One of the most important and influential guitarists in jazz history was born this day in 1923 in Indianapolis. Wes Montgomery forged his unique style from new developments in jazz harmony and melody and improvements in the manufacture of electric guitars. He died in 1968.
Bass player Red Callender was born this day in 1918 in Richmond, Va.
Avant-garde saxophonist Peter Brotzmann was born this day in 1941 in Remschied, Germany.
Brazilian singer Flora Purim was born this day in 1942 in Rio de Janeiro.
Guitarist Dom Minasi was born this day in 1943 in New York City.
On this day in 1940, Harry James first recorded "Two O'Clock Jump" for the Brunswick label.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected the 15 finalists for its seventh annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition, scheduled in New York this May. The winning schools will compete for cash awards to enhance their jazz music programs. Six newly transcribed Ellington scores and educational materials were sent to 1,240 high school-level jazz bands, of which 149 entered the competition by submitting recordings of three Ellington songs.
The 15 finalists for Essentially Ellington 2002 are:
-- Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, Calif.
-- The San Francisco Jazz All-Star High School Ensemble.
-- Connecticut Youth Jazz Workshop, in Middletown, Conn.
-- Hall High School in West Hartford, Conn. (The 1998 and 2000 winner)
-- New World School Of The Arts in Miami, Fla.
-- Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Ill.
-- Foxboro High School in Foxboro, Mass. (The 1997 winner)
-- King Philip Regional High School, Wrentham, Mass.
-- 315 All-Stars, Greater Syracuse, NY (The 2001 winner)
-- LaGuardia High School For The Performing Arts, New York. (The 1996 and 1999 winner)
-- Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, Columbus, Ohio
-- Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
-- Garfield High School in Seattle, Wash.
-- Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Wash.
-- Eau Claire Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Wis.
Judges of the May 12-13 competition at Avery Fisher Hall will include David Berger, Stanley Cowell and Wynton Marsalis. The three finalist bands will perform alone and with Marsalis as a guest soloist. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra will close the night with an all-Ellington set.
During April, Jazz at Lincoln Center will send a clinician to each of the 15 finalist schools to lead an intensive daylong workshop of rehearsals, lessons, and master classes. The clinicians will include trumpeter Terell Stafford, drummer Justin DiCioccio and saxophonists Ron Carter and Victor Goines.
The Essentially Ellington Competition will also move overseas in August with an Australian edition.
On the New York jazz scene, singer Norah Jones is at Joe's Pub tonight, celebrating the release of her Blue Note debut recording "Come Away With Me." Willie Colon's band is at the Blue Note through Sunday as the club continues its month-long Latin jazz festival series. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove's quintet is at the Village Vanguard tonight. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut's All-Stars are at Iridium through Sunday. The band features vibes player Stefon Harris, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash.
Drummer Bobby Sanabria and his Latin jazz band Ascension are at Birdland tonight. Chico Alvarez and the Afro-Caribe Band are at Nells tonight. Conga player Gene Golden's group Quinto Mayor will present a special rumba session between sets. 18-year-old Peter Cincotti sings and plays piano at the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room through Saturday. Yuka Honda is at Tonic tonight with John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Russell Simins, Timo Ellis and Rick Lee. Wayne Krantz and the Billy Bang quintet are at the Knitting Factory tonight.
In and around Boston, drummer Chico Hamilton and Euphoria are at Scullers tonight. The Either/Orchestra is at the Regattabar in Cambridge. Saxophonist Dave Liebman is at the New England Conservatory today and Wednesday as part of its Jazz Masters Residency Program, where he performs a concert on Wednesday night. The Berklee College of Music's Piano Week 2002 series features performances today and tonight by Ross Ramsey, Suzanne Davis and Larry Goldings.
In Philadelphia, guitarist Jimmy Bruno's trio is at Chris's Jazz Café in Philadelphia tonight. Tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes's organ trio is at Ortlieb's Jazz Haus.
On the Cleveland jazz scene, the Pat Metheny Group is at Lakewood Civic Auditorium tonight. Guitarist John Scofield's group is at the Beachland Ballroom.
In Chicago, the Wynton Marsalis Septet performs tonight and Thursday at Symphony Center. The Eddie Johnson quintet is at Andy's tonight. Charlie Johnson is in the spotlight at the backroom through Saturday. Saxophonist Dewey Redman is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui tonight. Two Quartets featuring Jason Ajemian, Tim Daisy, Aram Shelton are at the Empty Bottle tonight.
The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street tonight. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium tonight. The Frank Catalano trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston tonight. Andrew Blenderman is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Dan Cray trio is at Pops for Champagne. Mark Madsen's trio is at Pops of Highwood.
In New Orleans, Leigh 'Little Queenie' Harris is at Dos Jefes tonight. Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos are at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Baked Potato and the Robin Boudreau quartet are featured tonight at the Funky Butt. Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. Esquizito with Clarence Johnson, Willie Metcalf, Bill Huntington and Herman Lebeaux is featured tonight in a Johnny Hartman tribute at Le Chat Noir.
Stanton Moore, Johnny Vidacovich, Rich Vogel and George Porter Jr., debut their band MVVP at the Old Point. The New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra is at the Palm Court tonight. Trumpeter Wendell Brunious leads the band at Preservation Hall. Maurice Brown and Quamon Fowler are in the spotlight at Snug Harbor. Kirk Ford is at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor. Henry Butler is featured tonight at the University of New Orleans' Sandbar performance space.
On the California jazz scene, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. The Paul Johnson quintet is at Steamer's Jazz Café in Fullerton tonight. The Greg Adams band is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood tonight. Clairdee sings the music of Richard Rogers tonight at Yoshi's in Oakland.
In San Francisco, the Ned Boynton combo is at Enrico's and Paula West is at the Plush Room.
Drummer Ralph Peterson's quintet is scheduled at Ronnie Scott's in London through Saturday.
The 2002 edition of the Banlieues Blues Festival opens its five-week run in Paris and Saint-Denis France tonight. The lineup includes Cecil Taylor and the Instabile Orchestra, Henry Threadgill's Zooid project, and Ken Vendermark and the AALY Trio.