Quotes By Duke Ellington About Jazz

Duke Ellington was one of the founding fathers of jazz music.

“By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with.” – Duke Ellington

“Playing ‘bop’ is like playing Scrabble with all the vowels missing.” – Duke Ellington

“The Europeans who went to Africa came back with “modern’ art. What is more African than a Picasso?” – Duke Ellington

“Put it this way: Jazz is a good barometer of freedom… In its beginnings, the United States of America spawned certain ideals of freedom and independence through which, eventually, jazz was evolved, and the music is so free that many people say it is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country.” – Duke Ellington

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to decide where jazz starts or where it stops, where Tin Pan Alley begins and jazz ends, or even where the borderline lies between between classical music and jazz. I feel there is no boundary line.” – Duke Ellington

“The word [jazz] never lost its association with those New Orleans bordellos. In the 1920s I used to try to convince Fletcher Henderson that we ought to call what we were doing ‘Negro music’. But it’s too late for that now.” – Duke Ellington

“Jazz today, as always in the past, is a matter of thoughtful creation, not mere unaided instinct.” – Duke Ellington

“If anybody was Mr. Jazz it was Louis Armstrong. He was the epitome of jazz and always will be. He is what I call an American standard, an American original.” – Duke Ellington

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