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Who Are The Brilliant Musicians? Read More About The Musicians. A great way to spend a couple of hours when visiting Harlem! Read More Testimonials on TripAdvisor opens in a new tab. His attachment to music was so strong that in he turned down an art scholarship to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Three months before graduating, he dropped out of Armstrong Manual Training School, where he was studying commercial art.
Working as a freelance sign-painter from LP), Ellington began assembling groups to play for dances. In he met drummer Sonny Greer from New Jersey, who encouraged Ellington's ambition to become a professional musician. Ellington built his music business through his day job: when a customer asked him to make a sign for a dance or party, he would ask if they had musical entertainment; if not, Ellington would offer to play for the occasion.
He also had a messenger job with the U. Navy and State departments, where he made a wide range of contacts. Ellington moved out of his parents' home and bought his own as he became a successful pianist. At first, he played in other ensembles, and in late formed his first group, "The Duke's Serenaders" "Colored Syncopators", his telephone directory advertising proclaimed. His first play date was at the True Reformer's Hall, where he took home 75 cents.
Ellington played throughout the D. The band included childhood friend Otto Hardwickwho began playing the string bass, then moved to C-melody sax and finally settled on alto saxophone; Arthur Whetsol on trumpet; Elmer Snowden on banjo; and Sonny Greer on drums.
The band thrived, performing for both African-American and white audiences, a rarity in the segregated society of the day. After the young musicians left the Sweatman Orchestra to strike out on their own, they found an emerging jazz scene that was highly competitive with difficult inroad.
They hustled pool by day and played whatever gigs they could find. The young band met stride pianist Willie "The Lion" Smithwho introduced them to the scene and gave them some money. They played at rent-house parties for income. After a few months, the young musicians returned to Washington, D. This was followed in September by a move to the Hollywood Club at 49th and Broadway and a four-year engagement, which gave Ellington a solid artistic base.
He was known to play the bugle at the end of each performance. They renamed themselves The Washingtonians. Snowden left the group in early and Ellington took over as bandleader.
After a fire, the club was re-opened as the Club Kentucky often referred to as the Kentucky Club. Ellington then made eight records inreceiving composing credit on three including "Choo Choo". Duke Ellington and his Kentucky Club Orchestra grew to a group of ten players; they developed their own sound by displaying the non-traditional expression of Ellington's arrangements, the street rhythms of Harlem, and the exotic-sounding trombone growls and wah-wahs, high-squealing trumpets, and saxophone blues licks of the band members.
For a short time, soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet played with them, imparting his propulsive swing and superior musicianship to the young band members.
After recording a handful of acoustic titles during —26, Ellington's signing with Mills allowed him to record prolifically, although sometimes he recorded different versions of the same tune. Mills often took a co-composer credit. Whoopee Makers and the Ten Black Berries were other pseudonyms.
In SeptemberKing Oliver turned down a regular booking for his group as the house band at Harlem's Cotton Club ;  the offer passed to Ellington after Jimmy McHugh suggested him and Mills arranged an audition.
At the Cotton Club, Ellington's group performed all the music for the revues, which mixed comedy, dance numbers, vaudeville, burlesque, music, and illicit alcohol. Here he moved in with a dancer, his second wife Mildred Dixon. Although trumpeter Bubber Miley was a member of the orchestra for only a short period, he had a major influence on Ellington's sound.
One side in particular, " Creole Love Call ", became a worldwide sensation LP) gave both Ellington and Hall their first hit record. An alcoholic, Miley had to leave the band before they gained wider fame. He died in at the age of 29, but he was an important influence on Cootie Williamswho replaced him.
From Vodery, as he Ellington says himself, he drew his chromatic convictions, his uses of the tones ordinarily extraneous to the diatonic scalewith the consequent alteration of the harmonic character of his music, its broadening, The deepening of his resources. It has become customary to ascribe the classical influences upon Duke — DeliusDebussy and Ravel — to direct contact with their music. Actually his serious appreciation of those and other modern composers, came after his meeting with Vodery.
That year, Ellington and his Orchestra connected with a whole different audience in a concert with Maurice Chevalier and they also performed at the Roseland Ballroom"America's foremost ballroom". Australian-born composer Percy Grainger was an early admirer and supporter. Unfortunately Bach is dead, Delius is very ill but we are happy to have with us today The Duke". Ellington led the orchestra by conducting from the keyboard using piano cues and visual gestures; very rarely did he conduct using a baton.
By his orchestra consisted of six brass instruments, LP), four reeds, and a four-man rhythm section. A complex, private person, he revealed his feelings to only his closest intimates and effectively used his public persona to deflect attention away from himself. Ellington signed exclusively to Brunswick in and stayed with them through late albeit with a short-lived —34 switch to Victor when Irving Mills temporarily moved him and his other acts from Brunswick.
