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Edward Kennedy “Duke Ellington, arguably America’s greatest composer, bandleader and recording artist, was born in Washington, D.C. before the turn of the century on April 29 in 1899.

During his 50-plus year career, Ellington composed thousands of songs for the stage, screen and composition book, according to Some of his notable songs include, “It don’t mean a thing,” “Echoes of Harlem,” “East St. Louis Toodle-oo,” and “The Mooche.” Ellington was awarded twelve Grammys from 1959 to 2000, nine of those came during his lifetime.