Duke Ellington and Funk Music

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Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington (full names Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington) was born on 29th April in 1899. He is widely considered as one of the pivotal figures of jazz. He is considered to be the creator of a musical genre and had a career that spanned more than 50 years. If Duke Ellington were still alive today, he would be creating funk music. It would be because of the following reasons.

Jazz and Funk Similarities

Jazz and Funk are similar because of the following reasons. One is that both like to use horns and are creative in the popular genres. They also have a lot of creativity in arrangement and have superior musicianship. The swing can be similar but jazz is normally more on the 8th-note and jazz is on the 16th-note. Much of funk uses both 16th-notes and 8th-notes. Jazz (the traditional type of jazz) uses the 8th-notes as a huge feature in its music. Many times jazz players can also play funk. Though they more consider funk as not having much of harmonic diversity and too simple therefore not interesting enough.

Similarity Between Jazz and Funk

The other similarity between jazz and funk music that makes me believe that Duke Ellington would have made funk music if he were still alive today is because both genres use horns and have more creativity in their arrangement than other genres. They also need superior musicianship. Also, nowadays many jazz players can also play funk music.


In the end, we will not get to know what he might have played if he were alive since he passed away on 24th May, 1974. One thing that we do know for sure is that he is one of the greatest players of all time.

October 05, 2023


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