Jo Jones, the jazz drummer who was the Count Basie Orchestra's original rhythm ace, was born this day in 1911 in Chicago. "Papa Jo" forever changed the role of the jazz drummer by transferring the basic beat from the bass drum to the hi-hat cymbals.
Drummer Alvin Stoller was born this day in 1925 in New York City.
On this day in 1924, trumpeter Louis Armstrong recorded with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra for the first time. That New York session for Columbia produced the tune "Go 'Long Mule."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band is at Birdland tonight, under the musical director of the late founder's son, pianist Arturo O'Farrill Jr. Trombonist Chris Washburne's SYOTOS band plays Latin jazz at Smoke tonight.
Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove and Michael bring their cross-country tour to Symphony Hall in Boston tonight in celebration of the music of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, both of whom would have turned 75 this year.
Pianist and composer Claire Ritter celebrates the release of two new CDs, "Castles in the Air" and "River of Joy," tonight at the French Library in Boston. She will be joined by saxophonist Stan Strickland.
Singers Freddy Cole and Joyce Mariani team up tonight at Severance Hall in Cleveland.
On the Chicago jazz scene, saxophonist and exotic European instrumentalist Matt Darriau and the Paradox Trio perform today at the Chicago Cultural Center. Their original music is inspired by Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and jazz traditions. It's a free event at the Claudia Cassidy Theater. John Burnett's Swing Orchestra is at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn tonight. The Tiger Lillies are at HotHouse.
Acoustic Alchemy is at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, Minn., tonight.
On the New Orleans jazz scene, pianist David Torkanowsky and singer Topsy Chapman are in the spotlight tonight at Donna's. Bassist Edwin Livingston's group is at the Funky Butt. Marva Wright is at Mama's Blues. Brotherhood of Groove is at the Old Point. Seth Kaufman is at Snug Harbor. The Dukes of Dixieland are featured on the Steamboat Natchez's evening dinner cruise on the Mississippi. Pianist Eddie Bo and bassist Walter Payton's Snapbean band take turns tonight at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
In California, harmonicat Toots Thielemans concludes a weeklong run at Yoshi's in Oakland with matinee and evening performances. The Alcatraz Angels Jazz Band is at Dick's Restaurant in San Leandro this afternoon. The One World Latin Band is at The Jazzschool in Berkeley this afternoon. Singer Paula West, just out with a fine new all-star recording called "Come What May," is at The Plush Room in San Francisco tonight.
In Canada, hot-selling singer-pianist Diana Krall will be featured with a full orchestra tonight and Monday at Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre in her native British Columbia.