Tag Archives | NEA Jazz Master
Cecil Percival Taylor

Cecil Percival Taylor – March 15th in African American History

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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Luther Henderson

Luther Henderson – March 14th in African American History

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 […]

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Jimmy Wilbur Cobb

Jimmy Wilbur Cobb – January 20th in African American History

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 […]

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Roy Owen Haynes

March 13th in African American History – Roy Owen Haynes

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 […]

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Dexter Keith Gordon

February 27th in African American History – Dexter Keith Gordon

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 […]

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Nancy Wilson

February 20th in African American History – Nancy Wilson

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.

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Kenneth Spearman “Kenny” Clarke

January 26th in African American History – Kenneth Spearman “Kenny” Clarke

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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