November 8th in African American History – Lester Bowie

Lester Bowie

Lester Bowie

November 8, 1999 Lester Bowie, jazz trumpeter and composer, died.

Bowie was born October 11, 1941 in Frederick, Maryland but raised in St. Louis, Missouri. At the age of five, he began studying the trumpet with his father who was a professional musician. In 1966, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he worked as a studio musician before forming the Art Ensemble of Chicago in 1968.

They recorded 40 albums, including “Tutankhamun” (1969), “Urban Bushman” (1980), and “Urban Magic” (1997). In 1984, he formed Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy whose recordings include “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1985) and “The Fire This Time” (1992). Bowie lived and worked in Jamaica and Africa and recorded with Fela Kuti. In 2000, he was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.


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