Today his recordings remain among the most popular jazz of the big-band era. Born in Washington D.C. in 1899, Edward Kennedy Ellington, better known as “Duke,” began playing piano as a child. His mother, who also played the piano, oversaw his education, and by the time he was seventeen he began playing professionally.Dec 12, 2002
Duke Ellington - Role in Harlem Renaissance. As part of the Great Migration, jazz legend Duke Ellington moved from Washington D.C. to New York and played a major role in the Harlem Renaissance as the band leader of the Cotton Club.
The band started in New York City under name of the Washingtonians in 1923, they then briefly became known as Duke Ellington and his Kentucky Club Orchestra, then as Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra from 1927 to 1930.