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
Update: Louis Armstrong Special, Wednesday the 4th of August at 7pm. Watch
here or catch-up later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH-VzJJ6grs
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.
We finally feel confident that our AGM can proceed at last, at the great new
location of the Model Railway Club. This is a great opportunity for members
and fans of Duke Ellington to get involved in the Society and its work,
particularly if you’d like to help out with Blue Light.
The AGM will start at 1pm on Saturday the 16th of October, though we have the
room booked from noon if you are a little early. A bar with snacks, hot
drinks, soft drinks and alcohol will be in operation. Please note the room is
up one flight of stairs and there is unfortunately no lift.
After the formal proceedings we hope to have some entertainment lined up for
you, more details on that to follow.
The full address is: Model Railway Club, Keen House, 4 Calshot St, London N1
9DA. Google Maps location here.
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. Here’s a list of some of his upcoming gigs:
Date: 31 August 2021
Location: Wilmslow Conservative Club.15 Grove Avenue, Wilmslow, SK9 5EG
Featuring: The Frank Griffith Quartet
More information: 01625 528336
Date: 5 September 2021
Location: The Railway Pub, 74 Wellington Road, Stockport, SK4 1HF
Featuring: Frank Griffith Quartet with Dave Lynane, Misha Gray and Eryl Roberts
More information: 0161 477 3680
Date: 25 September 2021
Location: Ma Boyles. 7 Tower Gardens, The Strand,Liverpool, L3 1LG
Featuring: Frank Griffith Trio
More information: www.parrjazz.co.uk
Date: 16 October 2021 (i.e. the AGM!)
Location: Model Railway Club, Keen House, 4 Calshot Street, London, N1 9DA
Featuring: Frank Griffith Trio with Dave Green, Colin Oxley
More information: www.dukeellington.org.uk
Date: 28 November 2021
Location: Wigan Jazz, The Music Continuum, Whelley Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Vauxhall Rd, Wigan, WN1 2BB
Featuring: Frank Griffith Quintet with Mike Hall, Andrezj Baraneck, Eryl Roberts and Ed Harrison
More information: www.musiccontinuum.co.uk
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.
All About Jazz recently published an extensive interview with Edward Green, Professor at Manhattan School of Music and the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Duke Ellington.
Ellington’s… masterpieces are vibrant evidence that opposite aspects of
ourselves are meant to work together. And when they do, the result is beauty.
– Edward Green
Enjoy it here.
DESUK is now on Twitter @dukesocuk! Where better to start tweeting than Flirtibird?
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.