George Duke

American musician George Duke

George Duke is a multi-faceted American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He has worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio.
George Duke's personal information overview.


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<em>Dear Governor Cuomo</em>: A Conversation with Natalie Merchant, Plus Catching Up with Freda Payne
Huffington Post - about 4 years
A Conversation with Natalie Merchant Mike Ragogna: Natalie, what have you been up to lately beyond the new album? Natalie Merchant: I've become extremely active in the fight against hydraulic fracking in New York. Where are you based? MR: Iowa, though I grew up in New York, so this concerns me as well. NM: Well, New York is sitting on the Marcellus Shale, which has huge reserves of natural gas, but the only way to extract them is by exploding the bedrock a mile or two under the surface and pulling the gas up using hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater which will then be contaminated. It's also extremely radioactive down there. We're watching what's happened in other states with the contamination of aquifers and the devastation of previously rural areas that are now highly industrialized. There's also quite a bit of contamination of the air that occurs with hydraulic fracturing. Anyway, I've been involved in that, and I made a film called Dear Governor Cuomo, bec...
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 Huffington Post article
Brazil's Lenine Brings His Musical Bridge to Central Park
Huffington Post - over 4 years
The Maurício de Nassau bridge in Recife is a replica of a bridge in Amsterdam and a reminder of the era when Holland ruled northeastern Brazil in the early 17th century. It is also the inspiration for "The Bridge" concert series featuring Brazilian singer-songwriter Lenine and Holland's Martin Fondse Orchestra. After having toured Europe and the Americas, the show will arrive at Central Park's Summerstage Festival in New York on July 19th. For Lenine, crossing the bridge is a metaphor for leaving one's proverbial island, connecting with others, and broadening one's horizons, which he explored in the song "The Bridge" on his album O Dia Em Que Faremos Contato (The Day We Make Contact). Lenine's songs span various musical islands and are difficult to categorize. He is at the vanguard of Brazilian rock and pop and is also an heir to the great eclectic tradition of post-bossa nova artists like Gilberto Gil, Djavan and Milton Nascimento, who established their careers in the 1960s an...
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 Huffington Post article
On the "A" w/Souleo: After Deaths, Dianne Reeves Finds a Beautiful Life
Huffington Post - over 4 years
On the surface the title of Dianne Reeves's new album, Beautiful Life seems straightforward enough, but it holds a deeper significance for the singer after experiencing two major deaths. Five years ago, she returned home to help care for her ailing mother who died in 2012 after battling breast cancer and a tumor. Then in August of last year, Reeves lost her cousin and frequent collaborator, George Duke due to chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Dianne Reeves/Credit: Jerris Madison "The title of the record is a tribute to really close people in my life who made transitions. I got to share this incredible time with them and learn and be a better person because of them," she said. Despite her recent personal tragedies, Reeves decided to present a collection of songs that mainly focus on life's positive aspects such as "Feels So Good (Lifted)" with accompaniment by Duke. Plus, she covers classics like Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" and Marvin Gaye's "I Want You." Becoming familiar again with ...
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 Huffington Post article
On the 'A' With Souleo: Najee Feels the Spirit of George Duke on New Album
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
The spirit of the late jazz legend George Duke was with multi-instrumentalist Najee during the recording of his latest album, The Morning After: A Musical Love Journey. Duke's presence was so strong that it inspired Najee to record a song in tribute to his musical mentor titled "Shinjuku." "Shinjuku is an area of Tokyo where George Duke and I stayed in when we toured. The groove of the record reminded me of him and I heard his piano playing all over it. It made me reminiscence back to that time. So his spirit was there. I felt him there," says Najee, who collaborated with some of Duke's former band members and longtime engineer on the album. Recalling better days was important since Najee's most recent memories of Duke included witnessing his failing health. "We played in Detroit earlier this year and I could see he was ill but he didn't let people know he was. I could tell visibly something wasn't correct with him and within a month he was gone and that was difficult." Courte...
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Conversations with William Shatner, Gary Burton, Dave Holland, Pink Martini and TuneCore, Plus Albert Hammond Jr. and Sandra Lilia Velasquez Exclusives
Huffington Post - about 5 years
A Conversation with William Shatner Mike Ragogna: William Shatner! May I call you Bill? William Shatner: Yeah, can I call you Mikey? MR: Uh... Bill! How are you doing, man? WS: I'm really good, thank you. Yourself? MR: Very well, thanks. So William Shatner's no stranger to making albums, but this album seems to be a very prog-rocky, introspective album. So, this was the musical backdrop that was able to bring out the introspection you needed within your lyrics. WS: Exactly, it's an extraordinary marriage between a music prodigy, Billy Sherwood and myself, who has been struggling to write something usable all my life. MR: What began the process? WS: The label, Cleopatra, for whom I did a previous album called Seeking Major Tom, asked me to do another album and I'm in love with making music like my puppies are in love with pillows, which they tear up. I just tear things up musically and wonder what I've done. I jumped at the chance to make another album and when he asked me wha...
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Music industry mourns George Duke
CNN - about 5 years
