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.

DESUK Live Broadcast: Uptown Lockdown

We’re doing live broadcasts on Wednesday afternoons, 17:00 London time. We will be discussing matters Ellington and Strayhorn, playing tracks as well as a bit of live versions of their music. You can catch up at any time later.

More details on how to view and participate are on the Uptown Lockdown page.

Chat to us

We’re chatting online using Discord - join us at https://discord.gg/efQNUMa.

2020 AGM

The DESUK Annual General Meeting had been scheduled for Saturday, 2 May 2020. In view of the current health uncertainty this meeting will not take place, nor can we give any indication of an alternative time.

As selection of a new Committee would normally have taken place at the AGM, all current committee members have indicated their willingness to continue in office until such time as normal business can be resumed, In this way we anticipate that DESUK features such as Blue Light can appear in the normal manner.

Please refer to the DESUK website for current information.

Mike Coates, DESUK Chairman

Non-society events

Got a gig coming up with an Ellington element? Pop us an email and we can publicise via our website.

Recent Tweets

Recent posts

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!