Drummer Big Sid Catlett was born this date in Evansville, Ind., in 1910. Always in great demand, he was a big man behind the drums, yet as protege Art Blakey once said, Catlett could make the drums sound as soft and light as a butterfly.
Pianist and composer Bob Zurke was born this day in 1912 in Detroit. He succeeded Joe Sullivan in the Bob Crosby Orchestra in 1936, where "Honky Tonk Blues" was his most famous feature. Zurke died in 1944.
Tenor saxophonist Vido Musso was born this day in 1913 in Carrini, Sicily. With a throaty-growl from his horn, he was a crowd-pleasing favorite in many of the great Swing Era big bands during the 1930s and '40s. Musso died in 1982.
Bop pianist Cedar Walton was born this day in 1934 in Dallas. In addition to being a splendid accompanist, Walton has led the group Eastern Rebellion. His compositions "Bolivia" and "Firm Roots" have become jazz standards.
Tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, a former member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and longtime music educator, was born this day in 1943 in Houston.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... trumpeter Roy Hargrove's quintet is at the Village Vanguard all week. There's a Three Tenor Saxophone Summit with Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano at Birdland through Saturday. Trumpeter Jim Rotondi's quintet is at Smoke tonight and Saturday. Kenny Williams' quartet is at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem tonight and Saturday.
The Classical Jazz Quartet with Kenny Barron, Stefon Harris, Lewis Nash and Rufus Reid is at Iridium. Arturo Sandoval is at the Blue Note this week. Pianist Randy Weston's African Rhythms Sextet featuring Regina Carter is at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. The Moutin Reunion Band is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. The Frank Kimbrough trio and Ben Allison's Peace Pipe are at the National Arts Club tonight.
Saxophonist Richie Cole's Alto Madness Orchestra is at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight.
In the Boston area... Ahmad Jamal is at The Regattabar in Cambridge through Saturday. Mark Murphy and Rebecca Parris are at Scullers jazz club in Boston tonight and Saturday. Andre Previn and David Finck are at the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall tonight. Thaddeus Hogarth is at Ryles in Cambridge.
In Philadelphia... vibes player Tony Miceli and bassist Kevin McConnell are featured tonight in the Friday night jazz series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Great Stair Hall. Tim Armacost and John Swana are at Chris's Jazz Cafe with the Sid Simmons trio tonight. Alfie Moss and Dexter Koonce are at Zanzibar Blue.
In Chicago tonight... the 10th annual Marshall Vente Jazz Fest continues its weeklong run at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago with Tropicale, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Jose Valdes and Descarga. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse tonight. Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium.
The Dave Onderdonk quartet is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. The King Fleming trio is at Philander's in Oak Park. Bradley William and Gingi Lahera are at Pops for Champagne. Steve Ditzell is at Pops of Highwood. The Kimberly Gordon Quartet is at the Underground Wonder Bar. Malachi Thompson and Freebop are at the Velvet Lounge tonight.
On the New Orleans jazz scene... Earl Brown's trio is at Cafe Sbisa. David Torkanowsky is at Cobalt. Jerry and the Jazzmakers and New Orleans Street Beat are at the Crescent City Brewhouse. Rites of Swing are at Donna's. Wendell Brunious is at Dos Jefes. Jim Hlavac is at Giovanni's. Soul Fiya is at Le Bon Temps Roule. The Ernie Elly Slickshots with Thais Clark are at the Palm Court.
Trumpeter Leroy Jones leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. Pianist Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor. The New Orleans Jazz Vipers are at the Spotted Cat tonight. The Founders' Ball at Tipitina's tonight features Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, George Porter Jr., Stanton Moore, June Yamagishi plus drummer Johnny Vidacovich's quartet with Brian Seeger, Rich Vogel and Ben Ellman.
In California... singer Andy Bey is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles this week. Trumpeter Noland Shaheed is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight and Saturday with the John Heard trio. Larry Nash and the Jazz Symphonics are at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. The Joey DeFrancesco trio is at Steamer's Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The 12th annual Mark Hummel Blues Harmonica Blowout takes place at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight. Vibraphonist Yancie Taylor's Jazztet is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight and Saturday.
Trumpeter Maynard Ferguson is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle this week.
Singer Nnenna Freelon is at Capilano College in North Vancouver, British Columbia, tonight.
Australia's Melbourne Jazz Festival opens its 10-day run today. Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes is featured artist this year and will perform with his quartet at the Victorian Concert Hall on Monday. A year after its near-demise, the festival has expanded into the eastern suburbs. The Yarra Valley's Jazz in the Vines series at TarraWarra Vineyard now comes under its umbrella, while evening concerts at Federation Square will coincide with the end of the day's play at the Australian Open.