Historic time period: 1890–1930
Duke Ellington and Jazz
Born in America and enjoyed worldwide, jazz is a fun and exciting part of American history.
The National Museum of American History has many artifacts that tell the story of jazz, from Dizzy Gillespie's B–flat Trumpet to sheet music from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. To learn more about jazz, visit SmithsonianJazz.org.
This OurStory theme explores the story of one of America's signature art forms and greatest musicians. Start with reading Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra, then explore other aspects of jazz history through the other related activities and books.
Read This Book
You can learn more about immigration history over different eras and from different countries by reading these books. Click on the book titles below for more information, or visit our complete bibliography.
More Recommended Books
- A-tisket, a-tasket by Ella Fitzgerald & Van Alexander
- I See the Rhythm by Toyomi Igus
- Jazz Anecdotes by Bill Crow
- Jazz Baby by Carole Boston Weatherford
- Lookin' for Bird in the Big City by Burleigh Robert
- Scott Joplin by Katherine Preston
Read Duke Ellington
Meet Edward "Duke" Ellington, one of America's most famous jazz musicians.Download the PDF »
Play and Create
Follow simple directions to make a musical instrument, then try out some "call and response" jazz rhythmsDownload the PDF »
In the Mood for Instruments
Try your hand at picking instruments to change the mood of a song.Download the PDF »
Jumpin' Jazz Concert
Take a Trip
Check out the cool jazz cats in your neighborhood with these tips for finding and enjoying jazz performances near you.Download the PDF »