May 12 1999
PBS Great Performances: Season 27, Episode 15
A feature length performance-documentary celebrating Duke Ellington’s centennial. The film presents a close-up look at some of Ellington’s greatest works, in performances by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as they have never been seen or heard before. Interwoven documentary scenes take viewers on a journey to the heart of Ellington’s passions as a songwriter, pianist and bandleader. Marsalis provides a commentary that helps put Duke in context as he performs the Ellington repertoire for a new generation of listeners. The film also features jazz legend Illinois Jacquet on tenor sax, and Lindy-hop king, Frankie Manning, helping to celebrate the excitement, humor, and swinging spirit of Duke Ellington.