Composer, arranger and trumpeter Billy May was born this date in Pittsburgh in 1916. He is best known for his arrangements for the Charlie Barnet band. Billy May's version of Ray Noble's "Cherokee" became a Swing Era standard. It also became Barnet's signature tune.
Pianist Paul Bley was born this day in 1932 in Montreal. In the late 1950s, he became associated with the developing avant-garde jazz movement, collaborating with Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and others.
Flute player Hubert Laws was born this day in 1939 in Houston, Texas. The versatile player in both jazz and classical spheres got his first jazz job at age 15 with the Jazz Crusaders and stayed with the band from 1954 until 1960.
Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner was born this day in 1965 at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio.
On this day in 1947, Lionel Hampton recorded "Midnight Sun" for the Decca label.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, Wynton Marsalis leads another in his series of Jazz for Young People concerts today at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Today's hour-long family concert performances will focus on the musical legacy of bassist and composer Charles Mingus. Singer Claudia Acuna's quintet is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. John Pizzarelli winds down a four-night run at Birdland. The Knitting Factory calendar tonight includes Hot Water Music, Hot Rod Circuit, Pilot to Gunner, Ned Rothenberg and the Joel Newton Situation. Saxophonist Lou Donaldson's quartet is at the Village Vanguard, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts' London-based Jazz Tentet is at the Blue Note and tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet's big band is at Iridium for two more nights. Singer Melba Joyce's trio is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight.
Boston celebrates its jazz heyday in a gala way tonight with the annual Steppin'Out extravaganza at the World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel. It's a long evening that recreates the atmosphere of the city's best- jazz clubs, past and present, including The Jazz Workshop, the Hi Hat, Storyville, Basin Street South and Wally's. It benefits the Dimock Community Health Center. Tonight's stellar lineup includes Roy Haynes, Vanessa Rubin, Donald Harrison, David Gilmore, Bobby Blue Bland, Darren Barrett, Mae Arnette, Jimmy Slide, Andre Ward, the Herman Johnson Quartet, Jose Ramos and the Special Blend, the Kubota Powerjazz Unit and singer Vivian Male.
Elsewhere on the Boston area jazz scene, Mose Allison is at Scullers tonight. Jazz-pop harpist Deborah Henson-Conant holds her annual birthday bash concert tonight at the Somerville Theater.
Singer Donna Byrne and her band are at Chan's in Woonsocket, R.I., tonight.
The autumn edition of the 10th annual Cape May, N.J., Jazz Festival continues today and tonight with afternoon jazz and blues jam sessions plus evening performances by McCoy Tyner's trio, Ray Barretto and New World Spirit, the Jeannie Brooks quintet, soul singer Miss E.C. Scott, guitarist Peter Leitch, bassist Gerald Veasley and the Hilton Ruiz quartet featuring Brian Lynch.
Pieces of a Dream is at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight and Sunday.
Pianist Roberto Ocasio's Latin Jazz Project is at the Huntington Building in Cleveland, Ohio, tonight.
On the Chicago jazz scene, Carlos Cannon is at the Backroom tonight. Ron Harris is at the Futureworld Cybercafe. Singer Grazyna Auguscik is at the Green Mill, celebrating the release of her newest recording. Chicago Samba is at HotHouse. Monty Alexander's trio continues its run at the Jazz Showcase. Bopology is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium on the Navy Pier. Chris Greene and New Perspective are at Michael's Jazz Bistro in Glen Ellyn. Rankinfyle Is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Brienne Perry quartet is at Pops for Champagne tonight.
In New Orleans tonight, trumpeter Jeremy Davenport's band is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Lionel Ferbos leads the traditional jazz band tonight at the Palm Court. Saxophonist Sonny Fortune is at Snug Harbor tonight and Sunday. The Li'l Rascals Brass Band is at Tipitina's Uptown. Humphrey Wright leads the early evening jazz jam and Marva Wright sings the blues at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders perform this afternoon at the Jazz National Historical Park.
Los Hombres Calientes, Ramsey Lewis and Angela Hagenbach are featured today and tonight at the 7th annual Goodyear Cool Desert Jazz Festival at Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear, Ariz.
On the California jazz scene, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders' quintet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight and Sunday. Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and the Cedar Walton trio team up at Yoshi's in Oakland. The Johnny Blas Latin jazz band is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. Pianist Denny Zeitlin's trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Singer Carol Duboc performs tonight at the Monsoon Café in Santa Monica. Pianist Mark Levine's trio is at the Pairs Restaurant in Napa tonight.
The Jovino Santos Neto Quartet performs tonight new arrangements of music by J.S. Bach at Town Hall in Seattle as part of the daylong Bach around the Clock Festival.
Cuban singer Mayra Caridad Valdes, daughter of pianist Bebo Valdes and sister of pianist Chucho Valdes, opens her first Canadian tour tonight with a concert at the Rivoli in Toronto. Other stops over the next five nights will include London, Ontario, Winnipeg and Montreal.
Wayne Horvitz's 4 Plus 1 Ensemble and Zony Mash Acoustic perform tonight at the Norman Rothstein Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Mark Whitecage Trio performs tonight at the Nighttown Theater in Rotterdam, Holland.
Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa's septet performs tonight at the Convento San Juan Evangelista in Madrid, Spain.