Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra

by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

When he was a boy, Edward Kennedy Ellington's first love was baseball. At his... read more

When he was a boy, Edward Kennedy Ellington's first love was baseball. At his parents' insistence, he took piano lessons and, by the time he was 19, music was his passion. He was able to earn his living by playing his own compositions -- a type of music no one had ever heard before. This picture book biography focuses not so much on the events in Duke Ellington's life, but on his music, his orchestra, his skill with improvisation, and his impact in the world of jazz. Andrea Davis Pinkney's text grabs young listeners with its jazzy beat. Her playful use of language echoes the era in which Duke was king. Like the words they accompany, Brian Pinkney's spirited scratchboard illustrations swing with joyful vitality as they show the effect Ellington's music has had on listeners, past and present. Winner, 1998 CCBC Coretta Scott King Award Discussion: Illustrator; Honor Book, 1998 CCBC Coretta Scott King Award Discussion: Author. (Ages 6-10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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