Art Works Blog

That Time Duke Ellington Said...

Jazz aficonado or not, you've probably heard of Duke Ellington, one of the 20th-century's most iconic composer-bandleaders. Born in Washington, DC, as Edward Kennedy Ellington--he was dubbed Duke as a kid--Ellington's career spanned more than 50 years. Just a few of his hits include "Sophisticated Lady," "Satin Doll," and, of course, "It Don't Mean a Thing (...If It Ain't Got That Swing)." Ellington garnered multiple Grammy awards, including a Lifetime Achievement award and induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1969, he was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. To celebrate Black History Month and to inspire you whenever you need it,  here are five pin-worthy quotes by the master musician.

There is no art without intention Duke Ellington white text on red background

Music is the oldest entity The scope of music is immense and infinite It is the esperanto of the world Duke Ellington white text on black background

the most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen Duke Ellington black text on orange ground

I merely took the energy it takes to put and wrote some blues Duke Ellington red text on gray ground

Music is of course is what I hear and something that I more of less live by It's not an occupation or profession, it's a compulsion Duke Ellington black text on blue ground

Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it

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