"Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one," exclaimed the famed composer, bandleader, and pianist Duke Ellington. During a career that spanned six decades, he rose to international stardom and helped to reshape the contours of American music. Raised in Washington, D.C., Ellington formed his first jazz band at age nineteen. He made a name for himself in the late 1920s at the Cotton Club in Harlem, where he performed a regular gig that was broadcast nationally on the radio. With songs such as "Solitude" and "In a Sentimental Mood," Ellington achieved widespread popularity with diverse audiences. He first performed abroad in 1933, and so successful were his concerts that he later toured the globe under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. In this photograph, Ellington is seated at the piano; playing trumpet beside him are the famed musicians Dizzy Gillespie (left) and Buck Clayton (right).