The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what "new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith Jarrett
disclosed that he might never perform in public again because of lingering health issues. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA Jazz Masters
and said farewell to nine others who were among the many industry-associated musicians and figures passing away during the year.
Pandemic blues became the new standard
Nothing in jazz seemed untouched by the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19. In short, freelance musicians, live music venues of all sizes and locales, promoters and artist reps took a big hit economically because of the lockdowns.
Virtually all jazz festivals scheduled after mid-March were cancelled. That meant no New Orleans, no Newport, no Monterey, no Montreal, among many others. A few, including the Detroit
Jazz Festival, livestreamed via the internet without in-person audiences. Spain's San Sebastian Jazz Festival, Norway's Oslo Jazz Festival and Austria's International Jazzfestival Saalfelden were scaled down with strictly controlled smaller audiences and precautions in place.
Musicians, many of whom live a gig-to-gig existence unless they had teaching income, felt the pinch most acutely. Most live concerts and club dates evaporated, with very few resuming when safe-distancing and other precautions could be taken. On the bright side, players embraced new technology, including Zoom and Facebook broadcasts, to perform -and sometimes record -from their living rooms as much to maintain some artful sanity as use virtual tip jars to collect contributions from supportive listeners. Driveways, front steps and nearby parks also became performance venues.
The National Endowment for the Arts, Jazz Foundation of America, the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the New Orleans
Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Germany's Musikfonds, and the National Independent Venue Association created relief funds to assist arts organizations, presenters and musicians who lost work due to the pandemic. Arts philanthropists and record companies also pitched in. A few clubs helped keep musicians afloat by streaming remote performances to audiences sitting at home. Others, most notably Jazz Standard in New York
and Twins Jazz in Washington DC
, closed their doors permanently due to the pandemic's economic impact. (See the Jazz Venue Ups and Downs
section below for more detail.)
More than 60 musicians and industry-associated figures succumbed to the virus, including, most notably, Henry Grimes
, Lee Konitz
, Mike Longo
, Ellis Marsalis
, Bucky Pizzarelli
and Wallace Roney
. Performers who recovered from COVID-19 included brothers Chris Brubeck
, Dan Brubeck
and Darius Brubeck
, who caught it on a European tour; pianist Nachito Herrera
, saxophonists Bobby Porcelli
and Carol Sudhalter
, and trombonist Ron Wilkins
International Jazz Day, Take Nine...
The 2020 edition of UNESCO's International Jazz Day took place online on April 30 rather than based at the planned host city, Capetown
, South Africa. Because of the pandemic, the worldwide virtual event was capped by a traditional gala concert after a full day of educational activities. Pianist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue (and International Jazz Day co-chair) Herbie Hancock
hosted the all-star online concert. Other performers included John Beasley
, Dee Dee Bridgewater
, A Bu
, Igor Butman
, Joey DeFrancesco
, John McLaughlin
, Jane Monheit
, Evgeny Pobozhiy
, Dianne Reeves
, Alune Wade, Ben Williams
, Lizz Wright
, John Scofield
and Youn Sun Nah
It wasn't just a milestone year for Bird and Mumbles. More than 65 jazz musicians marked their 100th birthdays posthumously during 2020. The notables included pianists Dave Bartholomew
, Dave Brubeck
, John Lewis
, Hall Overton
and Hazel Scott
; bassists George Duvivier
, Jack Lesberg
; drummers Buzzy Drootin
and Shelly Manne
; saxophonists Paul Gonsalves
, Yusef Lateef
and Charlie Parker
; trombonists Marshall Brown
and Britt Woodman
; trumpeters Charlie Shavers
and Clark Terry
; trumpeter, singer and writer Boris Vian
; accordionist Art Van Damme
; guitarist Irving C Ashby
; singers Peggy Lee
and Carmen McRae
; and spoken word jazz artist Ken Nordine
. Still among us, Denver bassist Charlie Burrell turned 100 on October 1.
Awards and honors of note...
NEA JAZZ MASTERS: The 2020 National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters
inductees were honored with an online event on August 20 after cancellation of a planned April 2 tribute concert at SFJAZZ in San Francisco
. The newest members are singer Bobby McFerrin
, saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell
, bassist Reggie Workman
, and jazz advocate, producer, and curator Dorthaan Kirk. 2021's honorees will be drummers Terri Lyne Carrington
and Albert "Tootie" Heath
, Pulitzer Prize
-winning reed player and composer Henry Threadgill
, and jazz broadcaster and jazz historian Phil Schaap. They will be honored at an April 22 online tribute streamed again in collaboration with SFJAZZ.
GRAMMY AWARDS: There was a wide range of jazz-related winners at the 2020 (62t annual) Grammy Awards,
which were held January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
. They were Brad Mehldau
, Finding Gabriel
(Nonesuch, 2019)best jazz instrumental album; Esperanza Spalding
, 12 Little Spells
(Concord, 2019)best jazz vocal album; Brian Lynch
Big Band, The Omni-American Book Club
(Hollistic MusicWorks, 2019)best large jazz ensemble album; Chick Corea
& the Spanish Heart Band, Antidote
(Concord, 2019)best Latin jazz album.
Also, Randy Brecker
, "Sozinho" from Randy Brecker & NDR Big Band -The Hamburg Radio Jazz Orchestra with David Sanborn
, Ada Rovatti
& Wolfgang Haffner
(Piloo, 2019)best improvised jazz solo; Jacob Collier
featuring Jules Buckley
, Take 6
& Metropole Orkest, "All Night Long" from Djesse Vol. 1
(Decca/Geffen, 2018)best arrangement, instruments and vocals; Jacob Collier
, "Moon River" from Djesse Vol. 2
(Decca/Geffen 2019)best arrangement, instrumental or a capella; Ranky Tanky
, Good Time
(Resilience, 2019 )best regional roots music album.
The band program at one Louisiana middle school is so popular that half of its students are band members. The credit for this achievement at Maplewood Middle School in Sulphur LA goes to band leader Mickey Smith Jr., who was honored with 2020's Grammy Music Educator Award.
LATIN GRAMMY AWARDS: There were three jazz-related winners at the 21st annual Latin Grammy Awards
, which were broadcast on Univision on November 19. They were Emilio Solla
Tango Jazz Orchestra, Puertos: Music From International Waters
(Avatango, 2020)best Latin jazz instrumental album; Abricó de Macaco, Francisco Bosco and Joao Bosco
, songwriters, from João Bosco's Abricó deMacaco
(Som Livre, 2020)best Portuguese language song; Lorenzo Ferrero
, "La Flor de la Canela," track from Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra's Tradiciones
(MVM, 2020)best arrangement. Because of the pandemic, this edition was broadcast mostly from Miami
, with supplemental performances and segments beamed from Buenos Aires
, Rio de Janeiro
and San Juan
JJA JAZZ AWARDS: For the first time, woman musicians won half of the instrumental categories in the Jazz Journalists Association's annual awards program. The 2020 JJA Jazz Awards
, the organization's 25th annual honors for excellence in music and music journalism, were announced on May 18. Composer, arranger, bandleader and pianist Carla Bley
received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The many other honorees included drummer Terri Lyne Carrington
(Musician of the Year), Kris Davis
(Composer and Pianist of the Year), saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin
(Up & Coming Musician of the Year), drummer-composer Allison Miller
's Boom Tic Boom (Mid-Size Ensemble of the Year), saxophonist Miguel Zenon
(Arranger and Alto Saxophonist of the Year), the Branford Marsalis
quartet (Record of the Year) for The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
(Sony Masterworks, 2019), and ECM (Record Label of the Year).
