Duke Ellington

Louie Bellson was one of the World's premier drummers and listed in every jazz encyclopedia. Even with great success, he remained humble and was one of the true gentlemen of American popular music. With his noted double bass drum kit, a series of method books, and respected clinics, Louie made a...
Irwin Berg has a million great stories, like the one when Glenn Miller ensured that his father not serve in the infantry during World War II, but instead, design and manufacture all the mutes for the Army Air Force band and those of the Navy bands as well. Irwin has since expanded the business to...
 Kenny Burrell is among the most beloved guitarists of post-war jazz.  Kenny’s influential recordings and strong interest in musical education has helped establish his name among students and educators alike. His expertise on all things Ellington has parlayed into a popular course at UCLA begun in...
Jimmy Cheatham was one of the coolest jazz cats in the industry. Having worked with many of the top jazz players such as Duke Ellington and Ornette Coleman, Jimmy brought the sounds of traditional jazz to film scores and television programs over several decades. Jimmy’s warm personality was only...
Ron Modell is among the most popular musicians/school band directors in the United States. As a trumpeter he worked with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra as well as with jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Mel Tormé. His first teaching experiences took place at Kansas State Teachers College in...
Tony Schmidt was the very first volunteer of the Museum of Making Music (located in the NAMM building) to provide 1,000 hours of service. As a kid, he saw Duke Ellington perform in his hometown of Chicago and was hooked, not only on Ellington (for which he was a noted expert), but on all things...
Gunther Schuller said he always had a passion for music. As a small boy he was photographed playing a conductor, a position he would later hold for many symphonies around the world. However, his passion for music was not limited to the classics but also with jazz. So, when he combined the two types...