While I was studying the music, I thought that it would be a very wise use of my time to learn more about the people who helped to create the music. One of the first assignments I gave myself was to read Duke Ellington’s autobiography Music Is My Mistress. The book reads in a very conversationally eloquent style that is fit for a Duke. My recommendation would be to get your hands on a copy and then take a listen to some of the Duke’s catalog (our songs of the day would be a great starting point).

Happy reading!

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.