Armstrong is one of the most famous musicians in jazz history. He was born
in New Orleans on August 4, 1901. One New Year's Eve, he got his hands
on a pistol and shot it in the air to celebrate. He was sent to a waif's
home to live. This was kind of like a juvenile hall. In this home he learned
to play the cornet. After two years in the waif's home, he was released
and began playing with jazz groups and brass bands in New Orleans. Louis
Armstrong was one of the first musicians to play swing music. Louis also
had a unique singing style that was imitated by a countless number of listeners
through the years.
Elllington made tremendous contributions to American jazz music. He started
playing the piano when he was seven. He started playing music in Washington,
D.C. in 1917. His early group was called the Washingtonians. Soon he got
a job at the Hollywood Club for his band. By 1940, Duke's orchestra had
become very popular. Some of his songs include "Mood Indigo", "Rockin'
in Rhythm", "Caravan", and "Boy Meets Horn".
"King" Cole was an American singer from 1917-1965. He was born in Montgomery,
Alabama. He was raised in Chicago, Illinois. He was also a pianist. In
the early 1940's, Nat "King" Cole was considered one of the leading jazz
pianists of his day. In 1943 his song "Straighten Up and Fly" won him fame
as a singer. Cole's trio became one of the first black music groups to
have its own radio show. In 1958 he portrayed composer W.C. Handy in the
film St. Louis Blues.
Davis was born in Alton, Illinois. Miles had quite a career as a jazz musician.
He was a great trumpeteer. He started playing the trumpet when he was nine
or ten. He played in the high school band. He got experience early
by playing with Eddie Randall's Blue Devils. Jazz history would be much
different without Miles Davis.
Adderley was one of the greatest saxophonists of his generation. He was
born on September 15, 1928 in Tampa, Florida. He died August 8, 1925 in
Gary, Indiana. He played with the famous Miles Davis Quintet. This group
was a group of extremely talented musicians which included John Coltrane
playing tenor sax, Bill Evans playing piano, Paul Chambers playing brass,
and Philly Joe Jones playing drums.
Hubbard was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 7, 1938. He began playing
the trumpet as a child. When he was a teenager, he worked locally with
Wes and Monk Montgomery. When he was 20 he moved to New York. He immediately
began playing contemporary jazz with many great jazz musicians. In 1961,
he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Hubbard's rich full tone is never
lost, even when he is playing dazzlingly fast passages. His 1995 Music
Masters session highlighted his maturity toward more serious jazz by including
recordings of four music giants. These include Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis,
John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderly.
Braxton was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 4, 1945. Braxton began playing
the clarinet in high school. He studied music for one semester at Wilson
Junior College. Then he joined the United States Army where he played the
clarinet and alto saxaphone. In the 80's, Braxton's music showed a growing
concern with mysticism, theater, and collage-structures.
Jones was born on July 31, 1918 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. By the beginning
of his teenage years, he played the piano professionally in local bands.
In 1944 he went to New York where he joined the
"Oran eHot Lipsi Page Band". Jones has been an important influence on jazz music. This is for his professionalism as well as his immense talent.
Byrd was born in Chuckatuck, Virginia on September 16, 1925. Byrd began
playing the guitar while he was still a small child. By the start of World
War II he was a proficient player. During the war, he met and played with
Djano Reinhardt. After the end of the war, Byrd became a full-time professional
musician. As a jazz soloist, he sometimes lacks the fluid swing of contemporaries
such as Kessel and Ellis. Still he is a masterly technician.
Bobby Caldwell was born in New York City, New York on August 5, 1951. He first hit the US charts with a ballad her wrote called "What You Won't Do For Love". This song reached number eight in early 1979. Caldwell was a percussionist with blues/rock guitarist Johnny Winter in the early 1970's. He also wrote theme music for the US television show "The Mickey Mouse Club" and various television commercials.