Sonny Greer had been providing occasional vocals and continued to do in a cross-talk feature with Anderson. Radio exposure helped maintain Ellington's public profile as his orchestra began to tour. While the band's United States audience remained mainly African-American in this period, the Ellington orchestra had a significant following overseas, exemplified by the success of their trip to England and Scotland in and their visit to the European mainland.
The British visit saw Ellington win praise from members of the serious music community, including composer Constant Lambertwhich gave a boost to Ellington's interest in composing longer works. Those longer pieces had already begun to appear. He had composed and recorded "Creole Rhapsody" as early as issued as both sides of a 12" record for Victor and both sides of a 10" record for Brunswickand a tribute to his mother, "Reminiscing in Tempo", took four 10" record sides to record in after her death in that year.
It introduced Billie Holidayand won an Academy Award as the best musical short subject. For agent Mills the attention was a publicity triumph, as Ellington was now internationally known. On the band's tour through the segregated South inthey avoided some of the traveling difficulties of African-Americans by touring in private railcars. These provided easy accommodations, dining, and storage for equipment while avoiding the indignities of segregated facilities.
Competition was intensifying, though, as swing bands like Benny Goodman 's began to receive popular attention. Swing dancing became a youth phenomenon, particularly with white college audiences, and danceability drove record sales and bookings. Jukeboxes proliferated nationwide, spreading the gospel of swing. Ellington's band could certainly swing, but their strengths were mood, nuance, and richness of composition, hence his statement "jazz is music, swing is business".
FromEllington began to make recordings with smaller groups sextets, octets, and nonets drawn from his thenman orchestra and he composed pieces intended to feature a specific instrumentalist, as with "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges"Yearning for Love" for Lawrence Brown"Trumpet in Spades" for Rex Stewart" Echoes of Harlem " for Cootie Williams and "Clarinet Lament" for Barney Bigard.
InEllington returned to the Cotton Club, which had relocated to the mid-town Theater District. In the summer of that year, his father died, and due to many expenses, Ellington's finances were tight, although his situation improved the following year.
Mills though continued to record Ellington. After only a year, his Master and Variety labels the small groups had recorded for the lattercollapsed in lateMills placed Ellington back on Brunswick and those small group units on Vocalion through to Billy Strayhornoriginally hired as a lyricist, began his association with Ellington in Ellington showed great fondness for Strayhorn and never failed to speak glowingly of the man and their collaborative working relationship, "my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brain waves in his head, and his in mine".
It was not uncommon for Strayhorn to fill in for Duke, whether in conducting or rehearsing the band, playing the piano, on stage, and in the recording studio. Some of the musicians who joined Ellington at this time created a sensation in their own right. Terminal illness forced him to leave by late after only about two years. Ben Websterthe orchestra's first regular tenor saxophonist, whose main tenure with Ellington spanned tostarted a rivalry with Johnny Hodges as the orchestra's foremost voice in the sax section.
Additionally, Nance added violin to the instrumental colors Ellington had at his disposal. Privately made by Jack Towers and Dick Burris, these recordings were first legitimately issued in as Duke Ellington at Fargo, Live ; they are among the earliest of innumerable live performances which survive.
Nance was also an occasional vocalist, although Herb Jeffries was the main male vocalist in this era until while Al Hibbler who replaced Jeffries in continued until Ivie Anderson left in for health reasons after 11 years, the longest term of any of Ellington's vocalists. Once more recording for Victor fromwith the small groups being issued on their Bluebird label, three-minute masterpieces on 78 rpm record sides continued to flow from Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ellington's son Mercer Ellingtonand members of the orchestra.
Louis Toodle-Oo ". Ellington and his associates wrote for an orchestra of distinctive voices who displayed tremendous creativity.
Ellington's long-term aim, though, was to extend the jazz form from that three-minute limit, LP) which he was an acknowledged master. In this, he was helped by Strayhorn, who had enjoyed a more thorough training in Six Or Seven Times - The Harlem Blues & Jazz Band - Harlem Blues & Jazz 1973-1980 (Vinyl forms associated with classical music than Ellington.
The first of these, Black, Brown and Beigewas dedicated to telling the story of African-Americans, and the place of slavery and the church in their history. Black, Brown and Beige debuted at Carnegie Hall on January 23,beginning an annual series of Ellington concerts at the venue over the next four years.
While some jazz musicians had played at Carnegie Hall before, none had performed anything as elaborate as Ellington's work. Unfortunately, starting a regular pattern, Ellington's longer works were generally not well received. A partial exception was Jump for Joya full-length musical based on themes of African-American identity, debuted on July 10,at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles. Hollywood luminaries such as actors John Garfield and Mickey Rooney invested in the production, and Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles offered to direct.
