Jazz pianist, composer, and popular band leader, Edward Ellington was known as "Duke" to his contemporaries. His skill as a pianist and his popularity as a band leader are surpassed only by the impressive depth and quality of his work as a composer. Born in Washington, D.C., Ellington began to study the piano at the age of 7. He organized his first band, The Duke's Serenaders, at the age of 18. In 1923 Ellington moved to New York, where he and his band, The Washingtonians, performed at nightclubs in Harlem and at the Kentucky Club in downtown Manhattan. Capitalizing on the popularity of phonographic recordings, Ellington began to record his performances and reorganized the band as Ellington's Kentucky Club Orchestra. From 1927 through 1932, he and his band made frequent radio broadcasts. Soon, Ellington and jazz were synonymous. Many other musicians attempted to copy Ellington's musical style, which led to many instrumental innovations in the musical language of jazz. The range of Ellington's musical compositions is impressive. Many of his short compositions, including "Mood Indigo" (1930), "Solitude" (1933), and "Sophisticated Lady" (1933), remain popular staples of jazz instrumentalists everywhere. His longer works, such as Creole Rhapsody (1932), Black, Brown, and Beige (1943), a 50-minute work that told the story of African Americans, Liberian Suite (1947), Harlem Nights (1951), and Night Creatures (1955), include complex orchestration. These works helped shift jazz from the smoky confines of nightclubs to the sophisticated setting of the concert stage. In addition to performing in jazz festivals and concert tours in this country and around the world, Ellington appeared in several films and made many recordings.