by Mr Alan Williams, Media and Communications Officer
The live performances of jazz legend Duke Ellington, and how they differed from his recorded work, are to be explored in a new research project by a Plymouth University academic.
“Jazz is always surrounded by a sense of mysticism, and it is a genre that continues to inspire audiences to this day. Much of the music was written in the 1920s and 30s, but its appeal lives on through the fact there is so much improvisation involved. There have been few greater purveyors of that than Duke Ellington, and the result is the music heard by live audiences is in many cases hugely different to that on recordings, and they both differ to what was originally written.”
'It is amazing to receive this level of international recognition, both personally and for the University, and I cannot wait to go to the Smithsonian and begin my research. Duke Ellington was a true pioneer – recognised as a composer rather than simply a musician and band leader – and it will be fascinating to explore the full extent of his talents. I also hope I can use what I learn to inspire students about the different ways they might approach performance in their futures.'
"Duke Ellington was a true pioneer – recognised as a composer rather than simply a musician and band leader – and it will be fascinating to explore the full extent of his talents"