Tag Archives | jazz
Ed Blackwell

October 7th in African American History – Ed Blackwell

October 7, 1992 Ed Blackwell, jazz drummer, died. Blackwell was born October 10, 1929 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He began his career in the 1950s and first came to national attention as the drummer with Ornette Coleman’s quartet around 1960. Blackwell was one of the great innovators of the free jazz movement of the 1960s, […]

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September 27th in African American History – Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell

September 27, 1924 Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell, jazz pianist, was born in New York City. At an early age, Powell learned classical piano, but by eight became interested in jazz and by 15 was playing in his brother’s band. His debut recording was with Cootie Williams’ band in 1944. In 1947, he made his debut […]

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Theodore Walter “Sonny” Rollins

September 7th in African American History – Theodore Walter “Sonny” Rollins

September 7, 1930 Theodore Walter “Sonny” Rollins, jazz tenor saxophonist and composer, was born in New York City. Rollins received his first saxophone at 13 and first recorded in 1949. By 1954, Rollins had recorded with such jazz giants as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk. By 1956, Rollins was leading his own groups […]

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Jonathan David Samuel “Jo” Jones

September 3rd in African American History – Jonathan David Samuel “Jo” Jones

September 3, 1985 Jonathan David Samuel “Jo” Jones, influential jazz drummer, died. Jones was born October 7, 1911 in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He worked as a drummer and tap dancer at carnival shows until joining Walter Page’s band in the late 1920s. In 1933, Jones joined Count Basie’s band and he […]

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Thaddeus Joseph “Thad” Jones

August 21st in African American History – Thaddeus Joseph “Thad” Jones

August 21, 1986 Thaddeus Joseph “Thad” Jones, jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, died. Jones was born March 28, 1923 in Pontiac, Michigan. He was a self-taught musician and began playing professionally at the age of 16. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946. In 1954, Jones joined the Count Basie Orchestra […]

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John William Coltrane

July 17th in African American History – John William Coltrane

July 17, 1967 John William Coltrane, jazz saxophonist and composer, died. Coltrane was born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. In 1945, he enlisted in the United States Navy and played in the Navy jazz band. After returning to civilian life, Coltrane began freelancing around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From October, 1955 to April, 1957, Coltrane […]

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Theodore “Fats” Navarro

July 7th in African American History – Theodore “Fats” Navarro

July 7, 1950 Theodore “Fats” Navarro, jazz trumpeter, died. Navarro was born September 24, 1923 in Key West, Florida. He began playing the piano at the age of six and the trumpet at 13. In 1946, Navarro moved to New York City and his career took off. He played in the bands of Billy Eckstine, […]

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