The Best Duke Ellington quotes

Duke Ellington quotes thumbnail

Ellington was one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time. His melodies and harmonies were unlike anything that had been heard before, and his compositions are still considered some of the best in the genre. In this quotes compilation, we will take a look at Ellington’s life and music, and try to understand why he has such an enduring legacy.

We are glad to present you the most interesting Jazz, Music, Time quotes from Duke Ellington, and much more.


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About Duke Ellington

birth of the author

April 29, 1899

death of the author

May 24, 1974

genre of the author

Jazz, Swing

occupation of the author

Bandleader, Musician, Composer

instrument of the author


date of the author

Years Active:

productions of the author

Associated Acts:
Billy Strayhorn


Jazz is a good barometer of freedom. โ€” Duke Ellington

Jazz today, as always in the past, is a matter of thoughtful creation, not mere unaided instinct. โ€” Duke Ellington

By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with. โ€” Duke Ellington

Somehow I suspect that if Shakespeare were alive today, he might be a jazz fan himself. โ€” Duke Ellington

jazz is a good barometer of freedom Duke Ellington quote

Jazz is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of complete freedom yet produced in this country. โ€” Duke Ellington

If anybody was Mr. Jazz it was Louis Armstrong. He was the epitome of jazz and always will be. He is what I call an American standard, an American original. โ€” Duke Ellington

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. โ€” Duke Ellington

Love is supreme and unconditional. Like is nice, but limited. โ€” Duke Ellington

Love is indescribable and unconditional. I could tell you a thousand things that it is not, but not one that it is. Either you have it or you haven’t; there’s no proof of it. โ€” Duke Ellington

somehow i suspect that if shakespeare were alive today he might be a jazz fan himself Duke Ellington quote

Selfishness can be a virtue. Selfishness is essential to survival, and without survival we cannot protect those whom we love more than ourselves. โ€” Duke Ellington


What does music mean to you? What would you do without music? โ€” Duke Ellington

New music? Hell, there’s been no new music since Stravinsky. โ€” Duke Ellington

There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. โ€” Duke Ellington

You have to stop listening in categories. The music is either good or it’s bad. โ€” Duke Ellington

what does music mean to you what would you do without music Duke Ellington quote

Music is the tonal reflection of beauty. โ€” Duke Ellington

There is hardly any money interest in art, and music will be there when money is gone. โ€” Duke Ellington

The problem of expressing the contributions that Benny Carter has made to popular music is so tremendous it completely fazes me, so extraordinary a musician is he. โ€” Duke Ellington

What was Duke Ellingtonโ€™s early life like?

Duke Ellington grew up in Washington, D. C., in a secure middle-class family that encouraged his interests in the fine arts.
He began studying piano at age seven, studied art during his high-school years, and was awarded a scholarship to the Pratt Institute.

Music, of course, is what I hear and something that I more or less live by. It’s not an occupation or profession, it’s a compulsion. โ€” Duke Ellington

You can’t write music right unless you know how the man that’ll play it plays poker. โ€” Duke Ellington

new music hell there s been no new music since stravinsky Duke Ellington quote

Music is my mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one. โ€” Duke Ellington

Redundant Thematics

In Duke Ellington Statements



I don’t need time. What I need is a deadline! โ€” Duke Ellington

There are two kinds of worriesโ€“those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter. โ€” Duke Ellington

I never had much interest in the piano until I realized that every time I played, a girl would appear on the piano bench to my left and another to my right. โ€” Duke Ellington

Yet, every time God’s children have thrown away fear in pursuit of honestyโ€“trying to communicate themselves, understood or not, miracles have happened. โ€” Duke Ellington

i don t need time what i need is a deadline Duke Ellington quote

Inspiring Phrases From Duke Ellington

Without a deadline, baby, I wouldn’t do nothing. โ€” Duke Ellington

There are 2 rules in life: Number 1โ€“Never quit Number2โ€“Never forget rule number 1. โ€” Duke Ellington

A problem is A chAnce for you to do your best. โ€” Duke Ellington

A musical profit outweighs a financial loss. โ€” Duke Ellington

I don’t believe in categories of any kind, and when you speak of problems between blacks and whites in the U.S.A. you are referring to categories again. โ€” Duke Ellington

without a deadline baby i wouldn t do nothing Duke Ellington quote

Be a number one yourself. And not a number two somebody else. โ€” Duke Ellington

Create, and be true to yourself, and depend only on your own good taste. โ€” Duke Ellington

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