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.

Link to view the broadcasts: https://www.pscp.tv/AP64740207/. You can join us live or watch them afterwards at the same address.

We also have a public Discord chatroom which might be useful in the event of any difficulties, or if you just fancy some Ducal chat: 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.

Frank’s gigs

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

Date/Time: September 8, 2020. 8.30PM
Location: Wilmslow Conservative Club. 15 Grove, Wilmslow, SK9 5EG
Featuring: Frank Griffith Nonet 01625 528336
Admission: £8

Date: 2 October 2020
Location: Sefton Park Cricket Club, L17 1AA
Time: 8PM
Featuring: The Frank Griffith Nonet

More on Frank’s website.

Recent posts

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!