Tenor saxophonist Chu Berry was born this day in 1910 in Wheeling, W.Va. He was a full-blown, fast-fingered master of the tenor horn who remains under-rated despite his sound and his key role in the Cab Calloway band from 1937 until his death in 1941 from a car crash.
Leon Berry got his nickname "Chu" shortly after his arrival in New York in 1930, carrying his tenor horn in a red velvet boot bag and wearing a goatee that made him look Chinese. Colleague Billy Stewart said Berry looked like Chu Chin Chow.
Dick Haymes, one of America's great ballad singers, was born this day in 1916 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was a veteran of the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands, an occasional duet partner of Judy Garland, and a headliner in his own right into the early 1950s.
Singer, songwriter, drummer and author Mel Torme was born this day in Chicago in 1925. A performer since age 4, Torme was sidelined in August 1996 by a stroke. He died of complications from that stroke in 1999.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... drummer Elvin Jones's 75th birthday celebration is featured this week at the Blue Note. Bill Charlap's trio is at the Village Vanguard this week. Elaine Elias is at Iridium all week. The Eric Alexander quartet is at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. Tuck and Patti are at the Bottom Line tonight.
The Capitol Arts Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary tonight and Saturday as part of the 15th annual Convergence International Arts Festival in Providence, R.I. The Waterplace Park event features Indian sitar player Kartik Seshadri plus the piano-vibes duo of Frank Kimbrough and Joe Locke tonight. The Saturday, afternoon lineup includes the jazz duo Caraher, saxophonist Greg Abate and singer Kendra Shank.
Flute player Wendy Klein is at CAV in Providence tonight with her quartet.
Singer Jon Hendricks is at Ryles in Cambridge, Mass., tonight and singer Ann Hampton Callaway is at the Regattabar in Cambridge. Angela Bofil is at Scullers in Boston.
Singer lzaline Calister interprets traditional Antillean and Afro-Caribbean songs backed by the percussive rhythms of her homeland in Curacao tonight at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Singer Laverne Butler is at the new KC Jazz Club tonight at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
Singer Nnenna Freelon performs tonight at the Charlotte, N.C., Arts Festival.
Cuban pianist and composer Miguel Romero brings "Cuban Jazz Funk" to the Callanwolde Arts Centers Jazz on the Lawn Series in Atlanta tonight.
In Chicago... the Ken Saydak Blues Show is at Andy's tonight. Judy Roberts is at the Chicago Firehouse. Alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett's quartet is at the Jazz Showcase. Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. The King Fleming trio is at Philander's in Oak Park.
In New Orleans... Roy Ayers is at Bally's Casino tonight. Fredy Omar con su Banda are at the Blue Nile. David Torkanowsky is at Cobalt. The Treme Brass Band is at Donna's. Domenic Fusca is at El Matador. The Devin Phillips quartet and the New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band are at the Funky Butt. Topsy Chapman and Louis Ford are at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's casino. The ReBirth Brass Band plus Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Howlin' Wolf tonight.
The Roland Guerin trio is at Le Salon at Windsor Court. The Ernie Elly Slickshots are at the Palm Court with singer Thais Clark. The Panorama Jazz Band is at the Seaport Cafe. Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. The New Orleans Jazz Vipers are at the Spotted Cat. There's an all-star jam tonight at Tipitina's with Stanton Moore, Ivan Neville, Michael Ray, Sista Teedy, Tim Green, Cornell Williams and Theryl deClouet.
On the California jazz scene... Tony Bennett is at the Convention Center in San Diego tonight. Peter Sprague is at Dizzy's in San Diego. Singer Phyllis Battle and keyboardist Vanessa Burch lead a tribute to the all-women swing bands tonight at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough are at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight.
James Moody's quartet is at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood tonight. Tony Guererro's Swingfest with Elizabeth Lamers is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. Don Byron's Music for Six Musicians band is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight through Sunday. Drummer Steve Smith's quartet is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight with special guest Geoff Keezer on piano.
The Ben Sidran quartet is at the Blue Note in Fukuoka, Japan, tonight and Saturday.