Don Redman is considered the first jazz composer/arranger
by many. He was also the first musician with both the
inspiration and academic knowledge for this style of music.
In short, he invented jazz writing for the big band, not only
writing separate parts for reed and brass "choirs", leaving
room for hot solos, but putting sections in opposition which
solved the problems of the new style, thus showing
everyone else how to do it.
His brother led a band in Cumberland, Maryland and his
father was a noted music teacher and had performed in a
brass band. His mother was a singer. Don began playing
the trumpet at the age of three, joined his first band at 6 and
by the age of 12 was proficient on all wind instruments
including the oboe.
Don studied music at Storer's College in Harper's Ferry and
conservatories in Boston & Chicago