Jazz

Vince Wilburn, Jr., was born in Chicago and began playing the drums on pots and pans as early as five years old.   His uncle, Miles Davis, encouraged young Vince to listen to the great drummers, many of whom played with Miles over the years.  Vince recalls with a smile the day he sat in with Miles...
Bobby Watson grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and remembers dreaming of buying a new saxophone at the local music store.  An early gig with drummer Art Blakey began Bobby on his career as a noted jazz musician, which has included forming his own award winning band and playing with such artists as Joe...
Vernon Reid was among the founding members of the cutting edge and influential rock band Living Colour.  The band helped break the color line in hard rock music by showcasing an all-black band can perform heavy metal rock with the best of them.  Vernon’s career has covered a wide range of musical...
Michael Bradford grew up in Detroit and found he had a deep passion for the electric bass.  After playing for local bands before and after school, Michael met guitarist Earl Klugh and the two began playing jazz together.  Michael later developed into a well-rounded musician having had the...
Nathan East began playing the bass following his introduction to soul music, which his uncle and father often played on the radio and from records.  Over his storied career, Nathan has been active in supporting music education programs, such as those created by NAMM.  In 2015, he was inducted into...
Les McCann began his musical career playing the Sousaphone in school.  He later played drums before discovering the piano, which became the vehicle that launched him into the jazz world.  He recorded with the Fender-Rhodes electrical piano and even tried his hand at a variety of electronic...
Sandy DeVito began teaching himself guitar when he was 11 years old. He developed and learned how to play by gigging in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area. Sandy performed and recorded with individuals such as Tony Martin, Les Paul, Ray Charles, Vickie Carr, and Charlie Byrd, to name a...
Christian McBride teamed with his wife, Melissa Walker, to create a school music program in Montclair, New Jersey called Jazz House Kids.  Advocating for their program, the couple have become knowledgeable on the importance of music education, and well spoken cheerleaders for arts funding.  As an...
Anthony Ortega has been a mainstay on the west coast jazz scene since the 1940s. Growing up in Watts, Anthony went to school with and was exposed to many of the Los Angeles jazz musicians of the era including Charles Mingus. Playing sax, clarinet, and flute Anthony went on to play and tour with...
Terence Blanchard remembers with pride the special way Lionel Hampton coached and encouraged him.  It was his first professional gig and Hamp took the time to share with young Terence, an act of kindness that continues to give to this day.  While having a successful jazz career, Terence never...

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