Critic, essayist, arts advocate and drummer Stanley Crouch
won JJA's award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism. The other media category winners included JazzTimes (Publication of the Year), WBGO.org (Blog of the Year), Nate Chinen (Excellence in Writing), Mark Stryker's Jazz From Detroit
(University of Michigan Press, 2019) (Best Book About Jazz), Northern California radio show host Richard Hadlock and New York-based Richard Conde for career achievement in broadcasting and photography respectively. Nedici Dragoslav's image of singer Jazzmeia Horn
at the Belgrade Jazz Festival was voted Photo of the Year. Yashua Klis won the Best Album Art award for the cover of Kendrick Scott
Oracle's A Wall Becomes a Bridge
(Blue Note, 2019).
PULITZER PRIZE FOR MUSIC: Composer and pianist Anthony Davis
was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music
on May 4 for his genre-crossing opera The Central Park Five.
The work chronicled the New York
trial and conviction of one Latino and four black teens in the 1989 rape of a young white female investment banker in Central Park. They were later exonerated and freed. Donald Trump, then a New York real estate magnate, was a central character in the work.
MACARTHUR FELLOW AND MORE: Singer and composer Cecile McLorin Salvant
was named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow.
The $625,000 so-called "genius grant" will be paid in quarterly installments over five years. Three weeks earlier, Salvant and drummer Andrew Cyrille
received $275,000 Artist Awards
from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Duke award requires that $25,000 be set aside for retirement savings. The rest, as well as the MacArthur funding, has no strings attached.
JAZZ VISIONARY: Pianist, composer, and educator Barry Harris
received the 2020 Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award
at the 2020 Jazz Congress in New York. The January 13 award ar Jazz at Lincoln Center recognized Detrot
native Harris' dedication as a mentor to hundreds of jazz artists for nearly half a century through his Jazz Cultural Workshop.
ASCAP FOUNDATION: South Korea-born composer and bandleader Jihye Lee
was awarded the sixth annual ASCAP Foundation/ Symphonic Jazz Orchestra's Commissioning Prize
in late October. She was awarded $5,000 to compose a new orchestral score, blending jazz and classical music, to be performed by the 68-piece SJO during its 2021-22 season.
GUGGENHEIM FELLOWS: Bassist Reggie Workman
and his choreographer wife, Maya Milenovic Workman, shared a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship
for music composition. They are co-founders of the Montclair Academy & Laboratory of Dance, Drum and Drama in New Jersey. The Guggenheim program in April named 175 fellows in a variety of writers, scholars, artists and scientists.
AMERICAN HERITAGE PRIZE: Trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis
received the American Prairie Reserve's 2020 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize
on May 6 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The annual prize was created in 2017 to honor an individual "whose achievements have advanced our collective understanding of America's heritage."
SELF-TAUGHT RISING STAR: Young trumpeter Giveton Gelin
was awarded 2020's LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award
(North American edition) on January 22 in London
. The award includes tour, agent and marketing support valued at more than $85,000. Gelin, a self-taught musician from the Bahamas, also won ASCAP's 2020 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award
for 2020. He is scheduled to graduate from The Juilliard School in 2021.
JACK RUDIN COMPETITION: Temple University took top honors in January at Jazz at Lincoln Center's inaugural Jack Rudin Jazz Championship.
Indiana University and Michigan State University finished second and third respectively. Ten college and university jazz programs from across the U.S. were invite to participate. The competition honors the legacy of Jack Rudin, a longtime JALC supporter and founding supporter for the Essentially Ellington
high school jazz education initiative.
BASIE SWING CONTEST: Danny Jonokuchi & the Revisionists, a 15-piece swing band, won the first Count Basie Great American Swing Contest
in December. The band's rendition of "One O' Clock Jump" was featured in a video that the Brooklyn-based trumpeter-bandleader made with musicians who were quarantining in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Manitoba (Canada). As part of their prize, the band will receive mentoring and studio time to complete a professionally recorded track of "One O' Clock Jump."
Out of the performance spotlight
Will Keith Jarrett
ever perform in public again? The pianist and bandleader doubts it, but only time will tell. In an extensive interview with Nate Chinen, published October 21 in the New York Times,
Jarrett disclosed that he suffered two strokes in February and May 2018 that paralyzed him. "My left side is still partially paralyzed. I'm able to try to walk with a cane, but it took a long time for that, took a year or more. And I'm not getting around this house at all, really," Jarrett said.
Jarrett last performed in public at Carnegie Hall in New York City
on February 15, 2017. Thanks to a regular release of archived performance recordings, there is still material to savor. On October 30, his label released Budapest Concert
(ECM, 2020), a double album documenting his solo performance at Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Hungary that opened his two-week 2016 European tour. The July 3, 2016 Budapest
concert included a dozen of his on-the-spot compositions, a Jarrett hallmark dating to his classic The Köln Concert
(ECM, 1975) album, as well as two boppish covers that were encores.
Jazz venue ups and downs...
COVID-RELATED CLOSINGS: Economic repercussions from the pandemic brought the closings of several landmark jazz clubs. They included Jazz Standard in New York City, Twins Jazz in Washington DC
, The Blue Whale in Los Angeles
and The Hep Cat in Springfield MO. Two Denver
venues were also shuttered. El Chapultepec's closure in early December after 87 years in business was blamed in part on the pandemic, while Jazz at Jacks/Live @ Jack's closed in the spring due to the pandemic. Boston
's Buckminster Hotel, home to George Wein
's Storyville jazz club in the early 1950s, closed March 20 because of COVID-19, with no plans to reopen.
JAZZHUS MONTMARTRE: Executives of Copenhagen
, Denmark's iconic jazz venue announced its permanent closure on September 2 because of the pandemic economy, but it was rescued a few weeks later. It reopened in early November with special support from the city council, foundation grants and a large anonymous private donation that will keep its doors open through 2024 at least. The venue, also known as Café Montmartre, opened in 1959. It has featured an array of global jazz talent. Saxophonists Dexter Gordon
, Ben Webster
and Stan Getz
moved to Copenhagen because they so liked the club's vibe.
TOP OF THE HUB: After 54 years in business, Boston's highest music venue closed its upscale restaurant and lounge atop the Prudential Tower on April 18. The Top of the Hub on the Pru's 52nd floor, and the Skywalk Observatory two floors below, were closed for a planned observatory modernization. The Top of the Hub Lounge featured a variety of area jazz and blues artists.
JAZZ IN DÜSSELDORF: One of Germany's oldest jazz bars announced its closure prior to the pandemic. The Düsseldorf
jazz bar Em Pöötzke closed permanently after the landlord announced in January that he would not extend the lease on the property.
On the record...
NATIONAL RECORDING REGISTRY: Two jazz selections were among the 25 recordings picked for 2020's preservation in The National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. They are the Paul Whiteman
and his Orchestra single "Whispering" (Victor, 1920) and the Maria Schneider
Orchestra's Grammy Award
-winning albumConcert in the Garden
(ArtistShare, 2004). More than 800 recordings were considered for the high honor.
