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
Our live show is currently paused for the summer, but you can catch up with any episodes you missed on YouTube.
For more details on how to view and participate, or to make a donation to support the show, are on the Uptown Lockdown page.
Chat to us
We’re chatting online using Discord - join us at https://discord.gg/efQNUMa.
Unfortunately we were unable to hold an AGM in 2020 due to the Covid-19
pandemic. The DESUK committee is keeping the situation under review, and will
aim to organise a physical AGM in the second half of 2021 if it is safe and
practical for our members to attend.
A provisional date for the AGM is Saturday the 16th of October 2021 in central
London. We will inform our members closer to the time, via Blue Light and this
website, if this can go ahead.
Got a gig coming up with an Ellington element? Pop us an email and we can publicise via our website.
DESUK members will know Frank from his regular contributions to Blue Light, and as co-host of Uptown Lockdown. During the hiatus of the latter, you can get more Frank on his two radio shows:
1. www.mykindamusic24.com / “Grifftides- Jazz Under Arrest” / Thursdays at 9PM. Repeats at 6PM Sunday.
2. Liverpool Community Radio / “The Jazz Cavern” / 106.7 FM www.l-c-r.co.uk / Airs on weekly Fridays-2PM, Saturdays- 4PM, Tuesdays- 4PM 24 hours a day on https://www.spreaker.com/episode/
Got a link you’d like to share? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the above.
Oxford University Press presents Con Chapman’s new
of the great saxophonist and Ellington frontman Johnny Hodges.
As the first ever biography on Johnny Hodges, Rabbit’s Blues details his
place as one of the premier artists of the alto sax in jazz history, and his
role as co-composer with Ellington.
The estimated release date is early November; look out for a review in a future Blue Light.
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
Dr John (Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.) passed away on June 6, 2019. Among his extensive discography he leaves us an album of Ellington covers, Duke Elegant. Here’s a fun one. Check out an fascinating reworking of The Flaming Sword on the same album.
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
Thanks to all how who attended our meeting. Anthony picked out a favourite tune: Hot Feet
We have a new website! And we’re new on Facebook too. Here’s something jumpin’ to celebrate.
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
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!
Georgetown University in Washington, DC has issued a call for
for their upcoming conference, running from March 11-15, 2020.
Details of our latest AGM and elections