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.
March 14, 1933 Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., trumpeter, music conductor and arranger, record producer, and film composer, was born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1951, Jones won a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, but abandoned his studies when he received an offer to play in the band of Lionel Hampton.
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 22, 1922 Joe Wilder, jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, was born in Colwyn, Pennsylvania. Wilder studied at the Mastbaum School of Music, but turned to jazz when he felt there was little opportunity for an African American classical musician.
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, […]
December 12, 1918 Joseph Goreed (Joe Williams), jazz singer, was born in Cordele, Georgia, but raised in Chicago, Illinois. By his early teens, Williams had taught himself to play the piano and formed his own gospel group. By 1939, he had started to tour with established bands and got his big break in 1954 when […]
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- Harry “The Black Panther” Wills – December 21st in African American History
- February 7th in African American History – Eugene Ashley, Jr.
- February 4th in African American History – Raiford Chatman “Ossie” Davis
- September 28th in African American History – Constance Baker Motley
- December 14th in African American History – Johnny D. Bright