SURVIVAL REVIVAL: Survival Records, the label that drummer Rashied Ali
ran from 1973 until his death in 2009, is back. Its first two releases in January included First Time Out: Live at Slugs
(Survival, 2020), a previously unreleased spring 1967 session by Ali's quintet, and a reissue of >Duo Exchange: Complete Sessions (Survival, 2020), a 1973 duo project pairing Ali and saxophonist Frank Lowe
. The latter project was Survival's inaugural releaseand the first recording under Ali's name. Ali's extensive archive of recordings have been catalogued and remastered by a team that includes Ali's widow Patricia, mastering engineer Joe Lizzi, drummer George Schuller
and historical researcher Ben Young.
JAZZ ORACLE: England's Upbeat Recordings, a major source of trad jazz, New Orleans and swing music, announced in May that it had acquired the Jazz Oracle label. Canada-based Oracle had released 71 compilations of often-obscure early jazz from the 1920s and early 1930s. Its reissues were produced by Colin J. Bray, John Wilby and the late John R.T. Davies. Jazz Oracle gems included four volumes of the complete Original Indiana Five, seven CDs of drummer Ben Pollack
, a three-CD set of pianist Sam Wooding
, and a total of three multi-CD packages containing the complete recordings of cornetist Red Nichols
originally released on Brunswick.
A BIT MORE MILES: The soundtrack for the Stanley Nelson-produced documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
included one new track among the selections spanning the trumpeter's' long career. "Hail to the Real Chief" blended a montage of unreleased studio trumpet recordings by Davis with new music written by Lenny White
and featuring drummers White and Vincent Wilburn Jr., guitarists John Scofield
and Quinton Zoto, bassist Marcus Miller
, saxophonists Emilio Modeste
and Antoine Roney
, keyboardist Bernard Wright
and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt
. The documentary premiered on the PBS American Masters
series on February 25, The album, Music From and Inspired by "Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool," a Film by Stanley Nelson
(Columbia/Legacy, 2020) was released four days earlier.
TIPITINA'S BY MAIL: The New Orleans music venue, now owned by the band Galactic
, unveiled a new subscription service in November called Tipitina's Record Club. Its curated, bi-monthly releases on limited edition, custom-colored vinyl, will begin in February 2021. They include previously unreleased rarities, out-of-print reissues and new recordings, from New Orleans-area musicians. First up: Professor Longhair
's Fess at Home '73
(Tipitina's Record Club., 2021), a previously unheard recording.
MONK GOES (BACK) TO HIGH SCHOOL: The Thelonious Monk
discography expanded in July with the release of a recently discovered October 27, 1968 quartet performance at a California high school. Palo Alto
(Impulse!, 2020) documents a Monk performance with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse
, bassist Larry Gales
and drummer Ben Riley
. Monk's band was in the midst of a three-week residency at San Francisco
's Jazz Workshop when 16-year-old future concert promoter Danny Scher talked Monk into the gig, and drove him there. The set was recorded by the school's janitor.
ARTISAN JAZZ: The Sam Records label launched a new ARTISAN Records series of audiophile vinyl records for its Sam, Saga and Transition Tapes imprints with deluxe packaging to celebrate the music withinand high-quality graphic design covers. The latter element is designed to extend the tradition pioneered by Reid Miles, David Stone Martin and Burt Goldblatt, among others. Each album cover will be manually screen-printed. First up in this limited-edition series was trumpeter Donald Byrd
's debut recording Byrd Jazz
BIRD WITH A TWIST: Just in time for the Charlie Parker centennial, an album of iconic Parker songs was released with lyrics that consider the alto saxophonist's life and impact. The Passion of Charlie Parker
(Impulse!/Verve, 2020), produced by Larry Klein, showcased lyrics of David Baerwald performed by nine jazz singers. It featured actor/narrator Jeffrey Wright and singers Camille Bertault
, Kurt Elling
, Melody Gardot
, Barbara Hannigan, Madeleine Peyroux
, Gregory Porter
, Kandace Springs
and Luciana Souza
MUSICAL JUSTICE: Despite the pandemic's distance challenges, trumpeter Jason Palmer
focused on another searing issue of 2020, racial injustice. His 14-track recording, Justice for Breonna Taylor: Duos in Dedication
(YouTube Music, 2020), honored the Louisville KY woman who was killed by police in March when they invaded her home with a no-knock warrant. Palmer created a brief melodic figure for each letter in Taylor's name, leaving eight seconds of space (representing the number of times she was shot) between each one, and allowed 26 seconds of improvisation (representing Taylor's age when she died). He then asked musical friends and colleagues to add their own ideas to the basic track. The 14 pieces became duets by Palmer and pianists Kevin Harris
, Carmen Staaf
and Jason Yeager
, guitarist David Fiuczynski
, drummers Tyson Jackson
and Austin McMahon
, saxophonists Caroline Davis
, John Ellis
, and Noah Preminger
, bassists Michael Janisch
, Zack Lober
, Edward Perez
and Max Salinger-Ridley
, and singer Rachel Bade-McMurphy
In the jazz classrooms...
BRUBECK'S EDUCATION LEGACY: After the Brubeck Institute ended its 20-year residency at California's University of the Pacific at the close of 2019, the educational focus of pianist and bandleader Dave Brubeck
's legacy changes its focus during 2020, his centennial year. Through the planning of his family, it became more of a road show that began with the January launch of Brubeck Living Legacy
at the 11th annual Jazz Education Network conference in New Orleans. Then Classical Tahoe added a Brubeck Jazz Summit to its music summer camp program at Sierra Nevada College. Brubeck's extensive archive of recordings, correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, legal and business documents, and other memorabilia, were also on the move. The collection was shipped from the University of the Pacific to a dedicated room in the local library in Wilton CT, Brubeck's longtime home.
PROFESSOR REDMAN: Saxophonist and bandleader Joshua Redman
was named artistic director of the San Francisco
Conservatory of Music Roots, Jazz, and American Music program. The initiative is a partnership between the conservatory and the SFJAZZ organization. Redman will share his expertise with students in one-on-one sessions, studio classes, ensembles, and lectures. Students train as both performers and composers, through apprenticeships with SFJAZZ Collective ensemble members and other professional musicians.
Jazz on film and TV...
BIRTH OF THE COOL: Stanley Nelson's documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
was broadcast February 25 as part of the acclaimed American Masters
television series on PBS. The project explored the full breadth and depth of Davis's life and music, supplemented by commentaries by numerous collaborators, including Herbie Hancock
, Wayne Shorter
, Carlos Santana
and Marcus Miller
and Davis' nephew, drummer Vincent Wilburn Jr.
JAZZ IN PARIS: A new Netflix limited series, The Eddy
, began streaming on May 8. The eight-part series stars André Holland as a former New York jazz pianist, Elliot Udo, who owns a struggling club in present-day Paris. The pianist manages the house band fronted by lead singer and on-again-off-again girlfriend Maja. (Joanna Kulig). When Elliot's troubled teenage daughter Julie (Amandla Stenberg) suddenly arrives in Paris to live with him, his personal and professional worlds quickly start to unravel as he confronts his past, fighting to save the club and protect those closest to him. La LA Land
director Damien Chazelle directed the first two episodes.
