Jazz and Blues

Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Herbie Mann

Herbie Mann 1930-2003
AP file photo

Herbie Mann was among the first jazz musicians to specialize on the flute and was jazz music's preeminent flautist during the 1960s, an early pioneer of the fusion of jazz and world music.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith 1894-1937
wikipedia

Bessie Smith started out as a street musician in Chattanooga.  She was mentored in traveling shows and vaudeville by Ma Rainey.

By the early 1920s she was one of the most popular Blues singers in vaudeville.

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Blues Time Machine
12:01 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

'Somebody's got to go' - the path from from blues to rap

Lonnie Johnson, one of the first guitar masters.

Lonnie Johnson was one of the first American guitar masters, with a style that bridged jazz and blues, as well as country styles. Though often labeled as a “blues” player, he was versatile and accomplished enough to be a guest artist with Louis Armstong’s Hot Five in 1927, and with Duke Ellington in 1928.

Among his many contributions, he is considered the first to play single-string guitar solos and was a major influence on jazz guitar pioneers Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt. He recorded “Somebody’s Got To Go” in 1941.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock
jazzuality.com

Pianist, bandleader, composer and producer Herbie Hancock has had a career that's lasted five decades and garnered 14 Grammy® Awards.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Cuban guitar master Manuel Galbán's music lives on

Manuel Galbán 1931-2011
(Credit: Alejandro Perez/HiRes)

Ry Cooder called him a "guitar wizard."

Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote in 2003:  “Mr. Galbán was one of the wonders of Cuban music in the 1960s.  His playing pulled together two almost contradictory approaches: the floating reverb of surf guitar and the percussive, snapping sound of the tres, the small guitar that’s a fulcrum between rhythm and melody in Cuban son groups.”

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Jazz
3:06 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

The Creators Of Jazz Appreciation Month Start Celebrating

A group of musicians and major donors pose with Lionel Hampton's vibraphone at the 2013 Jazz Appreciation Month launch. From left: Mark Dibner of The Argus Fund, drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Fran Morris Rosman of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, pianist Randy Weston, Richard Rosman of the Ella Fitzgerald foundation and Smithsonian American History Museum Director John Gray.
Patrick Jarenwattananon NPR

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 2:42 pm

The 12th official Jazz Appreciation Month began when April did. But today, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which founded the JAM campaign, kick started its own celebration with a series of performances, discussions and ceremonies.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Joey DeFrancesco

Joey DeFrancesco
theamiagency.com

The incredibly talented organist Joey DeFrancesco comes from a musical family, brought up in the rich Philadelphia jazz scene: his grandfather played reeds, his dad Papa John DeFrancesco is a fine jazz organist.  Joey went to jazz clubs with his father and learned the piano and the B-3, and by age 6, he was sitting in on his father's gigs.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae
Ron Hudson

Singer, composer, pianist, and actress Carmen McRae was considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century. 

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Blues Time Machine
12:01 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

'Back Door Man' - good blues is rarely about behaving yourself

Howlin' Wolf

Willie Dixon didn’t make his career writing songs about people who behaved themselves, and “Back Door Man” is no exception — it’s about a guy who cheats and then brags about it.

Songs like this were well suited to the larger-than-life Howlin’ Wolf, who was already a well-established, middle-aged bluesman when he recorded it in 1961.

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Jazz and Blues
12:00 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Stanley Turrentine

Stanley Turrentine
Francis Wolff Mosiac Records

His unmistakable big warm sound was based in the blues, and he polished it on the road as a 17 year-old addition to bluesman Lowell Fulson's band in the early 1950s.  That band also included Ray Charles.

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Jazz Caliente
12:00 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Prolific percussion master Paulinho da Costa

Paulinho da Costa
drummerworld.com

Paulinho da Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and like many master percussionists, started exploring rhythms at a very early age.

Playing over two hundred percussion instruments, he has participated in thousands of recording sessions, Grammy Award-winning albums, hit songs, movie soundtracks, radio and television commercials.  He's collaborated with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones to Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.

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Jazz and Blues
12:00 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Organist Jimmy McGriff

Jimmy McGriff 1936-2008
© Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos

One of the most popular jazz and blues organists, Jimmy McGriff was born in Philadelphia, a city which was known for its many great Hammond B-3 players:   Jimmy Smith, Trudy Pitts and Charles Earland, to name just a few.

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Jazz and Blues
12:00 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Jazz April birthday: Trumpeter Booker Little

Booker Little 1938-1961
danmillerjazz.com

Jazz April has begun! 

Many influential jazz musicians were born in this month, and we'll be celebrating both the legendary and the lesser-known by telling you a little more about their lives and music on their birthdays.

Booker Little was one of a handful of trumpeters born in 1938 (the list includes Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard) who were touched by Clifford Brown’s genius and ready to take be-bop to the next level.

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Blues Time Machine
12:01 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Waters' 'Trouble No More' came out of Estes' 'Someday Baby Blues'

Sleepy John Estes was a master of country blues with a “down-home” feeling. A little rough around the edges, but loaded with emotion. Though his music wasn’t complex, his songs have lasted through the years, and have been sung by Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan.

In his 1935 recording of “Someday Baby Blues”, the guitar is barely heard, the mix dominated by Hammie Nixon’s harmonica and Estes’ plaintive voice.

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Jazz and Blues
12:00 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Celebrate Jazz April!

Jazz April
Jazz Journalists Association

Jazz April is the combination of Jazz Appreciation Month and the second annual International Jazz Day, April 30, 2013.

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