Lila Ammons

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2017-03-28

I love jazz because it's in my blood. Albert Ammons, boogie pianist, and Gene "Jug" Ammons, tenor sax player, were my grandfather and uncle. I was first exposed to jazz, listening to my parents' records of Gene Ammons, Sarah Vaughan, George Shearing, Earl Garner, etc. I've performed in festivals with and worked with many wonderful artists, including Axel Zwingenberger, Charlie Watts, Bruce Barth, Houston Person, Bennie Golson, Jon Faddis, to name a few. Some of the best jazz shows I've ever attended were Lena Horn's "One Woman Show" in NYC, Sarah Vaughan in concert, Sippie Wallace, Count Basie Big Band in concert, and Cab Calloway at Carnegie Hall, and more. I enjoy listening to a number of vocalists, such as Bessie Smith, Johnny Hartman, Mel Torme, Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Carmen McCrae, Sarah Vaughan, Andy Bey, Lorez Alexandria, Flora Purim, Karryn Allison, Catherine Russell, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Gregory Porter, to name a few. etc. . The first jazz record I bought was Miles Davis's, "Kinda Blue." My advice to new listeners is to listen to all styles and learn jazz and blues history. Above all, enjoy every minute learning about the jazz experience.