NEW ORLEANS: The Crescent City documentary :Up From The Streets
, subtitled New Orleans: The City of Music, had its virtual premiere on May 15. Viewers could buy tickets from a local cinema and watch the film at home. A portion of the proceeds from each $12 "ticket" sale was donated to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund, a statewide relief initiative supporting New Orleans
and Louisiana musicians who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Michael Murphy film explores the evolution of the city's music, from early innovations in jazz through R&B and funk. Trumpeter-composer Terence Blanchard
hosted the documentary, which weaves performances and conversations with musicians. Up From The Streets
received the Documentary Feature Award of Excellence at Indie Fest Film Festival
and the Juried Gold Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Houston WorldFest Film Festival.
MA RAINEY: George C. Wolfe's movie version of August Wilson's play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
had more than a little jazz in the playing. The work about Rainey, known as the Mother of Blues, starred Viola Davis as the singer and the late Chadwick Boseman (in his final film role) as brash young trumpeter Levee Green. Branford Marsalis
composed the original score. The film opened in select theaters on November 25 and streamed on Netflix on December 18. Boseman won best actor awards for his performance from the Chicago Film Critics Asociation
and Los Angeles Film Critics Asociation.
The full cast won best ensemble honors from the Boston Society of Film Critics.
LADY DAY: New York journalist Linda Kueh spent eight years in the 1970s interviewing everyone she could find with a personal association to singer Billy Holiday. They included musicians, managers, childhood friends, lovers and FBI agents. Kuehl died in 1978, allegedly by suicide, before she could finish the biography. Her story, collected in notes, transcripts and 200 hours of interviews on cassette tapes, finally was told by director James Erskine in his documentary Billie,
which was released December 4. The work is about Holiday, as told through the voices of people who knew her, and Kuehl's obsession with crafting her biography.
SUNDAYS AT THE TRIPLE NICKEL: Whiskey maker Crown Royal's artful push to celebrate and inspire generosity turned its spotlight on an initiative to keep jazz alive in Harlem
. Its 12-minute documentary, "Sundays at the Triple Nickel" was released in February. It examined how Marjorie Eliot has hosted free Parlor Jazz concerts in her living room every Sunday since 1992 as a tribute to her late son Philip and his love of music. Eliot, a former music teacher, lives at 555 Edgecombe Ave., where several jazz legends resided in Harlem's Sugar Hill neighborhood. They included bandleaders Count Basie
, Duke Ellington
and Andy Kirk
, saxophonists Johnny Hodges
and Sonny Rollins
, singer-songwriter-pianist Gil Scott-Heron
, and singer Lena Horne
EXPLAINING JAZZ WITH SOUL: Christmas Day brought the release of Pixar's remarkable animated film Soul
on the Disney+ channel. It's about Joe Gordon, a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is jazz. When Joe (voiced by actor Jamie Fox) travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul. Jazz is a big thread, but this one operates on so many more levels. Jon Batiste
wrote the jazz compositions and arrangements. Through digital magic, his spindly fingers are featured at the keyboard whenever Joe plays.
Historic preservation ups and downs...
CAB'S ROWHOUSE: The Baltimore
rowhouse where jazz performer Cab Calloway
lived as a teenager was demolished in early September. Activists, including his grandson Peter Brooks Calloway, worked for several years to have it preserved as a historic landmark. Though that effort failed, he said the city plans to build a park in his grandfather's honor.
NORDINE HOUSE SAVED: While a demolition permit was filed for the Chicago home of late jazz poet Ken Nordine
, a neighbor-led preservation effort paid off. After the city issued a preliminary landmark preservation designation, a local couple stepped forward and bought the property from Nordine's estate for $1.37 million. They said they would live in the 7,300 square-foot mansion and preserve it. Nordine died in February 2019. He was 98.
THE MAYFIELD SAGA, YEAR SIX: Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield
and his business partner, pianist Ronald Markham, pleaded guilty November 10 in a plea deal that will end their longstanding fraud and embezzlement case. They admitted to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as 23 other charges were dismissed at their re-arraignment. Sentencing was scheduled for February 9, 2021 in U.S. District Court. They face up to five years in prison. The two musicians funneled $1.3 million in public library donations to the Mayfield-led New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
for operating expenses which included $100,000 salaries each for Markham and Mayfield. Mayfield stepped down as artistic director in 2016. He founded the orchestra in 2002 as a nonprofit to perform and promote New Orleans
jazz. The orchestra, now led by drummer and artistic director Adonis Rose
, distanced itself from Markham and Mayfield, and continues to perform. It is headquartered in the New Orleans Jazz Market.
SUBWAY ATTACK: Japanese pianist Tadataka Unno
suffered serious injuries on September 27 when he was attacked by several youths as he tried to exit a subway station near his home in Harlem. Unno, 40, a new father returning home after a video shoot, suffered a broken collarbone and multiple bruises. Unno, who had worked in the bands of trumpeter Roy Hargrove
and drummer Jimmy Cobb
, among others, was unsure when he would be able to play again. Drummer and close friend Jerome Jennings
,, started a GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $300,000 to assist with medical bills, therapy and support for Unno's family.
BENNETT TRAGEDY: Blake Bennett, a promising young jazz player, was practicing his trumpet in a Tallahassee
FL apartment the night of November 17, when he took a break to get some food. Bennett, 22, a Florida State University senior studying jazz performance, was struck and killed when his scooter was hit from behind by a speeding Ford Mustang. The driver was arrested two days later while hiding at a local hotel. Ryan Walters, 27, was charged with of hit and run-failure to remain at a crash involving death and driving on a suspended license.
JAZZ DISTRICT VANDALISM: One or more vandals damaged at least seven businesses in July in Kansas City
's historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, including the building that houses The Blue Room Jazz Club, the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Mayor Quinton Lucas said the damage appeared to be caused by rocks thrown through windows. He said the damage mostly affected Black-owned businesses or city-owned facilities.
Jazz and art...
COLTRANE MURALS: Philadelphia
prides itself for the many artful murals that grace the City of Brotherly Love. But gentrification has become a challenge. A vibrant mural on the side of a rowhouse that depicts John Coltrane
gazing over his Strawberry Mansion neighborhood was mostly blocked by construction of a new apartment building. Developer Logan Kramer said he would donate $25,000 to replace the mural. It was painted in 2017after another developer demolished its 12-year-old predecessor at another location in 2014. Coltrane lived in Philadelphia from 1942 to 1958.
In June, artist Scott Nurkin painted a Trane mural on the back side of the old Hamlet Theatre in Hamlet, NC, the saxophonist's birthplace. The image was based on an iconic photo by Chuck Stewart. It was the first installment in a Nurkin series celebrating the contributions of famous North Carolina musicians.
SUN RA: An artful likeness of celestial bandleader Sun Ra
now dominates one side of the building housing Café Nine in New Haven
CT. The mural was the brainchild of cinematographer Michael Pollack and artist M. Deangelo. The building is at the corner of State and Crown. Café owner Paul Mayer said the avant-garde musician was the perfect subject for the mural "because he encompasses the past, present, and future."
SINGING FOR SPACE: Singer-songwriter Gregory Porter
is an admitted space junkie. So it was fitting that NASA selected him to perform as part of the live coverage of the MARS 2020 launch on July 30, which is carrying the Perseverance Rover to explore Mars. Porter sang a special rendition of "America the Beautiful" from his California home. "It is wonderful to be part of this spectacular event and share in a collective moment of inter-planetary adventure with millions around the world," Porter said. The rover is scheduled to touch down in Mars' Jezero crater on February 18, 2021 after a voyage of about 300 million miles.
