archives

July 2012

Etta James

Born January 25, 1938, Etta James was a gospel prodigy. In 1954, she moved to Los Angeles to record The Wallflower. By 1960, her career began to soar. Despite her continued drug problems, she earned a Grammy nomination for her 1973 eponymous album. In 2006, she released the album All the Way. She is considered one […]

June 2012

Ornette Coleman

Early on in his career, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, recorded an album entitled, The Shape of Jazz To Come. It might have seemed like an expression of youthful arrogance – Coleman was 29 at the time – but actually, the title was prophetic. Coleman is the creator of a concept of music called “harmolodic,” a musical […]

May 2012

Ray Barretto

For nearly 40 years, conguero and bandleader Ray Barretto has been one of the leading forces in Latin jazz. His hard, compelling playing style has graced the recordings of saxophonists Gene Ammons, Lou Donaldson, and Sonny Stitt, and guitarists Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell. Born April 29, 1929, in Brooklyn, Barretto is credited for being […]

April 2012

Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts, Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies, is widely known as one of the preeminent American jazz pianists of his generation. Throughout his career, he has won numerous awards and competitions, including the 1982 Young Artist’s Award at the National Association of Jazz Educators’ conference and the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement in 1998. […]

March 2012

James “Red” Holloway

James W “Red” Holloway was born in Helena, Arkansas on May 31, 1927 to a mother who played piano and a father who played violin. At the age of five, he and his mother moved to Chicago, where he graduated from DuSable High School and attended the Conservatory of Music. During grade school, Red played […]

February 2012

Marcus Printup

Trumpeter Marcus Printup, who was born and raised in Conyers, Georgia, had his first musical experiences hearing the fiery gospel music his parents sang in church, and would later discover jazz as a senior in high school. While attending the University of North Florida on a music scholarship, he won the International Trumpet Guild Jazz […]

January 2012

Sam Rivers

Few, if any, free jazz saxophonists have approached music with the same degree of intellectual rigor as Sam Rivers; just as few have managed to maintain a high level of creativity over a long life. Rivers plays with remarkable technical precision and a manifest knowledge of his materials. His sound is hard and extraordinarily well-centered, […]

December 2011

Edward “Sonny” Stitt

Edward “Sonny” Stitt (February 2, 1924–July 22, 1982) was an American jazz saxophonist. He was a quintessential saxophonist of the bebop idiom. He was also one of the most prolific saxophonists, recording over 100 records in his lifetime. He was nicknamed the “Lone Wolf” by jazz critic Dan Morgenstern, due to his relentless touring and […]

November 2011

Clark Terry

Clark Terry’s career in jazz spans more than seventy years. He is a world-class trumpeter, flugelhornist, educator, composer, writer, trumpet/flugelhorn designer, teacher and NEA Jazz Master. He has performed for seven U.S. Presidents, and was a Jazz Ambassador for State Department tours in the Middle East and Africa. More than fifty jazz festivals have featured […]

October 2011

Cassandra Wilson

Cassandra Wilson became one of the top jazz singers of the ’90s, a vocalist blessed with a distinctive and flexible voice who is not afraid to take chances. Born Dec 4, 1955 in Jackson, MS, she began playing piano and guitar when she was nine and was working as a vocalist by the mid-’70s, singing […]

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