Pianist, singer and trumpeter Buck Washington was born this day in 1903 in Louisville, Ky. He was one half of the comedy and dance team "Buck and Bubbles" who worked the show and club scene from 1912 until 1953. Washington also recorded with Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins. He led the band that accompanied Bessie Smith on her final recording in 1933.
Trumpeter Roy Hargrove was born this day in 1969 in Waco, Texas. He began playing trumpet in an elementary school band and developed a strong musical foundation at the Dallas Arts Magnet High School, where Wynton Marsalis heard him play during a student clinic.
On this day in 1930, Lionel Hampton recorded his first solo on the vibes in a Los Angeles studio session with Louis Armstrong. Hampton was a drummer playing local club dates in L.A. when Armstrong hired him as a sideman and then brought him into the studio. There was a set of vibes in the room and Armstrong asked Hampton if he could play them. Hampton was up to the challenge, and that was the first use of vibraphone on a jazz recording. The song was Eubie Blake's "Memories of You" and the instrument soon became Hampton's first choice.
On this day in 2001, the Columbia Legacy Jazz label released South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela's "Grazing In The Grass: The Best Of Hugh Masekela" and the Impulse label released "McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane," a live club recording made at the Village Vanguard in New York, where the Coltrane quartet, featuring Tyner on piano, made some classic recordings in its own time.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
New York musician Deanna Witkowski won last weekend's Great American Jazz Piano Competition at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, besting three other finalists in the annual event. It was part of a jazz weekend designed to focus attention on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in April. California-based pianist Joe Gilman took second place. Pamela York was the third-place winner. Eighteen-year-old Aaron Parks was fourth.
On the New York jazz scene... pianist Cyrus Chestnut's trio is at the Jazz Standard this week. The Bobby Hutcherson quartet is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and the New Jazz Composers Octet are at Iridium this week. The Conga Kings featuring Carlos "Patato" Valdes, Milton Cardona, Candido Camero and Giovanni Hidalgo are at the Blue Note this week. Eric Lewis trio is at the Zinc Bar tonight.
Carmen Lundy and the John Hicks trio are at Birdland tonight. Pianist Eric Lewis's trio is at the Zinc Bar tonight. Nora York sings original material tonight at Joe's Pub. Guitarist Scott Henderson brings his "Well To The Bone" blues-rock tour to the Bottom Line tonight.
The World of Roy Haynes featuring drummer Roy Haynes in a variety of ensembles reflecting the length and breadth of his career takes place tonight and Thursday at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Special guests include Chick Corea and John Patitucci tonight and Pat Metheny and Roy Hargrove on Thursday.
In and around Boston... Special EFX featuring guitarist Chieli Minucci is at Scullers jazz club tonight. The David Azarian Electric Band is at the Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. Singer Toni Ballard is at Ryles jazz club in Cambridge tonight.
Singer Kenny Rankin is at the Ram's Head in Annapolis, Md., tonight.
Guitarist Pierre Bensusan is at Nighttown in Cleveland tonight. Guitarist Marc Ribot is at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland.
On the Chicago jazz scene... Henry Johnson's Organ Express is at Andy's tonight. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. The Kurt Elling quartet is at the Green Mill. The Brass Tracks Big Band is at Hackney's tonight. The Wallace Roney quintet with alto saxophonist Gary Bartz, Clarence Seay and Lenny White is at the Jazz Showcase. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. The Ron Perrillo trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park. The Peter Lerner trio with Steve Million and Chuck Webb is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Dos Jefes. Ingrid Lucia is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. 3 Now 4 is at the Funky Butt. Louis Ford is at Satchmo's jazz room in Harrah's casino. Jane Monheit is at the House of Blues. Dr. Bone and the Hepcats are at Howlin' Wolf tonight with special guests. Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. John Brunious leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The John Mahoney Big Band is at Snug Harbor. Dr. Guitar and the Franklin Avenue Overpass and the Latin band Otra are at the Spotted Cat. Ellis Marsalis is at the University of New Orleans' Sandbar.
Ruben Blades and his band are at the Verizon Wireless Theater in Houston tonight supporting his new Columbia recording, "Mundo."
In California... McCoy Tyner's trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Tony Russell is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen with Frank Collett, piano, Paul Morin, bass, Jack LeCompte, drums, and featured vocalist John Fio Rito. The Susan Krebs quartet with Gary Foster is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks.
Mark Winkler and Friends are at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood tonight. The Pico Rivera Big Band is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. Arturo Sandoval is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday. The Vince Lateano trio featuring guitarist Jeff Massanari is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight.
In Paris... the Lew Tabackin trio is at Petit Opportune tonight and Thursday and Mark Murphy opens a three-night run at Sunside. Mambomania is at the New Morning jazz club tonight.
The Omar Sosa octet is at Nancy Jazz Pulsations in Nancy, France, tonight.