HONORING ROSETTA: Jazz historian, author and record producer Rosetta Reitz now has a street dedicated to her in Leiden, Netherlands. ReitzStraat (Reitz Street) originally was named for Francis W. Reitz, a leader in the Boer War. A group of community activists changed the dedication after reconsidering the role the Boers played as colonists and their link to rise of apartheid, and because there are not enough streets named after women. Reitz died in 2008. Her Rosetta Records label released 18 albums of the music of the early women of jazz and the blues.
EXPLORING SOCIAL JUSTICE: The Kimmel Center's Jazz Residency used its 2020 program to create multi-disciplinary work examining Philadelphia social issues: homelessness, one's cultural identity as a citizen, and a futuristic look at neighborhoods. Three selected teams created the "Philly Made" work in the seventh annual program. Their lead musicians were singer and composer Ruth Naomi Floyd
, saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins
, and bassist, singer and composer Richard Hill Jr.
CHASIN' THE BIRD: Z2 Comics celebrated Charlie Parker
's August 29 centennial with its September publication of Chasin' the Bird: Charlie Parker in California.
The graphic novel by jazz trumpeter and comic artist/writer Dave Chisholm
tells the story of Parker's eventful 16-month stay on the West Coast from December 1945 to April 1947. What had been intended as a two-month residency in Hollywood with Dizzy Gillespie
's band was extended when Parker sold his return train ticket to buy heroin. The California trip included Bird's Lover Man
recording session, a hotel fire, jail time, and a stint in Camarillo State Hospital to recover from his addictions.
BIRD GOES TO THE OPERA: In February and early March, Seattle
Opera staged a combination of jazz and opera with a musical exploring the work and aspirations of one of bebop's architects. "Charlie Parker
's Yardbird" used the saxophonist's unrealized dream of composing an opera that incorporates jazz and classical elements to reflect on his life. In this work, staged from February 22 to March 7, Parker sets out to compose his great masterwork post-mortem as he looks back at his life through the eyes of the women he loved and who loved him. Singers Joshua Stewart and Frederick Ballentine alternated in the Parker role. Jorell Williams sang the Dizzy Gillespie
role. Daniel Schnyder composed the music and Bridgette A. Wimberly wrote the libretto.
BUDDY BOLDEN OPERA: Atlanta
saxophonist and composer Jeff Crompton
created a new work focused on the life and music of New Orleans cornetist Buddy Bolden
, that was planned to premiere in Atlanta in Juneuntil the pandemic hit. So he released the 45-minute, five-scene chamber opera, titled "The Buddy Bolden Opera," on October 16 on YouTube and his website. Crompton plans live performances after the pandemic.
THE GOLDEN THRONE, AND MORE: Nearly 200 furnishings from Frank Sinatra
's huge executive suite at Atlantic City
's Golden Nugget Casino were auctioned January 26. His marble and gold-seated toilet sold for $4,250. SS Auctions Inc. said Ol' Blue Eyes' baby grand piano went for $7,000 and his Ferdinand Berthoud clock sold for $13,000. ELLA'S RIDE: Want to move around town like Ella Fitzgerald
? The singer's custom-ordered 1959 Mercedes Benz 300D cabriolet, went on sale at a California car dealership in the fall. The asking price is $465,000. Fitzgerald owned the car for 37 years until her death in 1996. The dealership, Scott Grundfor Co., said there were only 65 custom-ordered cabriolets, which came with a retractable black-fabric soft top and landau bars. Fitzgerald rarely drove it herself, preferring to be chauffeured around Los Angeles. She posed with the 300d in an Annie Leibovits photo for an American Express print ad campaign.
ELLA'S A DOLL: The toymaker Mattel paid tribute to the First Lady of Song with an Ella Fitzgerald
version of a Barbie Doll as part of the company's 'Inspiring Women' series, which began in 2018 in conjunction with International Women's Day. The February release included the dolls for Ella, tennis pro Billie Jean King and English social reformer and nursing icon Florence Nightingale.
TRUMPET IS MY WEAPON: Musician Shamarr Allen
launched a guns-for-trumpet exchange program for youth in his native New Orleans
. Under the program, started in July, any Crescent City youth can hand over a gun to Allen -no questions asked -in exchange for a free, brand-new, trumpet. Allen expanded the program to include saxophones and drum machines as well. Allen posted his offer on Instagram, then launched a GoFundMe request for money to buy more instruments. He's given away more than two dozen so far.
ANOTHER JAZZ CHIEFTAIN: Trumpeter and bandleader Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
was coronated as Chieftan and Idi of the Xodokan Nation of New Orleans
Black Masking Nations. His uncle, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison
. Bandleader Harrison succeeded his father, Donald Harrison Sr., as the Chief of Congo Square in Afro-New Orleans Culture. Both Harrison and Scott are very active in efforts to honor, preserve and perpetuate the city's Mardi Gras Indian culture.
A FINE SITUATION: Cornetist Jack Fine, whose storied life included time as a cop in New York City
, a jazz club manager in Greenwich Village
, a musician in Paris
, and surviving three World War II plane crashes, moved to New Orleans
in the early 1990s. He soon became a Frenchman Street musical regular. He was forced to move out of his apartment in a retirement community in July when he was deemed no longer able to live independently.
Fine, now 92, was taken in by fellow musician and friend James Williams. The 32-year-old singer and trumpeter leads the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys Traditional Jass Band, with which Fine has had an open invitation to sit in for years. Now Williams is Fine's primary caretaker. Fine moved into a small house on Williams' property, where a nurse checks in on him daily. And he can play his cornet whenever he wants. "He just needs oversight," Williams said. "If we're all blessed to live that long, we'll end up in the same predicament. You hope somebody is willing to look after you and take care of you."
2020 Final Bars
The jazz world lost many musicians and industry-related people during 2020, including nine of its NEA Jazz Masters: Candido Camero
, Jimmy Cobb
, Stanley Crouch, Jimmy Heath
, Johnny Mandel
, Ellis Marsalis
, Annie Ross
, Joe Segal and McCoy Tyner
Ten jazz centenarians passed away during 2020: drummer Viola Smith at 107, singer Vera Lynn and pianist Nadi Qamar (Spaulding Givens) at 103, saxophonist J.T. Braxton and singer Lorraine Stern at 101, and arranger Angelo Testanero, bassist Jerry Bruno
, clarinetist Claude Abadie
, saxophonist Hal Singer
and trumpeter Victor Graham at 100.
Here's a comprehensive compilation
Accordionist Stéphane Chapuis; accordionist, composer and arranger Louis Corchia.
Banjoists Bob Adams, Jack Kuncl, Dave Rae, Harold Woodrow; banjoist, bandleader, record label (CMJ) co-founder and writer Louis Lince; banjoist, singer and composer Eddy Davis; banjoist and pedal steel guitarist Gordon Stone.
