Pioneer, innovator, and jazz’s greatest bandleader

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington put an indelible imprint on jazz and American music through boundary-transcending compositions and more than five decades of performances with his eponymous orchestra.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra continues to inspire and delight aficionados around the world over a hundred years after Duke founded it in 1923—and his legacy is alive and well in the hands of his grandson, Paul Mercer Ellington.

Discover Duke’s life, work, and legacy—and today’s Duke Ellington Orchestra

The Man

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974): pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader—and a peerless force for change.

The Music

The remarkable, distinctive works and collaborations of jazz’s most prolific and influential composer and arranger.

The Orchestra

An iconic bandleader and his unparalleled group of musical artists who changed the face of American music.

Discover Duke

Explore the legacy—through words and media—of an iconic voice for artistic expression and freedom who challenged inequity with excellence and elegance.

Today’s Orchestra

After more than 100 years, Duke’s Orchestra has never stopped swinging. Experience their artistry live.