Duke Ellington is probably the only jazzman considered to be a true artist, far more celebrated as a composer than as a
performer. He always saw his job as a musician as being the building of a body of work and his ambition was to create a new
musical language capable of expressing in its very form the emotions, colours and personalities of black Americans, even at
their most contradictory. From sacred to secular, from dance to opera via blues and gospel, his music defined the integration
of blacks into the culture.