Duke Ellington. Ellington, Duke [Edward Kennedy] .
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(b Washington, DC, 29 April 1899; d New York, 24 May 1974). American jazz composer, bandleader and pianist. He was for decades a leading figure in big-band jazz and remains the most significant composer of the genre. (New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians)
Ellington was also successful as a bandleader:
A study of contrasts, both within and outside the piece.