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Meet Amazing Americans Musicians & Composers Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington at the piano, between 1946 and 1948
Ellington tickles the ivories at the Aquarium in New York

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Duke Ellington's Varied Career
Ellington said that by the time he was 20 he had read the Bible three times. It's no surprise, then, that he wrote the Sacred Concerts, a three-part series of concerts combining classical European and African American forms and styles. The First Sacred Concert premiered at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1965, the Second at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and the Third Sacred Concert at Westminster Abbey in London. When asked why it took so long to write the concerts, he said, "You can jive with secular music, but you can't jive with the Almighty." Duke Ellington certainly knew how to jive and with his music he taught the world how to swing along.
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