Bassists Jerry Bruno, Lyn Christie, Rick Ball, Al Ferrari, Andy Gonzalez, Reggie Johnson , Peter Krijnen, Alex Layn, Ivar Lindell, Ron Mathewson, Gary Peacock, Rocco Prestia, Ray Rose, Paul Schürnbrand, Pierre Sim, Woody Smith, Masayuki Tawarayama, Ace Tesone, Howard Twedddle, Haruwn Wesley, Jürgen Wuchner; bassist and composers Simon Fell, Lelio Giannetto, Jymie Merritt; bassist, violinist and poet Henry Grimes; bassist and singer Karel Hulinsky; bassists and educators Jerry Cameron, Charles Eakin, Cleve Eaton, Jeff Eckels, K.T. Geier, Marc Peillon, Scott Steed, Eugene Wright; bassist and (Pori Jazz Festival) producer Jyrki Kangas; bassist and jazz club manager (Frankfurt Jazzkeller) Eugen Hahn; bassist and writer Daniel Chauvet.
Bassoonist, composer and educator Janet Grice.
Clarinetists Michel Aumont, Jerzy Galiński, Mustafa Kandirali, Werner Keller, Harold Rubin, Gianni Sanjust, Rudy Torrini; clarinetist, saxophonist and violinist Siggi Gerhard; clarinetists, saxophonists and educators Laszlo Dömötör, Paul Shelden; clarinetist, educator and writer Bill Kenney; clarinetist and composer Bill Smith; clarinetist, composer and singer Gösta Linderholm; clarinetist and bandleader Claude Abadie; clarinetist and French Quarter Festival board member Alex Lewis.
Composer, arranger, trumpeter, trombonist and NEA Jazz Master Johnny Mandel; composer, guitarist, pianist, singer, broadcaster and producer David Jisse; composer, pianist, drummer and poet Harold Budd; composers, saxophonists and educators Bob Cobert, Duane Tatro; composers and singers Armando Manzanero, Riachão (Clementino Rodrigues); composer, conductor, pianist and educator Myroslav Skoryk; composer, conductor, pianist and trumpeter Mojmir Sepe; composer and trumpeter Ennio Morricone
Cornetists John Bucher, Peter Ecklund, Jim Petrie.
Drummers Tony Allen, Geoffrey Battison, Jon Christensen, Dave Dunscombe, Kendon Everts, "Father Al" Ferrante, Matthias Kaul, Vic Manecchia, Gilbert Matthews, Trimble McCullough, Khari Parker, Neil Peart, Lysa Dawn Robinson, Spider Rondinelli, Mars Scarazzo, Bobby Ward, Chip White; drummer, bandleader, educator and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Cobb; drummer, percussionist, composer and bandleader Alberto Naranjo; drummer, club owner (Raleigh NC's Frog & Nightgown and Café Déjà Vu), arts advocate and writer Peter Ingram;drummer, bandleader and educator Dick Bennett; drummers and bandleaders Allen Berk, Duke Belaire, Viola Smith; drummer, composer, music publisher, drum manufacturer and educator Bill Zickos; drummer, jazz club co-founder (London's Club Eleven) and educator Laurie Morgan; drummer and singer Kyle Keener; drummer. Educator and writer Ron Keezer; drummers and educators Bob Gullotti,Persip, Joe Porcaro, Guy Remonko, Bubbha Thomas; drummer and promoter Fernando Toussaint; drummer and graphic designer Ed Benguiat; drummer and photographer Lloyd Poissenot.
Educator, bandleader, composer, arranger and trombonist Steve Sample Sr.; educator and trumpeter Bob Keller; educator Danny Leonard.
Flutist, saxophonist and educator Don Burrows; flutists and educators Lance Martin, Simeon Shterev (aka Banana).
French hornist Barry Tuckwell; French hornist and broadcaster Bob Northern (aka Brother Ah).
Guitarists Jean Blaton, Julian Bream, Jerry Byrd, Scott Denett, Peđa Đikanović, Steve Eliovson, Marc Fosset, Haroldo Garcia, Evaldo Gouveia, Wayman Henry, Allan Johnson, Damir Kukuruzović, Michael Martello. Moraes Moreira, Helmut Nieberle, John Nzenze, Lou Pallo, Jacques Pellen, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jorge Santana, Rob Saunders, Susan Weinert, Barry Zweig; guitarist, singer, songwriter and filmmaker Geoff Douville; guitarist, songwriter and producer Edson José Alves, guitarists and singers Vicky Down, François Monseur, Tony Rice, Willie K; guitarist and producer Winicjusz Chróst; guitarist, writer and Hot Club of France general secretary Dominique Brigaud; guitarist, composer and programmer, producer and (Satellites) record company owner Ryo Kawasaki; guitarist, composer and educator Tony Romandini; guitarists and educators Bobby Cairns, Al Defino, Stan Wright; guitarist and recording engineer Danny Leake.
Harpist and bandleader Carlos "Cuco" Rojas.
Jazz poets Q.R. Hand Jr., Ruth Weiss.
Keyboardist, Dean "Sir Gant" Gant; keyboardist, composer and electronic music pioneer Richard Teitelbaum.
Mbira player and educator Cosmas Magaya.
Multi-instrumentalists Fred (June) Davis, Jack Gridley, Benny Likumahuwa, Ira Sullivan; multi-instrumentalist,, bandleader, recording engineer and educator Fred Holovnia (aka Fred Hall); multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator Bassam Saba; multi-instrumentalist, composer and musicologist Kali Z. Fasteau; multi-instrumentalist and singer Eric Weissberg; multi-instrumentalist and artist Don Nedobeck.
Organist, producer and record label (Harthon) owner Luther Randolph.
Percussionists Chris Fletcher, Chucky Lopez, Ángel "Cachete" Maldonado, Ray Mantilla, Alfred "Uganda" Roberts, Xavi Turrull; percussionist and NEA Jazz Master Candido Camero; percussionist and instrument maker Bill Mitkoff (aka Shekere Bill). Pianists Norm Amadio, Christian Azzi, Cleve Baker, Scott Bassinson, Overton Berry, Larry Bluth, Norman Brown, Geoff Castle, Wray Downes, Gale "Gaslight" Foehner, Joseph Fogarty, Billy Georgette, Rich Harney, Pentti Hietanen, Dick Kroeckel, Alain Lesire, Dave Mackay, Basie Mankge, Jürgen Mattern, Bob Pilsbury, Bill Pursell, Bernard Samuel, Buddha Scheidegger, Peter Schimke, Gilbert Sigrist, Joe Torres, Louis Van Dijk, Vince Weber, Joe Weldon; pianist, composer, bandleader and NEA Jazz Master McCoy Tyner; pianist, composer, educator and NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis; pianists, composers, conductors and arrangers George Blondheim, Claude Bolling, Mário Castro-Neves, Chris Cherney, Peter Thomas, Donn Trenner; pianists, composers and educators Bert Braud, Angelo Di Loreto, Arthur Goldstein, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Frank Kimbrough, Francois Nikol Levy, Carei Thomas, Keith Tippett, Otto Wolters; pianist, composer, educator and label (Strata-East) co-founder Stanley Cowell; pianist, composer, bandleader and educator Diane Moser; pianist, composer, educator, African instrument maker and musicologist Nadi Qamar (aka Spaulding Givens); pianist, keyboardist and composer Lyle Mays; pianist, organist, composer and arranger Dieter Reith; pianist, organist and ragtime researcher Nora Louise Hulse; pianist and organist Debo Dabney; pianist and trumpeter Edward Philip Epstein; pianist and vibes player Don McCaslin; pianist, arranger, bandleader, producer and broadcaster Julian Lee; pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster Phil Broadhurst; pianist, guitarist, experimental electronics player, composer and instrument builder Cor Fuhler; pianist and French Quarter Festival founder Ronnie Kole; pianist and Queen City Jazz Society president "Professor" Don Burns; pianists and composers Joe Amoruso, Wolfgang Dauner, Bent Fabric, Robin Frost, David Horowitz, Nikolai Kapustin, Peter Krag, Mike Longo, Ed Stoute, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Dave Zoller; pianist and bassist Ron Rubin; pianist, composer and philanthropist Judson Green; pianist, guitarist and storyteller Katsura Shinnosuke; pianists and singers Werner Böhm, Ruslan Egorov, Larry Garland, Lillette Jenkins-Wisner, Margaret Wright; pianists and educators Ross Carnegie, Herb Drury, Jerry Eckery, Rom Ferri, Alessandro Giachero, John Gilmore, Al Martin, Leonard Morton Sr., Bob Neloms, Larry Novak, Dave Roper, Joan Wildman; pianist and broadcaster Calder Prescott; pianist and writer Reinhard Giebel; pianist and jazz philanthropist Sig Shapiro; pianist, digital media researcher and Institute of Jazz Studies board member Michael Hawley.