Ellington objected in the interval, and compared Jeffries to Al Jolson. The change was reverted, and the singer later commented that the audience must have thought he was an entirely different character in the second half of the show. Although it had sold-out performances, and received positive reviews,  it ran for only performances until September 29,with a brief revival in November of that year. Its subject matter did not make it appealing to Broadway; Ellington had unfulfilled plans to take it there.
The settlement of the first recording ban of —43leading to an increase in royalties paid to musicians, had a serious effect on the financial viability of the big bands, including Ellington's Orchestra. His income as a songwriter ultimately subsidized it. Although he always spent lavishly and drew a respectable income from the orchestra's operations, the band's income often just covered expenses. Musicians enlisting in the military and travel restrictions made touring difficult for the big bands and dancing became subject to a new tax, which continued for many years, affecting the choices of club owners.
As the cost of hiring big bands had increased, club owners now found smaller jazz groups more cost-effective. Some of Ellington's new works, such as the wordless vocal feature "Transblucency" with Kay Daviswas not going to have a similar reach as the newly emerging stars.
Ellington continued on his own course through these tectonic shifts. While Count Basie was forced to disband his whole ensemble and work as an octet for a time, Ellington was able to tour most of Western Europe between April 6 and June 30,with the orchestra playing 74 dates over 77 days. Ellington later presented its score to music-loving President Harry Truman. Also during his time in Europe, Ellington would compose the music for a stage production by Orson Welles.
InEllington suffered a significant loss of personnel: Sonny Greer, Lawrence Brown and, most importantly, Johnny Hodges left to pursue other ventures, although only Greer was a permanent departee. Tenor player Paul Gonsalves had joined in December  after periods with Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie and stayed for the rest of his life, while Clark Terry joined in November During the early s, Ellington's career was at a low point with his style being generally seen as outmoded, but his reputation did not suffer as badly as some artists.
Ellington's appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 7, returned him to wider prominence and introduced him to a new generation of fans. The feature " Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue " comprised two tunes that had been in the band's book since but largely forgotten until Ellington, who had abruptly ended the band's scheduled set because of the late arrival of four key players, called the two tunes as the time was approaching midnight. Announcing that the two pieces would be separated by an interlude played by tenor saxophonist Paul GonsalvesEllington proceeded to lead the band through the two pieces, with Gonsalves' chorus marathon solo whipping the crowd into a frenzy, leading the Maestro to play way beyond the curfew time despite urgent pleas from festival organizer George Wein to bring the program to an end.
The concert made international headlines, led to one of only five Time magazine cover stories dedicated to a jazz musician,  and resulted in an album produced by George Avakian that would become the best-selling LP of Ellington's career. According to Avakian, Ellington was dissatisfied with aspects of the performance and felt the musicians had been under rehearsed. Not until was the concert recording properly released for the first time.
The revived attention brought about by the Newport appearance should not have surprised anyone, Johnny Hodges had returned the previous year, and Ellington's collaboration with Strayhorn had been renewed around the same time, under terms more amenable to the younger man. The original Ellington at Newport album was the first release in a new recording contract with Columbia Records which yielded several years of recording stability, mainly under producer Irving Townsendwho coaxed both commercial and artistic productions from Ellington.
His hope that television would provide a significant new outlet for his type of jazz was not fulfilled. Tastes and trends had moved on without him. Festival appearances at the new Monterey Jazz Festival and elsewhere provided venues for live exposure, and a European tour in was well received. Such Sweet Thunderbased on Shakespeare's plays and characters, and The Queen's Suitededicated to Britain's Queen Elizabeth IIwere products of the renewed impetus which the Newport appearance helped to create, although the latter work was not commercially issued at the time.
The late s also saw Ella Fitzgerald record her Duke Ellington Songbook Verve with Ellington and his orchestra—a recognition that Ellington's songs had now become part of the cultural canon known as the ' Great American Songbook '. Around this time Ellington and Strayhorn began to work on film soundtrack scoring.
The first of these was Anatomy of a Murder a courtroom drama directed by Otto Preminger and featuring James Stewartin which Ellington appeared fronting a roadhouse combo. Film historians have recognized the soundtrack "as a landmark — the first significant Hollywood film music by African Americans comprising non-diegetic music, that is, music whose source is not visible or implied by action in the film, like an on-screen band.
For many years after he continued to have great sucess until November 18 when he died. May 11, Harlem experiences a series of rent strikes which end up mobolizing many groups in Harlem to fight for equality, better schools, jobs and housing. There were many riots however a lot of the protests were non violent. Mar 27, Lets go! Periodizzazione della storia universale. Acontecimientos que dieron origen a los derechos insertos en al articulo Albert Einstein- Alejandro Hinojosa.
Don Quijote De La Mancha Momentos Mas Importantes. Linea de Tiempo: Microprocesadores. Hechos importantes en la historia de la computacion. Important Events in America during the 19th Century Timeline.
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