Rude Interlude -- a Duke Ellington home page
Rude Interlude, a Duke Ellington home pageImage: the dapper Duke
Duke Ellington... composer, bandleader, piano player.
A pioneer, an innovator and an inspiration to generations, Duke Ellington personified elegance and sophistication. More importantly, he was a workaholic creative genius who never stopped exploring new dimensions of his musical world.
Rude Interlude is dedicated to the memory and musical legacy of Edward Kennedy Ellington -- Duke -- with the hope that it will be useful to students, fans, and others with an interest in Ellington.

Rude Interlude Departments:
--button--Ellington Biography -- by Mark Tucker, from The Duke Ellington Reader. (New for the Duke Ellington centenary, April 29, 1999)
--button--"I Live With Music" -- an essay on Duke.
--button--Duke on Disc -- a listening list of more than 100 Ellington recordings on CD, with a brief description of each.
--button--about "Beyond Category" -- the Smithsonian's traveling Duke Ellington exhibition.
--button--Album Gallery -- A list of all cover art used to illustrate Rude Interlude.
--button--Searching for Duke -- Search the Web or Usenet news groups for Ellington references or try a few Ellington links I've collected.
--button--A Personal Note -- Ellington's music and memories of my daughter Amanda.

Other Important Ellington sites:
--button-- The Edward Kennedy Ellington Pages -- Your complete guide to Ellingtonia on the Web, a wealth of links collected and organized by David Smith.
--button--The Ellington-Strayhorn Songbook -- information on more than a thousand of the compositions by Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and Mercer Ellington, with discographical information. A meticulous labor of love, created by Yoshioka Toshiya.
--button--A Duke Ellington Panorama -- A growing resource with emphasis on discography, put together by Peter MacHare. Also has info about the Duke Ellington Society and the Duke - LYM mailing list.
--button--The Duke Ellington Society of New York -- Drawing upon extensive organizational resources, this new site offers a comprehensive view of Ellington, his work, and many of his associates.

When we speak of Duke Ellington's vast body of work, we are really speaking of the product of a collaborative process of creation, which Ellington shared over the decades with many of his musicians, and especially with Billy Strayhorn. Every one of those individuals is a part of the musical legend and the legacy we refer to as Duke Ellington. Without any one of them, that body of work would be different; without Strayhorn it would be vastly different and missing some crucial pieces. But without them all, there would still be Ellington himself and his undeniable urge to create, and there would still be an Ellington body of work, different but distinctive and personal. He was the prime mover and the focus of all the creative energy. He did not just give his name to a musical sound, he shaped it and defined it and caused it to happen.

Rude Interlude honors Edward Kennedy Ellington as well as the many men and women who helped him to create what we know as the musical legacy of Duke Ellington.

About Rude Interlude

The photo on this page is a publicity shot of Duke Ellington, taken before his 1933 tour of Britain. Scan provided by Boyd Martin.

At one of Duke's concerts during that first British tour, the wife of composer Constant Lambert misunderstood his introduction of Mood Indigo. She thought he said Rude Interlude. Ellington obligingly composed a new piece with that title, and recorded it later that year. It's a good example of Duke's tongue-in-cheek humor.

Rude Interlude was selected as the Fun Site of the Day for January 16, 1997 by Rick's American Cyber Grill.

Rude Interlude is now accessible at two locations, the new main site and the original site.

Thanks for valuable advice, inspiration, and other assistance to Betty Teller, Scott Schwartz, and Doug Barlow.

Rude Interlude (including subsidiary pages) is a non-commercial project, intended as an educational resource. I believe all images reproduced on these pages are covered by the principles of Fair Use. However, I also have attempted to verify that all images are available for use in this manner, and to the best of my knowledge, this is true. Anyone who has reason to believe that any of the images on these pages should not be reproduced here is urged to contact me immediately.

Rude Interlude, a Duke Ellington home page is the work of Robb Holmes,
and was first placed on the Web on May 24, 1996
(which turned out to be the 22nd anniversary of Duke Ellington's death).
The most recent major update was completed on April 29, 1997,
the 98th anniversary of Ellington's birth.

Amanda's memorial added July 21, 1997.

Biography by Mark Tucker added April 7, 1999, in preparation for the Ellington centenary. Thanks to Oxford University Press.

Please email suggestions, factual corrections, or reports of broken links to

This page uses a few HTML extensions that are, for now, unique to Microsoft Internet Explorer, but it should be legible when viewed with any browser.

Back to the Boulevardier's Music Room.

Original text © copyright 1997 Robb Holmes

The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.
In addition, it should be noted that this web page has not been updated recently, and it may present information that is out of date or otherwise incorrect.