else’s dreams. He did what he wanted to do and made it look easy. Ellington stood out from everyone. He never got into trouble and never did anything wrong. This medal not only meant freedom it also meant that even the president noticed him. Which means that everyone noticed him. Besides him singing, writing music, and leading a band he had a high school sweetheart, which he married at the age of 19. They had one child, a boy. His son was also a well known music writer and artist. For Ellington to pass on his genetics in the music industry is amazing, because his son kept the legacy going. His son was a hard working man just like his dad. The generation of jazz keeps going on and the greatness of the Ellington last name keeps getting passed down and getting heard around the world. Ellington in the time he was alive put on a show every time he sang. His career came to an end fifty years later from Pneumonia. His career was went on for a long time and had many great accomplishments in the span he had. He made memories. Ellington made everyone stand up on their toes every time he would come out with a new song. He was so determined to be the world’s greatest jazz musician, which I think he accomplished. Duke Ellington, in my opinion, was a very good music artist. The beats in all his songs connected, and they all went very well with his voice. The beat was well kept in all his songs. When he was with the band they all mashed up very nicely. He is the definition in my eyes as the greatest jazz artist that has ever been alive. He was everyone’s dream. Everyone that wanted to start in a music career looked up to him, which I think is amazing. Ellington was beyond amazing in my eyes.