Saxophonists Bootsie Barnes, Lawrence "Batty" Battiste,Stan Bronstein, Sonny Cox, Victor Cuica, Frank Cullen, Henry Estrada, Claude Etienne, Mitsuru Furuya, George Galway, Steve Grossman, Leon Henderson, Cliff Hoff, Arthur "The Duke" Johnson Sr., Michael Kelly, Giuseppi Logan, Jenne Meinema, Dean Mochizuki, Hugh O'Connor, Daniel Ossig, Benny Poole, Freddy Rodriguez Sr., Hal Singer, Buddy Sullivan, Danny Ray Thompson, Leo Ursini, Don Weller, Peter Wertheimer, Detroit Gary Wiggins; saxophonists, composers, bandleaders, educators and NEA Jazz Masters Jimmy Heath, Lee Konitz; saxophonist bandleader and educator Jeff Clayton; saxophonist, composer, educator and poet Fred Tillis; saxophonists, composers and arrangers Don Mikiten, Lennie Niehaus; saxophonist composer, arranger and actor Peter King ; saxophonist and composer Hans Salomon; Afro-jazz saxophonist, arranger, conductor and club operator (Leopoldville, Belgian Congo's Tam-Tam) Manu Dibango; saxophonists and bandleaders Lisa Canjura-Clayton, Sonny Carroll (Angelo Testanero), Richie Cole, Pat Longo, James "Dr. Jazz" Vandivier; saxophonist, composer, arranger and producer (Italy's Sonor Music Editions) Sandro Brugnolini; saxophonist, bandleader and broadcaster Macy Favor; saxophonist and Pinstripe Brass Band co-founder Dwight Miller Sr.; saxophonist, bassist, musicologist and publisher Andrew White; saxophonist and producer Tony Vos; saxophonists and educators J.T. Braxton, Tony Coelho, Mark Colby, Herman Green, Don Greene, Joel Griffin, Pedro Iturralde, Rich Kenneally, Mike Krepper, Macaé (Dulcilando Pereira), Marcelo Peralta; saxophonist, educator and broadcaster Arlen Asher; saxophonist, promoter and broadcaster Les Scher; saxophonist and black arts organizer Tony Zamora.
Singers Dot Adams, Einat Agmon, Waldemar Bastos, Adazeke Lynn Beville, Salome Bey, Annie Cordy, Alice Day, Belle du Berry, Debbie Duncan, Cano Estremera, Patti Flynn, Jan Fourney, Shannon Gunn, Molly Hammer, Mieko Hirota, Melva Houston, Jeanie Lambe, Carol Leigh, Betty Bennett Lowe, Rebecca Luker, Vera Lynn, Arlus Mabele, Phyllis McGuire, Dulce Nunes, Eva Pilarová, Eladio "Yayo" Rodriquez, Tito Rojas, Jimmy Roselli, Park Seong-Yeon, Toni Smith, Lorraine Stern, Claudia Telles, Grace Testani, Tom Tipton, Willie Torres, Judy Brooks Wiley, singer, actor and NEA Jazz Master Annie Ross; singer, bassist, guitarist and actor Kenny Rogers; singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer Prince Musarurwa; singer, kora player and bandleader Mory Kante; singer, percussionist and composer Balla Sidibé; singer, songwriter and guitarist Moraes Moreira; singers and guitarists Miche Fambro, Synnöve Rehnfors; singers and pianists Freddy Cole, Karin Oehler; singers and saxophonists Victor Kaplan (aka Vic Carlton), Robert Parker; singer, broadcaster and producer Ron Gill; singer, ukulele player, producer, broadcaster, writer and actor Ian Whitcomb; singer, composer and writer Aldir Blanc; singer, lyricist and educator Holli Ross; singer, activist and educator (founder of East Harlem NY's Manna House Workshops) Gloria DeNard; singer and educator Jeff Ramsey; singer, actor, dancer and choreographer Marianne Ebert; singer, dancer and educator Othella Dallas; singer and photographer Richard Williams; singer and jazz curator Lee Boswell-May; singers and actors Wilford Brimley, Donna Caroll, Betty Dorsey, Juliette Gréco.
Trombonists Lucien Barbarin, David Beekley, Toni Belenguer, Harold Betters, Jim Butler, Paul Faulise, Tom Gekler, Olle Holmquist, Eddie Noble King Jr., Joe Randazzo, Duane Solem, Dick Whaley, Helen Jones Woods; trombonist, pianist, composer, bandleader and educator Hugh Fraser; trombonist, singer and bandleader Steve Yocum; trombonists and bandleaders Jim Fitzgerald, Bob Mielke; trombonist and broadcaster Mal Sharpe; trombonist and educator Patrick Kelly.
Trumpeters Aldo Bassi, Blake Bennett, Eddie Balaiar, Heinz Bühler, Jacques Coursil, Michel Decourrière, Eddie Gale, Victor Graham, Frank Grasso, Louis Henry, Art Hoyle, Ronnie Hughes, Mitchell Jellen, Lucien Juanico, Toshinori Kondō, Steffen Mathes, Gene Maurice, Wallace Roney, Herman Sandy, Don Slattery, Jack Surbeck, Sanne van Hek, Marc van Nus, Nicky Wuchinger, Art Zens; trumpeter and composer Claudio Roditi; trumpeters, musicologists, educators and writers Howard Smither, Edward Tarr; trumpeter, composer and producer Allan Botschinsky; trumpeter, composer and arranger Bob Ojeda; trumpeter, composer, bandleader, producer and educator Ed Anderson; trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and writer Martin Spiegelberg; trumpeter, mellophonium player and Spokane (WA) Jazz Society co-founder Keith LaMotte; trumpeter, singer, composer, bandleader writer and actor Joey Giambra; trumpeter, oboist, conductor and educator Ossi Runne; trumpeter, bandleader and broadcaster John Burnett; trumpeter and big-band leader Bill Davies; trumpeter and trumpet maker Itaru Oki; trumpeter, educator and photographer Larry Davis; trumpeter, educator and writer Harold Lieberman; trumpeters and educators George Berardinelli, Mic Gillette, Roy Okutani, Jon Ruff, Pam Viers, Ernie Wolfle, Art Zens.
