Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and big-band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions. In the opinion of Bob Blumenthal of The Boston Globe "In the century since his birth, there has been no greater composer, American or otherwise, than Edward Kennedy Ellington." A major figure in the history of jazz, Ellington's music stretched into various other genres, including blues, gospel, film scores, popular, and classical. His career spanned more than 50 years and included leading his orchestra, composing an inexhaustible songbook, scoring for movies, composing stage musicals, and world tours. Several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. Due to his inventive use of the orchestra, or big band, and thanks to his eloquence and extraordinary charisma, he is generally considered to have elevated the perception of jazz to an art form on a par with other traditional genres of music. His reputation increased after his death and the Pulitzer Prize Board bestowed on him a special posthumous honor in 1999.
Ellington called his music "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category." These included many of the musicians who were members of his orchestra, some of whom are considered among the best in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most well-known jazz orchestral units in the history of jazz. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" for Cootie Williams, which later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics, and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. 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. Several members of the orchestra remained there for several decades. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger-pianist Billy Strayhorn, whom he called his "writing and arranging companion." Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films.
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Shōwa Day (昭和の日 Shōwa no hi ) is a Japanese annual holiday held on April 29. It honors the birthday of the Shōwa Emperor (Hirohito), the reigning Emperor from 1926 to 1989. The purpose of the holiday is to encourage public reflection on the turbulent 63 years of Hirohito's reign.
Emperor Hirohito died on January 7, 1989. April 29 was subsequently no longer celebrated as The Emperor's Birthday but instead as Greenery Day, part of Japan's Golden Week. After a series of failed legislative attempts beginning in 2000, the April 29 holiday was finally renamed Shōwa Day in May 2005, and Greenery Day was moved from April 29 to May 4.
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Administrative Professionals' Day (also known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day ) is an unofficial secular holiday observed in several countries to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals. In North America, it is celebrated on the Wednesday of the last full week of April (April 25 in 2012). In much of Europe it is celebrated on the third Thursday in April (April 19 in 2012).
The idea began with Mary Barrett, president of the National Secretaries Association, now called IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), and C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation. They served on a council addressing a national shortage of skilled office workers. Together with Harry Klemfuss, public relations account executive at Young & Rubicam, they originated the idea for a National Secretaries Week.
(... from Wikipedia on 2012-04-17 23:29:54)