Jazz great George Duke, a visionary keyboardist, producer, composer and arranger, has died in Los Angeles. He was 67.
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 CNN article
Industry mourns George Duke
CNN - about 5 years
Jazz great George Duke, a visionary keyboardist, producer, composer and arranger, has died in Los Angeles. He was 67.
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 CNN article
George Duke, jazz musician, dies aged 67 - BBC News
Google News - about 5 years George Duke, jazz musician, dies aged 67 BBC News American jazz musician George Duke, a pioneering keyboardist who collaborated with Frank Zappa during the 1970s, has died at the age of 67. Former Supremes singer Scherrie Payne confirmed Duke died at St John's hospital in Los Angeles on ... Jazz icon George Duke dies at 67USA TODAY Jazz fest officials unsure who will replace George Duke in lineupKansas City Star Jazz keyboardist George Duke dead at 67Reuters News One -Paste Magazine all 78 news articles »
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George Duke, Legendary Jazz Keyboardist, Dies
NPR - about 5 years
Duke's career spanned five decades and he always straddled the line between disparate genres, collaborating with artists such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow and Frank Zappa. » E-Mail This     » Add to
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Review: Duke offers heartfelt tribute to late wife
Yahoo News - about 5 years
George Duke, "DreamWeaver" (Heads Up International)
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 Yahoo News article
Royal Baby Prince George's Nickname Will Be "Georgie," Says Prince Charles
US Magazine - about 5 years
Prince George has a royal nickname! While visiting the Whitstable Oyster Festival in Kent, England on Monday, July 29, Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall gave an update on their grandson, Prince George. Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 31, welcomed their first child together on July 22, and told the public two days later that they named him George Alexander Louis. While chatting with locals at the festival, Prince Charles, 64, said George is a "very good name." But he also said that his grandson will be have the nickname "Georgie in no time." (The late Prince George, Duke of Kent was called 'Georgie' by his family.) PHOTOS: Meet the royal baby! Prince Charles also received a gift to bring back to little Georgie from well-wisher Shona Corcoran and her 3-year-old daughter Hannah. "It's one of the Whitstable Oyster Festival T-shirts and we just wanted to give something to George," Corcoran told Prince Charles. "Oh, that's fantastic, thank you," he replie...
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 US Magazine article
Video: Prince George: Duke and Duchess choose traditional name
CBS News - about 5 years
Prince William and Kate have chosen to name their son George. The name has belonged to six British kings, not to mention St. George, England's patron saint. Charlie D'Agata reports on what's in a royal name, as well as the family's long legacy.
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 CBS News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of George Duke
  • 2013
    Age 67
    Duke died August 5, 2013 in Los Angeles from chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
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  • 2012
    Age 66
    By popular vote, Duke was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at in December 2012.
  • 1999
    Age 53
    Duke was nominated for a Grammy as Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for After Hours in 1999.
  • 1989
    Age 43
    In 1989, he temporarily replaced Marcus Miller as musical director of NBC's late-night music performance program Sunday Night during its first season.
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  • 1988
    Age 42
    Duke worked as musical director at numerous large-scale musical events, including the Nelson Mandela tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, London in 1988.
  • 1980
    Age 34
    He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums, of which 'A Brazilian Love Affair' from 1980 was his most popular, as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.
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  • 1979
    Age 33
    Duke was prominent in the R&B genre, releasing funk-based songs like "Reach for It" and "Dukey Stick". In 1979 he traveled to Rio de Janeiro, where he recorded the album A Brazilian Love Affair, on which he employed singers Flora Purim and Milton Nascimento and percussionist Airto Moreira.
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  • 1976
    Age 30
    They finally put it out as a double album in 1976 together with George's MPS debut "The Inner Source".
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  • 1975
    Age 29
    A further Zappa connection occurred on Duke's other album from 1975, I Love the Blues She Heard Me Cry - which utilized Ruth Underwood, Tom Fowler, and Bruce Fowler from Zappa's Overnite Sensation band that Duke was a part of, along with Zappa-associate Johnny "Guitar" Watson and jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour.
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    Duke covered two Zappa-composed songs on his 1975 album, The Aura Will Prevail, - "Uncle Remus" (co-written with Duke) and "Echidna's Arf" - that he had played on while a member of The Mothers on Zappa's albums.
  • 1974
    Age 28
    Frank Zappa played guitar solos on Duke's 1974 album, Feel - the instrumental "Old Slippers", and "Love" - credited as Obdewl'l X, possibly due to contractual reasons.
  • 1967
    Age 21
    Beginning in 1967 Duke experimented further with jazz fusion, playing and recording with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, as well as performing with the Don Ellis Orchestra, and Cannonball Adderley's band, while he acquainted himself with Frank Zappa.
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    Duke attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley before earning a bachelor's degree in trombone and composition with a minor in contrabass, from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1967.
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  • 1946
    Age 0
    Born on January 12, 1946.
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