Ellington, Duke/Expert Profile

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Loek Hopstaken


Questions about recordings;(often) who plays what instrument; historical facts; how to start a beginner's Ellington collection; how to advance collecting when curious to explore 'unheard' Ellington. In 2005 I produced a 48 hour radio program covering Ellington's entire career for a South African radio station.

Experience in the area

I know quite a bit about Duke Ellington & his music, since I got hooked to his music when I first heard his 'Blue Reverie' on a recording of the 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert. I have several reference books, most of his recordings (still new finds come out) and member, since 10 years, of an online Ellington community. There is a website that contains lots of information: http://ellingtonweb.ca, set up and maintained by David Palmquist. On www.depanorama.net Peter McHare and Sjef Hoefsmit publish the ultimate source of Ellington facts, the DEMS Bulletin. They and a few others are working on an online discography. In print there are several discographies, notably the 2-volume New Desor, by Mascagli & Volonté. 'Duke Ellington: Day by Day, Film by Film' is what is claims. Since his death in 1974, many books and academic publications have been devoted to the works of Duke Ellington. A recent book tells all about an Ellington concert that took place in July 1956 in Newport, RI: 'Backstory in Blue'. His collaborator for many years, Billy Strayhorn, was the subject of a comprehensive volume by Walter van de Leur, 'Something to Live For'.


Duke LYM - online Ellington & Strayhorn discussion group.


I am a Professor in Communications at business faculties in both The Netherlands and Vietnam, and Director of Training at a Vietnamese educational company in Saigon.

What do you like about this subject?

Since my 'discovery' of Duke Ellington in 1967 he has never ceased to amaze and move me. Knowing more increases my appreciation. 'Ellingtonia' has become a subject on its own in the history of classic jazz. His compositions and arrangements are being played and performed consistently. New generations of both musicians and listeners make similar discoveries.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I hope this helps to increase the appreciation for Ellington's music.

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Dan02/18/14101010I will check out all these great .....
gary08/12/13101010dear Loek: thank u kindly for your .....
gary08/11/13101010thank you kindly for taking the time .....
Rodrigo Aguero01/21/13101010Excellent help, providing the information that I .....
wiley05/01/11101010demonstrates vast knowledge on subject matter and .....

Recent Answers from Loek Hopstaken

2014-02-17 Duke Ellington Collection Beginner:

Dear Dan,  Thanks for your question. It's a very good one, and a very difficult one. The problem is: everyone has his/her very own taste. For many years I have been asking jazz friends what started their

2013-08-11 big band swing music:

Dear Gary,    Due to low demand there are very few professional big bands around. When they play swing, they usually play arrangements of famous compositions / arrangements of the "old" big bands. When

2013-08-10 big band swing music:

Dear Gary,    The Age of the Big Bands was from ca. 1930 - 1945. It was the popular music of the day: band leaders like Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington were making hit records. Stereo recording

2013-01-20 Identify a song played by Duke Ellington:

Dear Rodrigo,  Boodah is a song composed by Billy Strayhorn. One of the best versions is on the cd "And His Mother Called Him Bill", recorded in 1967 by the Ellington band, 3 months after Billy's death

2011-09-25 Who sings this song:

Dear Nicolella,    I don't recognize these lyrics. Please tell me more about the music, such as: is it a jazz big band he/she sings with? Is it a man/woman? Where/when did you hear this song? Are you certain


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