Duke Ellington

The Piano Prince and His Orchestra (Caldecott Honor Book)


By Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around January 1, 2007. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A joyful biography of jazz pioneer Duke Ellington, recognized with a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award Honor, brought to life by a bestselling husband and wife duo.Born in 1899, Duke Ellington was the forerunner in the evolution of jazz. By the time he was nineteen he was playing at parties, pool halls, and cabarets; and then, in 1927, he entertained at the hottest place around, The Cotton Club in Harlem. But the defining moment of his career came when Duke and his orchestra gave a groundbreaking performance at Carnegie Hall, when they first performed his suite Black, Brown, and Beige, a tribute to the history of African American people. To this day, Duke, the “King of the Keys,” is beloved by jazz fans old and new.

This is a stunning introduction to Duke Ellington—a legend who continues to live on and influence musicians everywhere.

Don’t miss the other Great Black Performers biographies:
Alvin Ailey
Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa


  • “This book swings. Don’t miss it.”
    School Library Journal
  • “A cool and vibrant tour of Duke Ellington’s musical career . . . this loving tribute temptingly evokes the sound and spirit of a jazz pioneer.”
  • "The joy in Ellington's music, and the joy his musicians felt in playing it, is apparent on every page."
  • "The husband-and-wife team captures the spirit of an individual, an era and a musical style."
    Publishers Weekly

On Sale
Jan 1, 2007
Page Count
32 pages

Andrea Davis Pinkney

About the Author

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of nearly 50 books for children and young adults, including The Red Pencil and Bird in a BoxShe has also produced several collaborations with her husband two-time Caldecott Honor-winning artist Brian Pinkney, including Sit -In, Martin & Mahalia, and Hand in Hand, winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award. Ms. Pinkney has been recognized by Children's Health magazine as one of the "25 Most Influential People in our Children's Lives," and has been inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Daniel Minter has illustrated over a dozen children’s books, including Going Down Home with Daddy which won a 2020 Caldecott Honor and Ellen’s Broom which won a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. He is known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage.

Learn more about this author

Brian Pinkney

About the Illustrator

Brian Pinkney has illustrated numerous books for children, including two Caldecott Honor books, and he has written and illustrated several of his own books. Brian has received the Coretta Scott King Book Award for Illustration and three Coretta Scott King Book Award Honor medals.

Learn more about this illustrator