Sunday, April 26th, 2015 the Savannah Jazz Orchestra will perform its annual Duke Ellington Birthday Concert as tribute to the life and music of American composer, pianist, and big band leader Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) at the Armstrong Fine Arts Auditorium.
Duke Ellington, who would be 116 this year, remains one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, as both a composer and a band leader. Ellington received the President’s Gold Medal in 1966, the Medal of Freedom in 1969, 13 Grammy Awards, and the French Legion of Honor in 1973. Posthumously, a Duke Ellington United States Commemorative stamp was issued in 1986 and he was awarded with a special award citation by the Pulitzer Prize Board in 1999. (more…)