NEW YORK (AP) — McCoy Tyner, the groundbreaking and influential jazz pianist and the last surviving member of the John Coltrane Quartet, has died. He was 81. Tyner’s family confirmed the death in a statement released on social media Friday. No more details were provided. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing […]

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Heath, a Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist and composer who performed with such greats as Miles Davis and John Coltrane before forming the popular family group the Heath Brothers in middle age, has died. He was 93. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER:  Heath’s grandson Fa Mtume told The New York Times that […]

Dizzy Gillespie, with his signature puffed cheeks, horned-rim glasses, beret and bent-bell trumpet, used this musical talent to become a world-renowned figure in the world of jazz. The late trumpeter was born October 21, 1917 in Cheraw, S.C. John Birks Gillespie grew up in a musical household and began playing instruments as a preschooler under […]

Lester “Pres” Young passed 60 years ago, but he is still considered a true jazz giant. The Mississippi-born saxophonist’s birthday is August 27, 1909. Young grew up in New Orleans and by the time he was in his teens, he’d joined his father’s vaudeville band. At 18, Young left the band because he refused to […]

Among the great pantheon of New Orleans Jazz artists, Sidney Bechet is rightfully near the top of that group of legends. The saxophonist was born May 14, 1897, and according to some, brought forth the concept of the soloist in his genre. Bechet was largely a self-taught child prodigy who picked up the clarinet at […]

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nancy Wilson, the Grammy-winning “song stylist” and torch singer whose polished pop-jazz vocals made her a platinum artist and top concert performer, has died. Wilson, who retired from touring in 2011, died after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, a California desert community near Joshua Tree National Park, her […]

The late Thelonious Monk was born on October 10, 1917 and is considered to be one of the pioneers of modern day jazz. Monk won the Apollo theater amateur night contest so much, that he was banned from entering. After dropping out of High school he joined Mittens Playhouse in 1941 where he, along with, Dizzy Gillespie […]

NEW YORK (AP) — A new jazz conference seeks to determine what role jazz can play in today’s society, and it has tapped Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as its keynote speaker. Jazz Congress will hold its inaugural event on Jan. 11 in New York City. While Abdul-Jabbar is best known as a Hall of Fame basketball legend, […]

Ella Fitzgerald would have turned 100 years old this week, and fans are celebrating the “First Lady of Song” around the globe. Fitzgerald was born on April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Va. After her father left the family, Fitzgerald’s mother began seeing another man and relocated to Yonkers, N.Y. Historical record says the arrival […]

NEW YORK (AP) — The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will tour South America in March for the first time in 10 years. JALC announced Tuesday that the 12-city tour kicks off Feb. 27 in New York and will visit Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico and six South American countries. […]

Pianist and composer Joe Sample, a founding member of the genre-crossing Jazz Crusaders who helped pioneer the electronic jazz-funk fusion style, has died. He was 75. Sample died of complications due to lung cancer Friday evening at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, his manager, Patrick Rains, told The Associated Press on Saturday. Rains […]

Ever since Al Jarreau and George Duke met in 1965 it was obvious that the two had established a true connection like no other. Jarreau’s  new album is honoring Dukes musical accomplishments on the new cd, My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke. So what can you expect from a 2014 version of Jeffery Osbourne, Dr. John, Kelly Price and George […]