Today is Aug. 14.
Violinist Stuff Smith was born this day in 1909 in Portsmouth, Ohio. During his career, he was described as the most forceful violinist in jazz history. Smith was inspired as a player by Joe Venuti, who coincidentally died this day in 1978 at age 82.
Pianist and vibes player Eddie Costa was born this day in 1930 in Atlas, Pa. He was named "new star" on both instruments by Down Beat magazine in 1957. He died in a car crash in 1962.
On this day in 1971, saxophonist King Curtis was stabbed to death by a trespasser outside his home in New York City.
On this day in 1947, trumpeter Miles Davis recorded his first session as a leader. That New York session produced the tunes "Half Nelson," "Milestones" and "Little Willie Leaps."
Singer June Christy recorded "Something Cool" on this day in 1953 in Los Angeles.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... There's a SIM Faculty Concert at the Knitting Factory tonight with Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane, Matana Roberts, Vijay Iyer, Mark Helias, Mark Ferber and David Gilmore. The Barry Harris Quintet is at Birdland. Charlie Haden and Gonzalo Rubalcaba are at the Blue Note tonight. The Ahmad Jamal Trio is at Iridium. Bill Frisell's trio is at the Village Vanguard.
The Monty Alexander trio is at the Jazz Standard tonight. Chris Washburne is at Bennett Park. Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin and Wood continues his illy B. Turntable Sessions with Min Xiao Fen, Shelly Hirsch and Cyro Baptista at the Bowery Poetry Club tonight. Sonido Isleño is at Metronome. The Arlee Leonard group and the Patrizia Scasitelli quintet are at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem tonight.
Willie and Lobo are at Scullers in Boston tonight. Bombay Jim and the Swinging Sapphires are at the Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass., tonight.
Virginia's Jazz Norfolk festival opens tonight at the Chrysler Museum of Art with "Jazz for Hope," featuring singer Diane Hubka. It benefits the Hope House Foundation. Other performers this week include the Jae Sinnett trio, the Cyrus Chestnut trio, Eddie Palmieri, Los Hombres Calientes and the The Red Coats Big Band.
The Trisha O'Brien quintet is at the Cleveland Museum Of Art in Ohio tonight.
In and around Chicago... the Lou Donaldson quartet is at the Jazz Showcase. Kurt Elling's quartet is at the Green Mill. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui tonight. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Café and Jazz Emporium. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park. The Frank Catalano trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston.
In New Orleans... Topsy Chapman is at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's casino. Manabu Sakei is at Checkpoint Charlie. Burke Ingraffia is at Dos Jefes and later at the Maple Leaf. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is a El Matador. Delfeayo Marsalis is at the Funky Butt. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. Paul Longstreth and Victor Atkins man the piano tonight at Le Salon at Windsor Court.
Dr. Bone and the Hepcats swing the tunes at Mid-City Lanes Rock'n'Bowl. Johnny Vidacovich and George Porter Jr. are at the Old Point. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Rob Wagner trio is at the Seaport Cafe. Rebecca Barry and Bill Huntington are at Snug Harbor. Dr. Guitar and the Franklin Avenue Overpass and Loren Pickford and New Orleans Gamuk are at the Spotted Cat.
On the California jazz scene... trumpeter Marcus Printup's quintet is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. Organ player Joey DeFrancesco's trio is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in North Hollywood through Sunday. Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton features the Paul Johnson quintet tonight. The Banda Brothers quartet is at Jax in Glendale. The Vince Lateano trio featuring pianist Matt Clark is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco.
Skip Bolen's black and white series "New Orleans Jazz - Photographs of Jazz Fest and the soul of New Orleans" is on display through Oct. 3 in the lobby of The Jazz Bakery jazz club in Los Angeles. Photographs on exhibit include Dave Brubeck on piano, Jason Marsalis on vibes, James Singleton on bass, Cassandra Wilson on vocals, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews on trumpet, Donald Harrison Jr. on alto sax, Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn, Nicholas Payton on flugelhorn and trumpet, Mark Whitfield on guitar, and more. The exhibit also includes images shot in and around New Orleans that capture the essence and soul of the Big Easy.