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Artist Biographies (225)

Read about the in-depth lives of your favorite jazz musician and what inspires their music.

During a recent recording session for her new CD, "No Regrets" in Hollywood, singer/pianist Betty Bryant and co-producer Robert Kyle were discussing the tempo for a medium swing tune. After coming up with a groove that suited them both, Robert said, "I think that is a good tempo for your generation." "Which generation is that?", asked Betty. Robert paused a moment, then said, "All of them." Betty Bryant makes no secret of the fact that in addition to rele …
29.01.2011

Bill Evans

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Mile Davis has described young saxophonist Bill Evans as "One of the greatest musicians I've ever come upon" - praise indeed from a master musician and a suitable endorsement for one of the music's most original, inventive and exciting new entrants. Born in Clarendon Hills, Illinois, in 1958, Evans studied classical piano from age 5. By age 12, Bill put the piano studies aside in order to concentrate on the clarinet and tenor sax. By 16, he had also reached concert status as an accomplis …
29.01.2011

Bill McBirnie

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Fluid and melodic--yet a hard swinger. This is but a partial description of the accomplished musicianship of Bill McBirnie, one of Canada’s finest flutists. At an early stage in his studies, Bill became restless with the piano and announced to his parents that he wanted to play the flute--without knowing precisely what a flute was. However, this capricious request was soon followed by an uncommon devotion to the instrument. Bill’s ability as a classical performer earned him a place in th …
29.01.2011

Billy Strayhorn

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Billy Strayhorn was one of the finest impressionistic composers of the 20th Century. He was born at Dayton, Ohio on November 29, 1915. Strayhorn became associated with Duke Ellington during 1939 as a second pianist, collaborator, composer, and arranger. This collaboration and friendship with Duke Ellington lasted until Strayhorn's death in 1967. Much has been written about Billy Strayhorn's memorable music, his generosity, his friendship with Duke Ellington, and his homosexual lifestyle whic …
Despite his long-standing identification with Christmas, Bing Crosby was a jazz performer at his core. Brought into a high school jazz-dance band because he was a drummer, his vocal stylings quickly emerged as the best in the group. When the group disbanded, Crosby continued singing. His earliest experience was singing in a duo in his hometown of Spokane, WA, and then later as part of a trio with The Rhythm Boys and with "The King Of Jazz," the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, which allowed Bing to s …
Rollins established himself as the outstanding jazz saxophonist between Charlie Parker and John Coltrane and a leading figure in the hard-bop style. The prevailing interpretation of his method of improvisation derives from Schuller’s "Thematic Analysis" of Rollins’ celebrated solo on Blue7 (1956); other writers, accepting and expanding on Schuller’s insights, have even declared thematic improvisation to be Rollins’ greatest contribution to jazz. Sonny Rollins (Walter Theodore) he first learne …
Guitarist Blake Aaron Biography Blake Aaron has come a long way from the kid who played rock shows on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood and toured with R&B acts like The Drifters, The Coasters, Little Anthony, Mary Wells, and Bobby Womack. Aaron, who, even from the beginning and through it all, always loved, played and studied jazz, is a guitarist who is known best for his passionate musical style, his memorable compositions, his soul and technical expression on the instrument, and his ability to connec …
29.01.2011

Bob James

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In addition to his world-wide reputation as an arranger and conductor, pianist Bob James has become a top figure in fusion with his own successful recordings. Born in Marshall, Missouri, on Christmas day, 1939, James learned piano from age 4. His early inspiration was classical- Hindemith, before discovering the delights of jazz through Stan Kenton, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Oscar Peterson. In '62, James received a degree in composition from Un …
26.02.2012

Brandino 2012

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Kevin "Brandino" Brandon is a 7 time Grammy Awarded, Producer, Composer, Arranger, and Bassist starting with the album "Singularity,"nominated Best Pop Instrumental Album of the Year 2011 by Robby Krieger of the Doors. Among other high-profile projects last year, Brandino worked on the December 14, 2010 release of MichaelJackson's new album entitled "Michael". Though based in Los Angeles, he also went to New York in November to participate in a Warwick Family Photo shoot with his friends Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins.
29.01.2011

Brazier

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Guitarist Eric Brazier has been on the local scene in Toledo Ohio, laying it down weekly at Rusty's jazz cafe for more than two decades now. Tuesdays, for the most part are slow compared to the weekends yet at Rusty's seats are hard to find.With an affinity towards straightahead standards, Eric a bassist and a drummer make a whole lot of music. Eric also invites other musicians to sit in no matter what level and you'll find the front row filled with mostly guitarist there to glean ideas. …
29.01.2011

