May 16, 2010 Henry “Hank” Jones, jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer, died. Jones was born July 31, 1918 in Vicksburg, Mississippi but raised in Pontiac, Michigan. He studied piano at an early age and by the age of 13 was performing in Michigan and Ohio. In 1944, he moved to New York City and from […]
May 4, 1937 Ron Carter, jazz double-bassist, cellist, and composer, was born in Ferndale, Michigan. Carter started to play the cello at the age of 10 and later moved to the bass. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1959 and a master’s degree in double bass performance from the […]
May 2, 1990 William Levi Dawson, professor, choir director, and composer, died. Dawson was born September 26, 1899 in Anniston, Alabama. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from the Horner Institute of Fine Arts in 1925 and his master’s degree from the American Conservatory of Music in 1927. Dawson served as professor […]
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. […]
March 31, 2006 John Lenwood “Jackie” McLean, jazz alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator, died. McLean was born May 17, 1931 in New York City. During high school, he played in a band that included Kenny Drew, Sonny Rollins, and Andy Kirk, Jr. and at the age of 19 he played on Miles Davis’ “Dig” […]
March 29, 2001 John Aaron Lewis, jazz pianist, composer and the musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet, died. Lewis was born May 3, 1920 in LaGrange, Illinois but raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He began to learn the piano and classical music at the age of seven. In 1942, he graduated from the University […]
March 12, 1955 Charles “Bird” Parker, Jr., jazz saxophonist and composer, died. Parker was born August 29, 1920 in Kansas City, Kansas. He began playing the saxophone at age 11 and by 1938 was touring nightclubs and other venues in the southwest. In 1939, he moved to New York City where on November 26, 1945, […]
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- October 31st in African American History – Riley Leroy Pitts
- September 20th in African American History – Abioseh Davidson Nicol
- September 14th in African American History – Beau Richards
- October 22nd in African American History – Samuel Lee Gravely, Jr.
- December 15th in African American History – Rufus Thomas Jr.