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Smithsonian Jazz: Duke’s Music Class

September is Jazz Month, and there’s no better guide into the world of jazz than Duke Ellington. Explore this jazz great as a composer, a bandleader, and a pianist on this terrific Smithsonian site. Each aspect of Duke Ellington’s talent is paired with a recording and activities to do. Listen to “Daybreak Express,” an Ellington composition, that uses the rhythms of the train moving down the tracks to conjure up an image of your being on that train. When listening to “Take the ‘A’ Train,” you can learn to recognize the different parts of the jazz orchestra. Lastly, Duke Ellington will entertain you by playing his famous “Sophisticated Lady” on the piano.

courtesy of Knovation