Born May 25, 1926, in Alton, IL
Died September 28, 1991, in New York City
“The difference between me and other musicians,” Miles Davis once said, “is that I’ve got charisma.” He became a cultural icon, nearly as well known for his elegant clothes, plain-spoken opinions and rejection of every remnant of minstrelsy as for his music...
Born April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C.
Died May 24, 1974, in New York City
“If jazz means anything,” Edward Kennedy Ellington once said, “it is freedom of expression.” No one in the history of jazz expressed himself more freely -- or with more variety or swing or sophistication...
Born April 25, 1917, in Newport News, VA
Died June 15, 1996, in Beverly Hills, CA
“If the musicians like what I do,” Ella Fitzgerald once said, “then I feel I’m really singing.” She was really singing all her life...
Born February 2, 1927, in Philadelphia, PA
Died June 6, 1991, in Malibu, CA
“The saxophone is an imitation of the human voice,” tenor saxophonist Stan Getz once said. His own voice was breathy, light, feminine, and so touching that it captured the attention of the public without sacrificing the respect of jazz aficionados...
Born October 21, 1917, in Cheraw, SC
Died January 6, 1993, in New York City
“You only have so many notes,” John Birks Gillespie once explained, “and what makes a style is how you get from one note to the other.” Gillespie was in full command of every note on the trumpet...
Born May 30, 1909, in Chicago, IL
Died June 13, 1986, in New York City
“Nothing less than perfection would do,” Benny Goodman once said of his long band-leading career. “I lived that music, and expected everybody else to live it, too.” His exacting standards paid off...
Born April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, PA
Died July 17, 1959, in New York City
“Me and my old voice,” Billie Holiday once told an accompanist. “It just goes up a little and comes down a little. It’s not legit...”