Sun Ra (1914
Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra is a project by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee. Shawn grew up in a rural area on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas. His mother is half Lebanese, half American Indian, his father Irish-American. While his peers got off on cheesy corporate rock and the kind of line-dancing tunes recently fashionable in Gap ads, Shawn was groovin to the blaxploitation funk Sly and the Isleys.
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.
Mike Westbrook (born Michael John David Westbrook 21 March 1936 in High Wycombe, England) is an English jazz pianist, composer, and writer of orchestrated jazz pieces. He became a key figure in the development of British Jazz in the late 1960s. Westbrook spent his childhood in Torquay and went to art school in Plymouth where he began his first bands with such musicians as John Surman, Lou Gare and Keith Rowe.