Mulgrew Miller is an American jazz pianist born in 1955 in Greenwood, Mississippi who performs in a number of jazz idioms. In a childhood filled with early musical experiences, mostly playing gospel music in his church and R&B and blues at dances. Mulgrew was constantly meddling in jazz piano, and established a trio in high school that would play cocktail parties. Miller admits that they didn't really know what they were doing and were merely "approaching jazz".
While most bluesy hard rock acts of the '70s and '80s hailed from the United States (the south, to be exact), there were several exceptions to the rule, such as Canadian singer/guitarist Pat Travers. Born in Toronto on April 12, 1954, Travers first picked up the guitar just prior to entering his teens, after witnessing a local performance by the great Jimi Hendrix. It wasn't long before Travers was studying the other top rock guitarists of the day (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, etc.), and paying his dues by playing in bar bands in the Quebec area.
Sonny Rollins (Theodore Walter Rollins, New York City, September 7, 1930) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Rollins' long, prolific career began at the age of 11, and he was playing with piano legend Thelonious Monk before reaching the age of 20. Rollins is still touring and recording today, having outlived most of his contemporaries such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Max Roach, and Art Blakey, all performers with whom he recorded. While Rollins was born in New York City, his parents were born in the United States Virgin Islands. Rollins received his first saxophone at age 13.
One of the premier guitarists of his generation, the three-time Grammy nominee was born on January 10, 1953 in Boston. After growing up in Washington D.C., he returned to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music and got his start as a guitar player with Blood, Sweat & Tears at the age of 22. Following a stint with Billy Cobham's powerhouse fusion band from 1979-1980, Mike moved to New York City and was recruited by Miles Davis and played a key role in his celebrated comeback band of 1981 (which also included bassist Marcus Miller...
Celebrated pianist-composer Ahmad Jamal continues his performance schedule around the world, as he has for well over the last four decades. Noted for his outstanding technical command and identifiable sound as a piano stylist, Mr. Jamal was born on July 2, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A child prodigy who began to play the piano at the age of three, he began formal studies at age seven. While in high school, he completed the equivalent of college master classes under the noted African-American concert singer and teacher Mary Cardwell Dawson and pianist James Miller.
Alfred McCoy Tyner (born 11 December 1938) is a jazz pianist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known for his work with the John Coltrane Quartet and a long solo career. Tyner was born in Philadelphia as the oldest of three children. He was encouraged to study piano by his mother. He finally began studying the piano at age 13 and within two years, music had become the focal point in his life. His early influences included Bud Powell, a Philadelphia neighbor.
King Pleasure (March 24, 1922 - March 21, 1982) was a jazz vocalist and an early master of vocalese, where a singer sings words to a famous instrumental solo. Born Clarence Beeks in Oakdale, Tennessee, he moved to New York City in the mid-1940s and became a fan of bebop music. King Pleasure first achieved popularity by singing the Eddie Jefferson vocalese classic "Moody's Mood for Love," based on a James Moody saxophone solo to "I'm in the Mood for Love".
Buster Williams is a prodigious artist whose playing knows no limits. He has played, recorded and collaborated with jazz giants such as Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Chet Baker, Chick Corea, Dexter Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Herbie Hancock, Larry Coryell, Lee Konitz, McCoy Tyner, Illinois Jacquet, Nancy Wilson, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, the Jazz Crusaders, Ron Carter, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Golson, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones...
Benny Goodman, born Benjamin David Goodman, (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz musician, known as King of Swing, Patriarch of the Clarinet, The Professor, and Swing's Senior Statesman. Goodman was regarded by some as a demanding taskmaster, by others an arrogant and eccentric martinet. Many musicians spoke of The Ray, Goodman's trademark glare that he bestowed on a musician who failed to perform to his demanding standards.
Andrew Hill (born June 30, 1931 – April 20, 2007) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Hill first recorded as a sideman in 1955, but his reputation was made by his Blue Note recordings as leader from 1963 to 1969, which featured several other important post-bop musicians including Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, and Tony Williams, as well as two of John Gilmore's rare outings away from Sun Ra.