February 4, 2001 James Louis “J. J.” Johnson, jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, died. Johnson was born January 22, 1924 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.
February 6, 1927 Thomas S. McIntosh, jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. McIntosh played trombone in an army band and graduated from Juilliard in 1958.
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 […]
January 20, 1929 Jimmy Wilbur Cobb, jazz drummer, was born in Washington, D.C. Cobb taught himself to play the drums. From 1958 to 1963, he played with Miles Davis, performing on albums such as “Kind of Blue” (1959) and “Sketches of Spain” (1960). He also worked with many other jazz greats, including Dinah Washington, Cannonball […]
February 27, 1923 Dexter Keith Gordon, jazz tenor saxophonist and actor, was born in Los Angeles, California. Gordon played the clarinet from the age of 13 before switching to the saxophone at 15. Between 1940 and 1943, Gordon was a member of the Lionel Hampton Band and in 1943 he made his first recording under […]
February 26, 1928 Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino, pianist, singer, and songwriter, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Domino first attracted national attention with the 1949 release of “Fat Man” which is widely regarded to be the first rock and roll record to sell more than a million copies.
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- May 22nd in African American History – James Mercer Langston Hughes