Saxophonist and flute player Bobby Jaspar was born this date in 1926 in Liege, Belgium. He developed his jazz reputation in Paris in the early 1950s before moving to New York, where he soon performed or toured with J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis, Donald Byrd and Chris Connor. Jaspar died in 1963 after heart surgery.
Singer Nancy Wilson was born this day in 1937 in Chillicothe, Ohio. Saxophonist Cannonball Adderley encouraged Wilson to go to New York after she sang with his quintet in Columbus, Ohio in 1959. Before long, she landed a record contract with Capitol, and national recognition for her jazz and pop interpretations.
Trumpeter Lew Soloff was born this day in 1944 in New York. A busy and highly regarded member of the New York jazz scene for many years, Soloff is a virtuoso of the trumpet, and a mainstay in several top jazz big bands and orchestras. From 1968 to 1973, he was a member of the rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears.
On this day in 1997, jazz guitarist Zachary Breaux drowned while trying to save a 66-year-old New York woman who had been caught in a riptide off Miami. Breaux released his breakthrough recording "Uptown Groove" just a month earlier. Breaux was 39.
On this day in 1939, Harry James recorded for the Brunswick label the tune that became his theme song. It was "Ciribiribin."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene, pianist Jacky Terrasson's trio is at Iridium. Pianist Bruce Barth's trio is at the Village Vanguard tonight through Sunday. Dr. John is at the Blue Note through Sunday. Pianist Hank Jones's trio is at Birdland through Saturday. Singers Rosemary and Nick Clooney are at Feinstein's at the Regency. Wayne Krantz is at the Knitting Factory tonight.
The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band presents a 10th anniversary celebration concert tonight at the John Harms Center for the Arts in Englewood, N.J. Blessed with some of the jazz world's finest arrangers working today, the orchestra will feature the music of John Coltrane, Frank Foster, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Louis Prima, Jerome Kern, Slide Hampton, Leonard Bernstein, Thelonious Monk and Henry Mancini. The same diverse program repeats on Thursday at Carnegie Hall in New York, where the band is in its final season.
In and around Boston, Keiko Matsui is at Scullers tonight. Living Daylights is at the House of Blues. The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra is at the Stoneham Theatre for matinee and evening performances. The Katie Viqueira group brings tango jazz into the Regattabar in Cambridge tonight.
On the Philadelphia jazz scene, guitarist Jimmy Bruno's trio is at Chris's Jazz Café. Tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes is at Ortlieb's Jazz Haus with his organ trio.
Jazz Arts Music Society of West Palm Beach, Fla., presents pianists Derek Smith and Dick Hyman tonight at the Harriet Himmel-Gilman Theatre as part of its Touring Artist Concert Series.
On the Chicago jazz scene, Steve Sandner is at Andy's for the Jazz at Noon series, while guitarist Henry Johnson's quartet is in the spotlight tonight. Singer Kurt Elling is at the Green Mill. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. The Brass Tracks Big Band is at Hackney's. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Scott Stevenson quartet is at Pops for Champagne. The Don Saran trio is at Michael's Jazz Bistro in Glen Ellyn. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park tonight.
In New Orleans tonight, Scott Thomas is at Cobalt. Leigh Harris and Dave Ellington team up at Dos Jefes. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at El Matador. Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos are at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Mark Braud is at the Funky Butt. Kermit Ruffins brings his Barbecue Swingers into Le Bon Temps Roule. Drummer Johnny Vidacovich, guitarist George Porter Jr., and trombonist Mark Mullins team up at the Old Point. Trumpeter Wendell Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall. The Albert-Ankrum Project is at Snug Harbor. Sharon Martin is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor.
Bandleader Lionel Hampton first performed at the University of Idaho in 1984 as part of the school's jazz festival. He was back the next year, when the student and pro music showcase became known as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, and began a splendid trend of bringing in dozens of top players from all over the world.
The 2002 edition opens today at the University of Idaho campus in Mocow, where it will feature four days of concerts, clinics and student competitions for high school and college-level players. Tonight's showcase concert will feature Hampton, Hank Jones, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Clayton, Lewis Nash Quintet, Brian Bromberg, Eve Cornelious and Wally "Gator" Watson. A special tribute to Dizzy Gillespie will feature Slide Hampton, Jay Ashby and Claudio Roditi. The HampFest runs through Saturday.
On the California jazz scene, Mose Allison is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Singer Karrin Allyson is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood. The Edmund Velasco quintet is at Steamers Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight.
The Mike Stern Band is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight through Sunday, where every show was sold out in advance. Tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz's band is at Cato's Ale House in Oakland tonight. Kent Granath is at the Hedley Club in the Hotel De Anza in San Jose.
In San Francisco, Pure Ecstacy is at the Top of the Mark. The Ned Boynton combo is at Enrico's. Bryce Rohde is at the Bix Restaurant and Supper Club. Don Asher and Kent Cohea are at Moose's. Drummer Vince Lateano's trio is at Jazz at Pearl's. Subnautic is at Bruno's tonight.
Pianist David Berkman is at Henry's in Edinburgh, Scotland tonight through Saturday.
On the jazz documentary front...
eNblast Productions says its television production subsidiary Electric Entertainment will develop and produce a one-hour Jazz Music Special from Havana, Cuba, this spring for Canada's CBC Television. "Havana Cool" will feature Canadian and Cuban jazz artists and will be shot on location at the grand re-opening of the historic Havana nightclub, Teatro America. The site of stage and cabaret shows in the 1930s is being restored to its former elegance. eNblast President and CEO Paul Osborn says this will be the first in a series of jazz-based shows that it plans to shoot around the world and deliver in several languages.