Brian Derek

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Brian studied Arranging,Composition,Orchestration and Performance at Berklee College of Music. He has been a professional Bassist/Composer for many years and has worked with Mike Stern, Peter Erskine, Pat Metheny, Ali Ryerson, Joe Beck, Jay McShann,Stephen Stills,5th Dimension,Neil Sedaka etc and has performed on various records and CD`s as well as gigs on cruise ships, club dates, off-Broadway shows, concerts etc. Brian has 5 CD`s released independently, the latest AbsoluteMusic is av …
Saxophonist/pianist Brian Hogans has one of the most dynamic, exhilarating, and fervent sounds of today’s young jazz artists. Described as "fluid, fiery, yet subtle", Hogans pushes the creative envelope when composing and playing, setting new artistic limits for fans and musicians alike. Hogans has just released his debut solo album on Turnaround Records, titled Evidence of Things to Come. Hogans’ background includes a lifetime of playing music. Hailing from Morrow, GA, he has wailed on the …
New Orleans is often claimed to be jazz’s birthplace. While that point may be arguable to some, it was definitely, if not the birthplace, then the all important incubator. Being an active seaport and a multi cultural way station, it was the perfect place for an art form that would incorporate so many diverse elements. Initial jazz bands were largely an entertainment phenomenon. Typified by the brass bands such as could be found playing dances, bars and other colorful places in the Story …
29.01.2011

Buddy Rich

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Born in New York, 1917, drummer Buddy Rich began in vaudeville at the age of 18 months, earning the nickname 'Baby Traps' by the time he was seven. He worked with the bands of Bunny Berigan, Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey, developing into one of the best big-band drummers of the swing period. In 1946, he formed his own big band with financial help from Frank Sinatra with whom the belligerent drummer had had stormy relations since their Dorsey days. With the decline of big bands, R …
29.01.2011

Cannonball Adderley

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Julian Cannonball Adderley was born in 1928 in Florida, moving to New York and emphatically into the big league in 1955. Basically a Charlie Parker disciple, the altoist had plenty of bite and a rhythmic directness that became more pronounced in his later work. The meeting with Miles Davis Somethin' Else proved something of a comeuppance, for the trumpeter was playing with such concision that Cannonball sounded positively garrulous. His work in the Miles Davis Group from 1957 Milestones, Kind of …
29.01.2011

Carol Fuller

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"Moving from lights-out jazz to Bossa Novas and burning hot Sambas, she twists melodies in the style of Joni Mitchell." CD Baby Online. Vocalist Carol Fuller may have had many wild experiences in her life, but nothing compares to the high she gets from performing as vocalist for jazz band Hip Graffiti. Born in Wheaton, Ill., Fuller got her first guitar at the age of 13. She taught herself a few chords and then started singing and playing with folk and blues bands throughout high scho …
Bombastic, funky, sexy and loud, Chad Smith (drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers & Chickenfoot) has broken out on his own with guitar star Jeff Kollman, multi-faceted keyboardist Ed Roth, and Motor City bass ace Kevin Chown. Together, they comprise what is easily one of the most interesting and unpredictable instrumental bands to come along in years; Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats. Their sound creates a cutting edge sonic experience with a plethora of influences, fusing together styles as diverse …
Washington -- Let me begin with those rave reviews: It's difficult to nail down just what makes her voice so darn compelling. Maybe it's the comfort and familiarity, maybe the confiding honesty. Whatever the case, it works exceptionally well. -- Todd S. Jenkins, AllAboutJazz.com A jazzy chanteuse with the pop sensibilities in the vein of Cassandra Wilson and Anita Baker, Changamiré has it all: immaculate phrasing, tastefully restrained vibrato, a taste of honey in her tones, del …
My name is Chester Allen Thomas born 10-28-1957 in Wichita, Kansas. Parents are Helen & Ulysses Thomas. I am the fifth child of nine, Two sisters and Six Brothers. while growing up my mother would sing just about every song that came on the radio. My mother had a chance to sing but she was just to shy. In 1987 and 1988 I enrolled at Wichita State University to study music, my studies were the saxophone, piano, clarinet, music theory and oral skills. I am also a photographer and was the official …
29.01.2011

Chick Corea

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Thanks to the proliferation of jazz programs in high schools and Universities, the number of jazz pianists continues to grow at unprecedented rates. This growing population has a vast reservoir of musical devices from which to draw, and the ability to execute ideas with technique to spare. The one factor which seems to be much more difficult to acquire is an individual style. It is no wonder that the world of jazz piano has produced such a strong stylist as Armando Chick Corea. Corea began on …