Best Answer

Duke came from a wealthy black family in Washington D.C. As a boy, he was a somewhat reluctant and lazy piano student, being more interested in sports. However, at aged 15, he heard a young man of his own age playing what he describes as "swinging piano" and this re-awoke his interest in the instrument. He prevailed upon his parents to buy him a player piano and through that medium was able to play along with piano rolls by the great black, jazz piano players like Fats Waller and James P. Johnson. Later, he came to realize that playing music was a great way to both earn a little money and gain the approbation of the female sex. So with some friends, he began a little band and began to play some small gigs in and around the D.C. area. The rest is history.

User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2012-04-06 19:00:20
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What motivated Duke Ellington to play jazz?
Write your answer...
Related questions

What has the author Duke Ellington written?

Duke Ellington has written: 'Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4' 'Duke Ellington the 100th Anniversary' 'Duke Ellington' 'The Great of Duke Ellington' 'Duke Ellington - Piano' 'Duke Ellington for Jazz Guitar (Jazz Play-Along)' 'DUKE ELLINGTON STANDARDS (PIANO PLAY-ALONG V38) BKCD (Piano Play-Along)' 'Music of Duke Ellington' 'Music is my mistress' -- subject(s): Biography, Correspondence, reminiscences, Jazz musicians, Correspondance, Musiciens 'The very best of Duke Ellington' -- subject(s): Big band music, Jazz 'DUKE ELLINGTON CLASSICS (PIANO PLAY-ALONG V39) BKCD (Piano Play-Along)' 'Sophisticated Ladies' 'Duke Ellington - Alto Sax' 'Duke Ellington - Jazz Piano' 'Duke Ellington - Trombone' 'Duke Ellington - Drums' 'Jump for joy (A Jazz Hour With Series)'

What type of music did Duke Ellington play?

Duke Ellington played jazz!!!!!!!!!

What syle of jazz did Duke Ellington play?

he played in rock jazz

Duke ellington was known for his style of?

Duke Ellington was a popular American jazz musician, a composer, a radio star, and the leader of his own orchestra. He was able to play a number of styles of jazz, and made jazz accessible to a wider audience.

How was Duke Ellington different from most jazz artists who preceded him?

He could play 2 instruments and was a bandleader

What style of jazz did Duke Ellington play?

first off all aint nobody a jerk for answering a question and duke ellington chose music to let out his insides and because he figured iit out on his own

What type of music did duke ellington play and write?

He wrote JAZZ Music but is known for Swing/Big Band

What instruments did duke ellington play?

I think Duke just played the Piano What he played more instruments than that that's why he was a jazz playing legend.

What did Duke Ellington play?


Did Duke Ellington play the trumpet?

Duke Ellington was a Big Band orchestra leader and composer. His instrument was the piano.

What musical instrument did Duke Ellington most often play?

Duke Ellington most often played the piano.

What insrtument did Duke Ellington play?

Duke Ellington was a Big Band orchestra leader and composer. His instrument was the piano.

What insturmant did Duke Ellington play?


What instrument did duke ellington play?

The Piano

What did Duke Ellington do that was so important?

Ellington was one of the first to write and play (and conduct) jazz music of the swing type that was popular to all, not just with jazz enthusiasts. Also some of the Duke's songs are still very popular and very recognizable, today.

Did Duke Ellington play an instrument or did he just sing?

Duke was an excellent pianist.

What instument did duke ellington play?

His instrument was the piano.

What instrument did edward Duke Ellington play?

The piano

What insrament did Duke Ellington play?

yes. he played the piano

What kind of instruments did Duke Ellington Play?

Mostly piano

When did Duke Ellington learn to play piano?

at age of seven

What instrument did Duke Ellington most ofter play?


Did duke ellington play at a Goodyear tires concert in 1962?

Yes, Ellington played a Goodyear Jazz concert in 62, the films were originally recorded as promotional films for the Goodyear Tire Company. Louis Armstrong did one also.

What does Duke Ellington play?

Nothing any more. He's dead. He used to play piano.

How many songs did Duke Ellington compose?

A Lot of song he play a piano