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“The memory of things gone is important to a jazz musician.” —Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo," "Pops" and, later, "Ambassador Satch," was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians with both his daring trumpet style and unique vocals. Armstrong's charismatic stage presence impressed not only the jazz world but all of popular music. He recorded several songs throughout his career, including he is known for songs like "Star Dust," "La Vie En Rose" and "What a Wonderful World." Armstrong died at his home in...

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Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Influential Black Leaders, Jazz, Music, Pianist -

“People do not retire. They are retired by others.” —Duke Ellington Duke Ellington was born April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. A major figure in the history of jazz music, his career spanned more than half a century, during which time he composed thousands of songs for the stage, screen and contemporary songbook. He created one of the most distinctive ensemble sounds in Western music and continued to play what he called "American Music" until shortly before his death in 1974. Early Life Born on April 29, 1899, Duke Ellington was raised by two talented, musical parents in a middle-class...

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Black History, Black History leaders, Black History Month, Black Leaders, Black Leaders list, Civil Tights, Composer, Duke Ellington, Influential Black Leaders, Jazz, Music -

Because ‘in death as in life, he is the embodiment of jazz’ 1899 – 1974 Just as soul music and Motown provided the aspirational soundtrack for the 1960s civil rights movement, swing music furnished the upwardly-mobile score for the mid-1900s Harlem Renaissance. And of all the formidable bandleaders of the era, Edward “Duke” Ellington towered over the competition like a musical Everest. Where Count Basie, Benny Goodman and competing bandleaders favored high-stepping songs with hard-swinging arrangements, Ellington tunes such as “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good),” “In a Sentimental Mood,” and “Black and Tan Fantasy” seem mysterious by...

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