Saxophonist, singer and bandleader Tex Beneke was born this day in 1914 in Fort Worth, Texas. He soared in popularity after joining Glenn Miller's 1938 orchestra. His was the voice heard on Miller's big hits "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "I Got A Gal in Kalamazoo." He died in 2000.
Pianist and composer Mel Powell was born this day in 1923 in New York City. He had a bright but brief jazz career, primarily with Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller, before setting it aside to concentrate on serial composition in the tradition of Paul Hindemith and Milton Babbitt. Powell was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1990. He died in 1998.
On this day in 1924, the Paul Whiteman band introduced the world to George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." The piece made its debut at a Whiteman appearance at Aeolian Hall in New York City.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Dave Valentin's quintet is at the Blue Note tonight. Shirley Horn is at Iridium tonight and Thursday. Singer-songwriter-guitarist Juan Carlos Formell is at The Jazz Standard tonight. The Frank Lacy quartet is at the Zinc Bar tonight. The Bad Plus trio is at the Village Vanguard this week. Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers are at the Arka Lounge tonight.
The Fully Celebrated Orchestra is at The Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. The Indigo Invention Group is at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge. Moksha, a six-piece faculty group, is at the Berklee Performance Center. It includes Dino Govoni, Wayne Naus, Michael Farquharson, John DiSanto, Joe Mulholland and Berke McKelvey.
In Philadelphia... Patricia King and Orlando Haddad are at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Café Degas tonight. Jimmy Bruno is at Chris's Jazz Cafe.
Keyboardist Rachel Z, fresh off a tour with rock singer Peter Gabriel, returns to acoustic jazz with her trio at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., tonight.
Carla Cook is at Nighttown in Cleveland tonight.
On the Chicago area jazz scene... Henry Johnson's Organ Express with Chris Forman is at Andy's. Bobby Lewis is at the Backroom. The Matt Erion trio is at Bistro America in Batavia. Mike Finnerty and the Jazz Hippies are at Cafe Ennui. The Bill Porter Orchestra with Rich Fudoli is at Green Dolphin Street. Kurt Elling is the Green Mill. The Brass Tracks Big Band is at Hackney's.
Damian Espinosa's trio is at HotHouse. Ken Saydak is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. The John Mose trio is at Michael's Jazz Bistro in Glen Ellyn. Ron Perrillo's trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse. Jackie Allen and Judy Roberts are at Philander's in Oak Park. Elaine Dame's trio is at Pops for Champagne. The Dave Flippo duo is at Pops of Highwood.
In New Orleans... Evan Christopher's "Jazz a la Creole" is at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris is at Dos Jefes. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at El Matador. Devin Phillips is at the Funky Butt.
The Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are at Le Bon Temps Roule. The Johnny Vidacovich trio, featuring George Porter Jr. and Mark Mullins, is at the Maple Leaf. John Brunious leads the band tonight at Preservation Hall. The Al Belletto sextet is at Snug Harbor tonight.
In California... James Carter's organ trio is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. The Jon Varto quintet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. The Edumund Velasco quintet is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. Ledisi is at Yoshi's in Oakland tonight.