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Known for his “balloon-like” cheeks and distinct musical style, Dizzy Gillespie will forever be identified as not only one of the greatest trumpet players in history, but one of the most influential musicians of all time.

In the 1930′s, Gillespie would begin his music career as a member of several prominent swing and jazz bands, including some led by such stellar musicians as Cab Calloway and Benny Carter. That immediate experience would lead to further working relationships with, at that time, up-and-coming superstars like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. (more…)

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Who Was Charles Mingus And What Did He Contribute

What Made Charles Mingus So Distinctive
Charles Mingus is considered one of the greatest jazz bassists of all time. His music is as diverse and popular as any other bassists in the history of jazz. Mingus developed his own unique style of jazz playing. In fact, Mingus has played with some of the greatest names in the industry. Some of the jazz musicians that Mingus played with include Eric Dolphy, Don Pullen, Duke Ellington, Dannie Richmond, Max Roach, Jimmy Knepper and Jack (more…)

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American jazz pianist Art Tatum overcame near-blindness to become one of the genre’s most celebrated , influential and talented musicians.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1909, Tatum suffered from cataracts from infancy. The condition left him with limited vision in one eye and none at all in the other.

A child prodigy, Tatum quickly learned to play piano by ear. His playing style was incredibly fast, but he never sacrificed accuracy.

In 1925, the budding musician enrolled at the Columbus School for the Bling to (more…)

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John Coltrane is considered by many to be one of the greatest saxophonists in jazz history. His distinctive tone and playing style is instantly recognizable. His contributions to the jazz landscape range from beautifully constructed solos to ground breaking improvisational innovations that still reverberate with today’s players.

Coltrane began his career in the late 1940′s, first achieving recognition while playing with Miles Davis in 1955. Trough two stints with Davis as well as work done with Thelonious Monk, Coltrane steadily increased both his technical mastery of the saxophone and a sophisticated understanding of (more…)

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Kenny G has a profound contribution to smooth jazz music. He has totally changed the way that consumers perceive jazz music today.

One might say that Kenny G played a part in establishing a quiet storm type of feeling to the smooth jazz sounds of the day. He played his sax with such perfection from the very beginning of his career. He translated his sound into something that would find a way into R&B stations.

Kenny G is the artist that defined crossover in smooth jazz. Before him smooth jazz was somewhat boxed into smooth jazz radio stations. (more…)

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Dave Koz is a jazz saxophonist born in California in 1963. Playing in bands through his teens, Koz gave himself 6 months after graduating from UCLA in 1986 to start a career in music. Early exposure with Bobby Caldwell’s band led to a gig with Jeff Lorber’s touring band. Lorber was influential in convincing Koz to pursue a solo career. His musicianship and engaging personality have been instrumental in his success.

Koz released his self-titled debut recording in October of 1990. His music displayed a style that combined modern jazz sensibilities with adult contemporary overtones. This first (more…)

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Many people over the years have made attempts to define Jazz, but it can only really be defined as difficult to define. It is a total fusion of audible textures that collide to make seemingly dissonant but beautiful sequences of music. The history of jazz is very deep and goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, rooted in African American communities it emerges as an adaptation of early hymns and songs.

Jazz is famous for its alternate timings and (more…)

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Jazz began as free-swinging party music, transformed into a pop powerhouse that swept the globe and defined a generation, and then magically transformed into a tool of social protest and deep intellectual thought.

From its steamy origins in the Deep South, jazz began when people like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong began to play a type of ragtime that couldn’t be ignored. They used the instruments of the day; the barroom piano, the marching band trumpet, the simple snare drum. Working without amplification (more…)