Jazz Trivia

Since my third CD is a Duke Ellington tribute, I thought it would be fun to test your knowledge about Duke. This is a multiple choice quiz and the answers appear at the bottom. Have fun and don’t peek at the answers until you’re done! There will be new quizzes from time to time on various jazz topics and personalities. Stay tuned for more jazz trivia!

Duke Ellington
Composer, Pianist, Bandleader
April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974

1. Where was Duke Ellington born?
A. Atlanta, GA
B. Columbus, OH
C. New Orleans, LA
D. Washington, DC

2. What is Duke’s given name?
A. George Martin Ellington
B. Edward Kennedy Ellington
C. Robert Jefferson Ellington
D. James Nelson Ellington

3. What is the name of the band Duke played with in late 1923 in New York City?
A. The New Yorkers
B. The New Swing Cats
C. The Washingtonians
D. The Hot Fives

4. From 1927-1931 Duke played at what famous club in Harlem?
A. The Cotton Club
B. The Blue Note
C. Duke’s Place
D. The Stardust Lounge

5. Which member of Duke’s orchestra along with the Delta Rhythm Boys and singer, Joya Sherrill, wrote their famous theme song, Take The “A” Train?
A. Johnny Hodges
B. Billy Strayhorn
C. Ben Webster
D. Cootie Williams

6. In 1930, Duke’s orchestra appeared in what Hollywood film?
A. Love in the Rough
B. Viennese Nights
C. Check and Double Check
D. The Cuckoos

7. In 1959, Duke wrote the film score for Anatomy of a Murder. What famous singer collaborated with him on the theme song, I’m Gonna Go Fishin’?
A. Sarah Vaughn
B. Ella Fitzgerald
C. Peggy Lee
D. Anita O’Day

8. What style of jazz, which incorporated pseudo-African musical effects, did trumpeter Bubber Miley and Duke Ellington make famous in the 1920’s and 30’s?
A. Jungle
B. Primitive
C. Be-Bop
D. Fusion

9. What is the estimated number of compositions Duke wrote?
A. 1,000
B. 3,500
C. 2,000
D. 5,000

10. In 1971, Duke became the first jazz musician to be named a member of what institution?
A. Julliard School of Music in New York City
B. The London School of Economics
C. Harvard University
D. The Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm

11. Which of the following innovations is representative of Duke’s compositional style?
A. Use of the chalumeau register of the clarinet
B. Use of the trombone as a 4th voice added to an ensemble of 3 saxophones
C. Use of the voice (singing without text) as a jazz instrument
D. All of the above

12. What famous writer provided the lyrics for the Ellington song Heart of Harlem in 1945?
A. Gwendolyn Brooks
B. Langston Hughes
C. James Baldwin
D. None of the above
Click here for answers

1. D
2. B
3. C
4. A
5. B
6. C
7. C
8. A
9. C
10. D
11. D
12. B
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