Since his death, Ellington's reputation has continued to soar. Once he was known only for his classic big-band compositions, but over the decades his longer works have continued to gain popularity. They are now programmed by bands and symphony orchestras worldwide. Ellington's status among classical musicians has never been higher, and his music is the subject of numerous academic studies.
- Longer Suites: The suites are increasingly well-regarded, especially Black, Brown, and Beige (1943, rev. 1958), Sweet Thursday (1954), Such Sweet Thunder (1957), the Sacred Concerts (1965-73), Far East Suite (1967), and The River (1970). He also arranged music from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet, and Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt for his band.
- Ellington's band included some of the best soloists in the country, including, at its height (1939-1942), bassist Jimmy Blanton, saxophonists Ben Webster and Johnny Hodges, and trumpeters Ray Nance (who also played violin) and Cootie Williams.
- Ellington's film scores include Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Alain René Le Sage's Turcaret (1960), and Paris Blues (1961).
- Films in which Ellington and his band appear include Murder at the Vanities and Belle of the Nineties (1934, Paramount), and Cabin in the Sky (MGM, 1943).