archives

September 2011

Billy Bang

Born William Vincent Walker in Mobile, Alabama in 1947, his family moved to New York City’s Harlem while he was still an infant. In junior high school he was nicknamed Billy Bang after a cartoon character, and over his initial protests, it stuck. Around the same time, his primary interest turned to music, and he […]

August 2011

Frank Foster

Frank Foster, a saxophonist, composer and arranger who helped shape the sound of the Count Basie Orchestra during its popular heyday in the 1950s and ’60s and later led expressive large and small groups of his own, died on Tuesday at his home in Chesapeake, Va. He was 82. The cause was complications of kidney […]

July 2011

Art Tatum

Art Tatum was among the most extraordinary of all jazz musicians, a pianist with wondrous technique who could not only play ridiculously rapid lines with both hands, but was harmonically 30 years ahead of his time. Able to play stride, swing, and boogie-woogie with speed and complexity that could only previously be imagined, Tatum’s quick […]

June 2011

Cal Tjader

Cal Tjader was undoubtedly the most famous non-Latino leader of Latin jazz bands, an extraordinary distinction. From the 1950s until his death, he was practically the point man between the worlds of Latin jazz and mainstream bop; his light, rhythmic, joyous vibraphone manner could comfortably embrace both styles. His numerous recordings for Fantasy and Verve […]

May 2011

Bobby Sanabria

Bobby Sanabria, a drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, filmmaker, conductor, educator, multi-cultural warrior and multiple Grammy nominee, has performed with a veritable Who’s Who in the world of jazz and Latin music, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensembles. His diverse recording and performing experience includes work with such legendary figures […]

April 2011

Dizzy Gillespie

With his great ballooning cheeks and trademark trumpet’s bell upturned at a 45-degree angle, Dizzy Gillespie easily has the most recognizable face in jazz. Born John Birks Gillespie, Dizzy moved to Philadelphia with his family at age 18 and joined Frankie Fairfax’s band before moving on to New York City where he joined Teddy Hill’s […]

March 2011

Andrew Bey

Andrew W. Bey was born October 28, 1939 in Newark, New Jersey. He is a jazz singer and pianist. He worked on a television show, Startime, with Connie Francis and sang for Louis Jordan. He also did notable work with Horace Silver and Gary Bartz. Later he had an album named Experience And Judgment, which […]

February 2011

James Moody

James Moody was born in Savannah, Georgia on March 26, 1925. Growing up in New Jersey, he was attracted to the saxophone after hearing Don Byas and various saxophonists who played with Count Basie. He joined the US Army Air Corps in 1943 and played in the “negro band” on the segregated base. Following his […]

January 2011

Dr. Billy Taylor

Dr. Billy Taylor, a Jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York on December 28, 2010. He was 89 and lived in Riverdale, New York. The distinguished ambassador of the […]

December 2010

Paul Chambers

One of the top jazz bassists of all time, especially during 1955-1965, Paul Chambers was among the first in jazz to take creative bowed solos (other than Slam Stewart, who hummed along with his bowing). He grew up in Detroit, where he was part of the fertile local jazz scene. After touring with Paul Quinichette, […]

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