During his lifetime, Ellington received numerous honors and awards including the Paul Revere Plaque from the City of Boston, honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Berklee, Assumption College, and Brown University, and the keys to the City of Worcester.
In this episode of New England Public Radio’s JazzBeat, Jazz a la Mode host Tom Reney celebrates the life and saxophone of the great Johnny Griffin. The scope of Griffin’s career offers us a nice panorama of jazz through the 20th century as African American music, even when it had to move to Europe!
The move to Europe proved salutary for Griff, who continued to find audiences receptive to love notes everywhere he played. Gonzales, who returned to the States, later quipped, “[Johnny] now lives like a country squire on his farm in Holland and travels the world.”
Lionel Hampton’s YOU BETTER KNOW IT was one of the essentials of my early jazz education. I checked it out of the Worcester Public Library […]
There is surprisingly little filmed footage on Gene Ammons, whose 91st birthday anniversary was April 14. Ammons was one of the most revered tenor saxophonists […]
Today is Carmen McRae’s 94th birthday anniversary. Born in Harlem to a Costa Rican-born father and Jamaican-born mother, Carmen came of age with modern jazz […]
If you don’t love Billie Holiday already, this should do it.
Yesterday was the pianist and composer Randy Weston’s 90th birthday. Willard Jenkins, who collaborated with the 6’7″ pianist on his 2010 autobiography, African Rhythms, reported […]
Thad Jones’s 93rd birthday anniversary was March 28. Born in 1923, he was the middle of the three illustrious Jones brothers of Pontiac, Michigan (pianist […]
Tom Reney, Host of NEPR’s Jazz a la Mode, pays memorial tribute to Ernestine Anderson, the great singer who died on March 10 at age 86.