July 29, 2003 Luther Henderson, arranger, composer, orchestrator, and pianist, died. Henderson was born March 14, 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1942, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Juilliard School of Music. From 1944 to 1946, Henderson served as staff orchestrator for the United States Navy School of Music. Henderson served […]
July 27, 1999 Harry “Sweets” Edison, jazz trumpeter, composer and arranger, died. Edison was born October 10, 1915 in Columbus, Ohio. At the age of 12, he began playing the trumpet with local bands. In 1937, he moved to New York City and joined the Count Basie Orchestra where he came to prominence as a […]
July 12, 2003 Bennett Lester “Benny” Carter, jazz musician, composer, arranger and bandleader, died. Carter was born August 8, 1907 in New York City. Largely self-taught, by the age of 15 Carter was sitting in with some of New York’s top bands. In 1929, Carter formed this first big band and from 1931 to 1932 […]
June 5, 1969 Brian McKnight, singer, songwriter, arranger, and producer, was born in Buffalo, New York. McKnight’s musical career began in childhood and at 19 he signed his first recording deal. His debut album, “Brian McKnight,” was released in 1992 and it was followed by “I Remember You” (1995) and “Anytime” (1997), which sold over […]
May 28, 1981 Mary Lou Williams, jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, died. Born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs on May 8, 1910 in Atlanta, Georgia, Williams taught herself to play the piano at a young age and became a professional musician in her teens. In 1925, she played with Duke Ellington and his band the Washingtonians. In […]
April 23, 1999 Melba Doretta Liston, jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, died. Liston was born January 13, 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri but raised in Los Angeles, California. In 1943, she joined the big band led by Gerald Wilson and during the 1940s she played with Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, and Billie Holliday. […]
November 24, 2009 Hale Smith, composer, pianist, arranger and educator, died. Smith was born June 29, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1950 and 1952, respectively.
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Previous Days in African American History
Other African American History Posts
- February 22nd in African American History – Julius Winfield “Dr. J” Erving, Jr.
- December 28th in African American History – Billy Taylor
- June 11th in African American History – Earl Shinhoster
- August 6th in African American History – Ella Jenkins
- September 22nd in African American History – The Interstate Commerce Commission