Category: History

Robert Glasper Experiment’s ‘Black Radio’ turns 5

Five years ago Robert Glasper Experiment released ‘Black Radio’, a ground-breaking GRAMMY-winning album that laid out a new paradigm for creative music, reaching beyond entrenched genre boundaries to create a singular vision that drew from all reaches of contemporary black music. The album featured special guests Erykah Badu, Lala Hathaway, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal Ledisi, KING, …

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Happy 90th birthday to bassiet Jymie Merritt

The great Philly bassist Jymie Merritt celebrates his 90th birthday today! Jymie solidified his place in jazz history as a member of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers from 1958-1963, a period during which the band recorded a remarkable run of Blue Note classics including Moanin’, The Big Beat, A Night In Tunisia, Mosaic & …

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March 27 in history: Sarah Vaughan born in 1924

Today, March 27th, would have been the birthday of Sarah Lois ‘Sassy’ Vaughan. Described by music critic Scott Yanow, Vaughan was having “one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century”. Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald are being called the biggest female jazz singers ever. Sarah Vaughan began her solo career as …

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Happy Birthday George Benson

Today George Benson, born on March 22, 1943 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, celebrates his 72nd birthday. Benson, a 10-times Grammy Award winner, musician and singer-songwriter, started his musical career at the age of 21 as a jazz guitarist. Benson’s way of playing the guitar is similar to that of, among other Django Reinhardt. Benson became famous …

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Al Jarreau 75 years today

al jarreau

March 12 2015 marks the 75th birthday of singer Al Jarreau. Jarreau is one of the most celebrated jazz-singers. He was the only singer to win 7 Grammy’s (in three different categories), and is know for his exceptional voice. Jarreau is a master in improvisation and scatting, and the ability to imitate instruments. His breaktrough …

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March 2, the birthday of Larry Carlton

Today it is Larry Carlton’s 67th birthday. Carlton was born in Torrance, California in 1948. He started playing the guitar at the age of six. Carlton is an American jazz, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, blues, pop, and rock guitarist. His playing style was influenced by Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, and B.B. King. The …

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Maceo Parker’s 72nd birthday

February 14 is not only Valentine’s Days, it’s also the birth day of none other than saxophone legend Maceo Parker. The American was born in 1943 and became known for his collaboration with Parliament (Funkadelic) and James Brown, whos band he joined in 1964. Brown actually only wanted to hire Maceo’s brother Melvin as a …

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February 5, the birthday of Rick Laird

Today, February 5, marks the 74th birthday of jazz bass player Rick Laird. Laird was born in Dublin, Ireland, and started playing jazz after moving to New Zealand at the age of 16. He played guitar in some New Zealand jam bands and bought himself an upright bass. Laird toured extensive in New Zealand and …

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January 27, Bobby Hutcherson’s birthday

Today, January 27, marks the 74th birthday of jazz vibraphonist and marimba player Bobby Hutcherson. Born in Los Angeles in 1941, Hutchinson was first introduced to the world of jazz by his brother, who introduced him to some Art Blakey recordings. When his older sister sang in Gerald Wilson’s orchestra she introduced her brother to …

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13 January in history: Michael Brecker dies at 57

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the great saxophone master that was Michael Brecker. His music is a constant inspiration to many musicians. Michael Brecker was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Berklee College of Music in 2004, and was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of …

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