The jazz violinist Eddie South was born this day in 1904 in Louisiana, Mo. South was one of the finest classical violinists ever to play jazz. He made a series of historic recordings in Paris in 1927 with guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli. Eddie South died in 1962.
Trumpeter Randy Brecker, oldest of the two musical Brecker Brothers, was born this day in 1945 in Philadelphia.
Jazz composer and orchestra leader Maria Schneider, a protege of the late Gil Evans, was born this day in 1960 in Windom, Minn. She was voted arranger of the year in the most recent DownBeat magazine reader's poll.
One of the greatest jazz singers of all time was just 17 when she made her recording debut on this date with Benny Goodman in 1933. The singer was Billie Holiday -- and the song was "Your Mother's Son-In-Law."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
The jazz community will turn out in force tonight at St. Peter's Church in midtown Manhattan for a memorial service for singer Etta Jones. She died Oct. 16 of cancer at her Mount Vernon, N.Y., home. Her final High Note album," Etta Jones Sings Lady Day," appeared in stores on the day she died.
For decades, a hard-driving impresario made it possible for many black musicians to find work and for the public to have access to that genre.
Norman Granz is being remembered for his work in leveling the playing field for minority artists. During his years as head of several record labels -- including Pablo, Norgran, Clef and Verve -- Granz recorded all the major luminaries in black jazz, including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson and Charlie Parker. Published reports indicate that his Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts played a major role in fostering an acceptance of integrated ensembles. He is also credited with helping black musicians receive the same wages as whites.
A constant fighter for the acceptance of jazz and jazz musicians, Granz died in Switzerland. He was 83.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
On the New York club and concert scene, Birdland opens its second annual Django Reinhardt Festival tonight. It's a weeklong celebration of the legacy of Europe's great gypsy guitarist - and featuring a blend of American and European musicians. Tonight through Thursday, the lineup will include gypsy brothers Boulou and Elios Ferre, guitarists Angelo Debarre and Frank Vignola, bassist Jon Burr and violinist Ola Kvernberg from Norway. Saxophonist James Carter will join the party on Thursday night only. On Friday through Sunday, the celebration will feature gypsy guitarist/violinist Dorado Schmitt, Angelo Debarre, Frank Vignola, Jon Burr and violinist Florin Niculescu. Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli joins in on Sunday. Look for many jazz guitar greats to hang out and perhaps sit in. George Benson and Les Paul did so last year.
Pianist McCoy Tyner's trio opens a weeklong run at Iridium tonight with flute player Dave Valentin as special guest. Saxophonist Greg Osby's quintet is at the Village Vanguard tonight through Sunday. Drummer Elvin Jones's Jazz Machine is at the Blue Note all week. Guitarist Bred Shepik's trio and the Geoff Gersh-Christof Knoche-Dan Weiss trio and the Fandanglers are at the Knitting Factory tonight. The Ben Scher trio is at the Sugar Bar tonight. Charles Fambrough, Dave Kikoski and Brian Melvin bring their BeatleJazz project into the Zinc Bar tonight and Wednesday.
Author and veteran jazz publicist Peter Levinson, the biographer of trumpeter Harry James, will sign copies of "September in the Rain," his new biography of composer-arranger Nelson Riddle, tonight at Borders Books and Music on Second Avenue in New York City.
In and around Boston, the Cuban charanga band Orquesta Aragon is at Scullers tonight and Wednesday. Dominique Eade teams up tonight with pianist Fred Hersch at the Regattabar in Cambridge. Vibes player Ben Adams is at Ryles in Cambridge with George Garzone, John Lockwood and Yoron Israel. Lost in the Sauce is at the Sherborne Inn. Bombay Jim and the Swinging Sapphires are at Casa Vecchia in Salem, N.H., tonight.
Percussionist Kahil El'Zabar and violinist Billy Bang team up tonight at the Era, Pa., Art Museum Annex.
On the Chicago jazz scene, John Bany, John Young and Charlie Braugham are at Andy's. Tricolor is at the Empty Bottle as part of the Chicago Improvisers Series. Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms are at the Green Mill tonight. Franz Jackson and his Jazz Entertainers are in the spotlight at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. Tenor sax titan Von Freeman is at the New Apartment Lounge, his Tuesday night performance home for more than 20 years. Elizabeth Doyle is at Philander's in Oak Park. Ken Saydak is at Pops for Champagne tonight.
In New Orleans tonight, the Jazz Vipers are at El Matador. Drummer James Alsanders' Jazz Project is at the Funky Butt. Clarinetist Pete Fountain is at his jazz club in the New Orleans Hilton. Trumpeter Gregg Stafford leads the band at Preservation Hall on this and most Tuesday nights. Roland Guerin, Jason Marsalis and Derek Douget bring their trio Khore into Snug Harbor tonight. George French leads the band at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Pianist John Royen is at Sweet Kathleen's. The jazz guitar trio Freesome is at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center.
On the California jazz scene, singer Kurt Elling and his band are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. Dennise Neill is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. The Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood features an evening of jazz to benefit New York's relief fund tonight. The Gary Burton All-Stars open a weeklong run at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight. The Terry Becker Band is at Café Caracas in Berkeley. In San Francisco, Mark Stock's trio is at the Cypress Club, Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill open at The Plush Room. The Hot Club of San Francisco is at Enrico's. The Vince Lateano trio with Al Plank is at Jazz at Pearl's in North Beach.
Tenor saxophonist David Sanchez's Melaza sextet opens a weeklong run tonight at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle. Cuba's Los Fakires perform tonight at Seattle's Paramount Theatre. Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto's quartet opens with special guest Celso Machado.
In Toronto, pianist Eddie Higgins' quartet opens a weeklong run at the Montreal Bistro and Jazz Club. The Marc Jordan quartet is at the Top O' The Senator through Sunday.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]