Duke Ellington

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Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist and bandleader of jazz orchestras. His career spanned over 50 years, leading his orchestra from 1923 until death. Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington himself embraced the phrase “beyond category” as a “liberating principle,” and referred his music to the more general category of “American Music,” rather than to a musical genre such as “jazz.”

 

Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920s onward and gained a national profile through his orchestra’s appearances at the Cotton Club in Harlem. In the 1930s, his orchestra toured in Europe. Though widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase “beyond category” as a liberating principle, and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music, rather than to a musical genre such as jazz.

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Ray Archie

Ray Archie is the Executive Director of Notes to the Soul, Inc. is infinitely the musicians’ advocate. It comes from the heart as Ray is also a musician who plays cello, bass, & piano and has performed internationally with Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas, LSO, SF Symphony orchestra, & many others. Ray crosses the boundaries of classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop, and soul music. Ray is an award-winning musician who has toured extensively worldwide since age 12. He has over 30 years of music industry experience, 12 years of broadcast experience, created large-scale consumer-facing products and has set international standards for audio.