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Why Duke Ellington?: Ellington was chosen because of his fantastic ability to create and play music. His music styles included almost all types of music. His fantastic ability allowed him to start writing music at the age of 14. His music was directed towards the government and anyone who opposed blacks being musicians. He was on the move a lot with his band for fear of the racism.

His First Job: Duke Ellington was born on the 29th of April in 1899 as Edward Ellington. He started begging keyboard studies when he was seven, and made his first professional debut at 17. Duke Ellington was a jazz pianist during the roaring 20's when jazz was played often. In 1923 he was given a job playing at the Cotton Club in Harlem. The Cotton Club only allowed whites in.
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Duke Ellington

Success without racism: Ellington had a traveling band, but he didn't want to deal with the racism. He made political statements through his music and at the same time tried to not let his political news become more important than his music.
He obtained 50 years of great music. He used complex techniques to create his very popular music.
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Duke Ellington playing the piano

Civil Rights Movement: During the Civil Rights Movement, Ellington played at concerts and then donated the money.
He was even asked by MLK to go on a march, but he didn't because he wasn't quite that dedicated.