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 [...]
March 14, 1919 Luther Henderson, arranger, composer, orchestrator, and pianist, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1942, Henderson earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the Juilliard School of Music. From 1944 to 1946, he served as staff orchestrator for the United States Navy School of Music. Henderson served as orchestrator, or arranger, or [...]
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 [...]
March 13, 1925 Roy Owen Haynes, jazz drummer and bandleader, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Haynes made his professional debut in 1944 and from 1947 to 1949 worked with saxophonist Lester Young. From 1949 to 1952, Haynes was a member of Charlie Parker’s quintet and from 1953 to 1958 he toured with Sarah Vaughn. In [...]
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 20, 1937 Nancy Wilson, song stylist, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. At the age of 15, Wilson won a talent contest sponsored by a local television station. The prize was an appearance on a show which she ended up hosting.
January 26, 1985 Kenneth Spearman “Kenny” Clarke, jazz drummer, died. Clarke was born January 9, 1914 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While still in high school, he studied multiple instruments as well as music theory and composition. He also played in the bands of Leroy Bradley and Roy Eldridge.
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Other African American History Posts
- January 30th in African American History – Ruth Alston Weston (Ruth Brown)
- June 11th in African American History – Johnny D. Bright
- September 19th in African American History – Benjamin Franklin Peay (Brook Benton)
- February 18th in African American History – Frank M. Snowden, Jr.
- February 9th in African American History – Beau Jack