Tuba player and conductor Hervé Brisse.
Vibraphonists Fritz Hartschuh, Bob Jenkins, Jupp Zeltinger; vibraphonist, xylophonist, composer, arranger and author Ian Finkel; vibraphonist, percussionist and educator Dave "DJ" Johnson; vibraphonist and singer Gerry Hayes.
Violinists Pat Collins, Katsuko Esaki, Ivry Gitlis, Tommy Hancock, Fernando Suárez Paz.
Violist, conductor and educator Vincent Lionti.
Jazz club owners Rob Andersen (Portland OR's Parchman Farm Jazz Club), Heide Lore Deleuil (Cocoa Beach FL's Heidi's Jazz Club), Sam Hargress Jr. (Harlem's Paris Blues), Al Howard (Harlem's Showman's Café), Peter Marxen (Hamburg, Germany's Uncle Pö's Carnegie Hall), Gewrri Oliver (Chicago's Palm Tavern), Dante Stephensen (Atlanta GA's Dante's Down the Hatch); club owner (Chicago's Jazz Showcase), concert producer and NEA Jazz Master Joe Segal; jazz club owner (Valenciennes, France's Escargot) and tap dancer Mimi Blacker; big band venue owner (Bovi's Tavern in East Providence RI) John Bovi; The Jazz Cruise and Entertainment Cruise Productions founder Anita Berry; jazz club manager (Chicago's Green Mill), record distributor, producer and blues guitarist Peter Crawford; jazz programmer (CEDAC and Tremplin du Nice Jazz Festival, artist manager and bassist Pierre Demaria; festival director (Brazil's Guarujá Summer Festival O Fino da Música, musicologist, broadcaster and writer Zuza Homem de Mello; trad jazz festival founder (Colorado's Evergreen Jazz Festival) Sterling Nelson; Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival organizer, Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival board member and broadcaster Lucille Salerno; San Diego Jazz Party past presidents Jim Cooper and Dan Reid; Arizona Classic Jazz Society past president Joseph Brem; promoter, broadcaster, writer and Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz co-founder Russ Neff; Bansko (Bulgaria) International Jazz Festival founder Emil Iliev; Carlisle, England jazz club founder Eric Hudson; producer, tour manager and jazz festival founder (Britain's Bricknell Jazz Festival) John Cumming; jazz presenters and photographers Vernard Gray, Al White; Playboy Jazz Festival president Dick Rosenzweig; producers Dick Bank, Hal Willner; concert producer (Birmingham AL's Jazz in the Park series) Bernard Lockhart; concert producer Tim Cotton; concert producer, promoter and tour manager Judy Cites; booking agent Gert Pfankuch; Arts Midwest executive Colleen McLaughlin. Record distributor, producer and blues guitarist Peter Crawford; record executive (Toshiba EMI) and label founder (Somethin' Else) Hitoshi Namekata; record producer (Jazzpoint) Gerti Jankejova; record and music promotion executive (RCA, CTI, Warner Bros., Columbia/Epic, Palmetto labels) Terry Coen; record producer (CBS/Sony) and jazz historian Michael Brooks; record producer and label owner (Italy's Esordisco) Pierre Ruiz; International Association of Jazz Record Collectors Club past president Ron Pikielek.
Ethnomusicologist Bruno Nettl; musicologist, longtime Louis Armstrong House founding director and saxophonist Michael Cogswell; ragtime jazz researcher and Friends of Scott Joplin president Bryan Cather; arts historian (Jazz Institute Darmstaadt co-founder) and clarinetist Klaus Wolbert; early jazz preservationist (Retrieval Records) and writer Sue Davies; cultural preservationist Sylvester "Hawk" Francis, founder and curator of New Orleans' Backstreet Cultural Museum; historian Christian Steulet.
Artist Louis Delsarte; graphic designer Milton Glaser; illustrator and animator Gene Deitch.
Broadcasters Aad Bos, Lloyd Davis, Jay Edwards, Carlos Gaivar, Tammy Nobles, Jack Simpson; broadcaster and organist Bob Nave; broadcaster, saxophonist and drummer Ron Johnson; broadcaster, author and community-radio pioneer Lorenzo Milam; broadcaster and concert producer Joe Rico.
Movie music editor Else Blangsted. Photographers Chris Barham, Jürgen Schadeberg, Baron Wolman; photographer and writer Muhsin Jak Kilby.
Poet and educator Kamau Brathwaite.
Sound engineers Danny Leake, Bruce Swedien; sound engineer and studio designer Fran Manzella.
Writers Pete Hamill, Christopher Loudon, Tom Scanlan, Philippe Schoonbrood-Bartholomeus (editor of Belgium's Jazz Around magazine), Les Tomkins, Georgia Urban, Ror Wolf; writer, drummer, educator, Jazz at Lincoln Center co-founder and NEA Jazz Master Stanley Crouch; writer, broadcaster festival co-founder (Dresden, Germany's International Dixieland Festival) and drummer Karlheinz Drechsel; writer and discographer Wim Winsemius; writers and broadcasters Rafael Bassi Labarrera, Bob Protzman.
Blues, gospel and R&B artists, and industry figures Barney Ales, Rance Allen, Sandy Anderson, Mickey Atkins, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Edward "Buddy" Banks, Len Barry, Little Charlie Baty, Harold Beane, Ronald Bell (aka Khalis Bayyan), Oscar Benton, Frank Bey, Hamilton Bohannon, Big George Brock, J. Marvin Brown, Clarence Burke Sr., Roy C, Darick Campbell, James Carmichael, Pete Carr, Big Al Carson, Amadeu Casas, Lorraine Chandler, Gerson King Combo, Eddie Cooley, Pete Crawford, Jacques Demêtre, Georghia Dobbins, Dobby Dobson, Carl Dufrene Jr., Patrick Ellis, Sandra Feva, Henry Gray, Peter Green, Larry Griffin, Wesley "Pike" Hall Jr., Roy Hammond, Andre Harrell, Reggie Haynes, Pamela Hutchinson, Petar Introvič, Doug Jefferson, Joseph B. Jefferson, Gordon Keith, Bryan Lee, Bobby Lewis, Little Richard, Tammy Lynn, Sterling Magee, Skip Mahoney, Barbara Martin, Kim Massie, Ronn Matlock, James Mays, Trudy Melvin, Kizito Mihigo, (singer) Nicole Mitchell, Joseph "Mojo" Morganfield, Arnold Mullins, Johnny Nash, Jamie Oldaker, Sharon Paige, Louie Patton, Lucky Peterson, Bonnie Pointer, Lou Ragland, Bill Randle, Alto Reed, D.J. Rogers, Richie Rome, Rudy Salas, David "Cowboy" Sanders, Sidney "Guitar Crusher" Selby, Troy Sneed, Willie Wild Sparks, Ed Stroud, Ryan Tavares, Larry Van Loon, Danny Webster, Gwendolyn Oliver Wesley, Rev. John Wilkins, Bruce Williamson, Bill Withers, Betty Wright, Edna Wright.
This Final Bars list was compiled from many sources including local newspapers, the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt newsletter, AllAboutJazz.com
, Wikipedia, the New York Times, Legacy.com, Rolling Stone, Variety, JazzTimes.com, blogs, listserves, Facebook pages, Twitter and European publications.