Welcome to DESUK

The Duke Ellington Society UK’s purpose is to further the study, appreciation and dissemination of the music of Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington.

We meet regularly in London to listen and socialise, and new arrivals are always welcome.

Our house publication Blue Light is released quarterly. The content is wide ranging and we are fortunate to have amongst our members jazz authors, journalists and critics, and equally fortunate to have many enthusiastic members who, because of their own deep interest, have become expert in particular niches of Ellingtonia.

Next meeting

Saturday 10th August 2019, Civil Service Club (map) at 2pm. Come along, chat and hear music that is beyond category. The Civil Service Club has a bar and serves food. Facebook event page here.

2020 AGM

Save the date: Saturday 2nd May 2020. Details to follow.

Non-society events

Other upcoming events in the UK with an Ellington element.

Our own Frank Griffith has some upcoming gigs, often with an Ellingtonian twist.

  • 3 August, 12PM. FG Trio at the Granby Street Market. Granby Street, Liverpool, L8 2US. Free.
  • 4 August, 9PM. FG Quartet with Misha Gray, Ed Harrison and Eryl Roberts. Railway Pub, 74 Wellington Rd, Stockport, SK4 1HF. Free.
  • 10 August, 7-10PM. FG w/Tom Sykes- piano. The Sir Thomas Hotel. 24 Sir Thomas St, Liverpool, L1 6JB. 0151 236 1366. Free.
  • 30 August, 8PM. FG Nonet. Sefton Park Cricket Club, Sefton Park. Liverpool, L17 1AP. £5.
  • 15 September, 1PM. Saxtivity (sax quartet) at the Palm House in Sefton Park.L17 1AL. Free.
  • 17 September, 8PM. FG Quartet at Wilmslow Conservative Club. 15 Grove Ave, Wilmslow, SK9 5EG. Free.
  • 6 October, 2-3PM. With Annie Long Quartet. Williamson Art Gallery. Statey Road, Birkenhead, CH43 4UE. Free.
  • 28 November, 8.30PM. FG w/Martin Hart Quartet. Hedsor Social Club, Hedsor Road, Bourne End, Bucks,SL8 5ES. £8.
  • 29 November, 1PM. FG with Martin Litton, piano and Nils Solberg, guitar. Brunel University, Beldam Room. Free.
  • 4 February 2020, 8.30PM. FG Quartet w/Franck Amsallem, piano, John MacCormick, bass, Danny Ward, drums. Phase One. 80 Seel Street, Liverpool, L1 4JN. £3.
  • 8 February 2020, 2.30-5PM. FG w/Tina May, Franck Amsallem, Steve Berry and Eryl Roberts. Southport Jazz Festival.
  • 8 February 2020, 9PM. FG with Franck Amsallem and Steve Berry. Ma Boyles, 7 Tower Gardens, The Strand, Liverpool, L3 1LG. 0151 236 0870.

Recent posts

CBS Tribute to Duke Ellington

CBS ran this tribute to Duke Ellington in 1974. Featuring interviews with Sonny Greer, Russell Procope, Billy Taylor and Ella Fitzgerald and preceded by an advert for a film by the other Duke (John Wayne), and to be enjoyed not only for its footage of the maestro but for the very best in mid-1970s TV advertising.

Upcoming Conference: Documenting Jazz 2020

Birmingham is hosting 2020’s Documenting Jazz conference in January.

Birmingham City University is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Documenting Jazz conference, to be held on 16–18 January 2020. Now in its second year, Documenting Jazz brings together colleagues from across the academic, archive, library, and museum sectors to explore and discuss documenting jazz.

More details at documentingjazz.com

Ron Drotos on Ellington

Spotted over at Ron Drotos’ wesbsite: The Beginner’s Guide To Duke Ellington. A nice introductory article with some good selections. One to share with Ellington newcomers.

Ron told us:

I got on board the Ellington train in the early 1980s, when I was 17-18 years old. My piano teacher Billy Taylor had known Ellington and Strayhorn and used to make me cassettes of out-of-print albums of theirs.

There are a few more Ellington-related blog posts on the site, including the surprising similarity between Duke Ellington, Keith Jarrett, and Elton John, as well as guides to playing some of the songs. We look forward to more!