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Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader before his death on May 24, 1974. Duke Ellington was known as one of the most influential figures in jazz during his life. Although his reputation was further increased when he died. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of his band members, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" ("Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me") for Cootie Williams and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido" which brought the "Spanish Tinge" to big-band jazz. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his alter-ego. His son Mercer Ellington took over his father's band until his death from cancer in 1996. Paul Ellington, Mercer's youngest son, took over the Orchestra from there and after his mother's passing took over the Estate of both Duke and Mercer Ellington.