Few American artists in any medium have enjoyed the international and lasting cultural impact of Duke Ellington. From jazz standards such as "Mood Indigo" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," to his longer, more orchestral suites, to his leadership of the stellar big band he toured and performed with for decades after most big bands folded, Ellington represented a singular, path-breaking force in music over the course of a half century. At the same time, as one of the most prominent black public figures in history, Ellington demonstrated leadership on questions of civil rights, equality, and America's role in the world. Drawing on extensive research and a wealth of new interviews, "Duke Ellington's America" paints a vivid portrait of the life and times of this towering figure, taking him from his youth in the black middle-class enclave of Washington, DC, to the heights of worldwide acclaim.
Harvey G. Cohen, a cultural and political historian, teaches in the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King's College London. Before joining King's College London in September 2006, Harvey Cohen was a Fellow and Resident Scholar at the John W. Kluge Center, at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., where completed the research for his book "Duke Ellington's America," which was named one of the best books of 2010 by the Washington Post.
Cohen's work has appeared in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, the Independent (UK), Metro International (Sweden and Denmark), at the London Jazz Festival, the British Film Institute, and on various BBC and NPR radio stations and on SkyNews. He is on the Advisory Group of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
Cohen is also a musician and songwriter, and has recently started hosting a monthly radio programme at King's College London Radio entitled "Whenever You're On My Mind". Check it out at this site: http://www.kclradio.co.uk/music/shows.php?SID=33
For more info on Cohen's new book "Duke Ellington's America," including excerpts, chapter-by-chapter summary, reviews and a top 10 list of Ellington YouTube clips, please visit: www.duke-ellingtons-america.com