Document 17812409

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was born on
April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. He began
studying the piano at the age of seven. He started
playing jazz as a teenager, and moved to New York
City to become a bandleader. As a pianist, composer,
and bandleader, Ellington was one of the creators of
the big band sound, which fueled the "swing" era. He
continued leading and composing for his jazz
orchestra until his death in 1974.
Louis Armstrong was born in
New Orleans in 1901 and began
playing the trumpet at the age of
13. Armstrong perfected the
improvised jazz solo. Before
Armstrong, Dixieland was the
popular style of where everyone
soloed at once. Armstrong
developed the idea of musicians
playing individual solos. This
became the norm. Also known as
"Pops" and "Satchmo," Louis was
loved and admired throughout the
world. He died in New York City
on July 6, 1971.
Trumpeter, bandleader, and
composer John Birks "Dizzy"
Gillespie was born on October
21, 1917, in South Carolina. He
got his first music lesson from
his father and took off from
there. He moved to New York
City in 1937 to experiment with
jazz, coming up with the bebop
sound. Dizzy also helped to
introduce Latin American
rhythms to modern jazz. He is
most known for his bold
trumpet playing. He died in
New Jersey, on January 6, 1993.
Billie (Eleanora) Holiday , born in 1915 in Maryland,
was one of the first and greatest of American jazz
singers. Holiday began singing in Harlem clubs as a
teenager, and first recorded in 1933. She was nicknamed
"Lady Day." After some personal tragedies and drug
use, Holiday died at the age of 44 in 1959.
Ella Fitzgerald was born in 1917 in Virginia. She
was known primarily as a jazz singer who made
scat singing famous; improvisation in which the
singer substitutes nonsense syllables for lyrics. In
nearly sixty years of recording she was the
recipient of just about every major award,
including more than a dozen Grammys and a
Presidential Medal of Freedom. She died in 1996
due to complications from diabetes.
Watch this movie clip about the history of jazz.
Look closely and you will see one of the artists
we talked about today. Who is it?
“A Song is Born” (1948 movie)