February 19, 1972 Edward Lee Morgan, jazz trumpeter, was murdered. Morgan was born July 10, 1938 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Morgan received his first trumpet at the age of 13 and at 18 joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band where he was a member for 18 months.
March 9, 1930 Ornette Coleman, jazz saxophonist, trumpeter and composer, was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Coleman began touring with rhythm and blues shows in 1949 and in 1958 led his first recording session, “Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman.”
February 23, 1997 Anthony Tillmon “Tony” Williams, jazz drummer, died. Williams was born December 12, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois but grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.
January 22, 1924 James Louis “J.J.” Johnson, jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the age of nine he started studying the piano, but decided to play the trombone at the age of 14. In 1941, Johnson started his professional career. He played in Benny Carter’s orchestra from 1942 to 1945, […]
January 6, 1993 John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, jazz trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and composer, died. Gillespie was born October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, South Carolina. By the age of four, he had started to play the piano. He also taught himself to play the trombone and the trumpet. His first professional job was with the Frank […]
December 15, 1943 Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller, jazz pianist, organist and composer, died. Waller was born May 21, 1904 in New York City. He started playing the piano at the age of six. At the age of 14, he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater and within 12 months had composed his first […]
March 15, 1929 Cecil Percival Taylor, jazz pianist and poet, was born in New York City. Taylor began playing piano at the age of six and studied at the New York College of Music and New England Conservatory. He formed his own band and released his first recording, “Jazz Advance,” in 1956. In 1964, Taylor […]
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- June 15th in African American History – Ella Jane Fitzgerald
- December 2nd in African American History – Eugene Ashley, Jr.
- September 24th in African American History – Mary Jane Patterson
- February 28th in African American History – James Amos Porter
- Wilson Pickett – March 18th in African American History