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I have always had the feeling that France has embraced Duke Ellington more than any other country.
It is symbolically illustrated by the wonderful cartoon by the French caricaturist Cabu (Jean Cabut), who was sadly killed in the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices last year.
Over the years, quite a number of the core members of the inner circle of Ellington experts and devotees have been French and this is still the case. But it goes further. There seems to be more widely spread knowledge of Ellington in France than elsewhere.
Do you know who Duke Ellington was, I asked the young lady sitting next to me on a train last year. Yes, of course I do, she replied. I have read all the novels of Boris Vian. And she is not the only one to have done so or learned about Ellington in other ways.
So it is logical that since October 2009, the family of Duke Ellington associations also has a French member – ”La Maison du Duke”. (mer…)