Today is Feb. 20.
Saxophonist and flute player Bobby Jaspar was born this date in 1926 in Liege, Belgium. He developed his jazz reputation in Paris in the early 1950s before moving to New York, where he soon performed or toured with J.J. Johnson, Miles Davis, Donald Byrd and Chris Connor. Jaspar died in 1963 after heart surgery.
Singer Nancy Wilson was born this day in 1937 in Chillicothe, Ohio. Saxophonist Cannonball Adderley encouraged Wilson to go to New York after she sang with his quintet in Columbus, Ohio, in 1959. Before long, she landed a record contract with Capitol, and national recognition for her jazz and pop interpretations.
Trumpeter Lew Soloff was born this day in 1944 in New York. A busy and highly regarded member of the New York jazz scene for many years, Soloff is a virtuoso of the trumpet and a mainstay in several top jazz big bands and orchestras. From 1968 to 1973, he was a member of the rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears.
On this day in 1997, jazz guitarist Zachary Breaux drowned while trying to save a 66-year-old New York woman who had been caught in a riptide off Miami. Breaux released his breakthrough recording "Uptown Groove" just a month earlier. Breaux was 39.
On this day in 1939, Harry James recorded for the Brunswick label the tune that became his theme song. It was "Ciribiribin."
Looking at today's hip happenings...
In New York... Nicholas Payton, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, Terrell Stafford and David Weiss celebrate the music of Lee Morgan, Booker Little and Freddie Hubbard through Sunday at Iridium. The Mark Turner trio is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. Regina Belle is at The Blue Note this week. Jemeel Moondoc's "Jus Grew" Orchestra is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. The Mike DiRubbo quintet is at Smoke tonight.
Jazz at Lincoln Center presents the Louis Hayes All-Stars tonight through Saturday at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. His band for this Grooves Up Front concert features Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Richard Wyands and John Webber. Hayes and his group replace Jimmy Cobb's Mob due to a scheduling conflict. Trombonist Chris Washburne's SYOTOS Latin Jazz Band is at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe tonight. The Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra performs with guest artist David Sanchez tonight at the school's Borden Auditorium.
The Michael Musillami-Mario Pavone quintet is at The Uptown in Kingston, N.Y., tonight.
In the Boston area... the Ron Carter quartet is at The Regattabar in Cambridge, Mass., tonight through Saturday. The Mike MacAllister group is at Ryles in Cambridge tonight. Trumpeter Dave Douglas brings his electronica-influenced septet to Johnny D's in Somerville tonight.
The Afro-Semitic Experience is at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst tonight.
In Philadelphia... Warren Oree and the Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble are at 30th Street Station tonight. The Craig Gloner-Kyle Kohler trio is at Chris's Jazz Cafe.
In Chicago... Sonny Fortune is at the Jazz Showcase through Sunday with Willie Pickens, Larry Gray and Dana Hall. The Mike Smith quintet is at Andy's tonight. Detour is at the Backroom. There's a jam session with John Bany, Don Stille and Charles Braugham tonight at The Chambers in Niles. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. The Bob Baglione duo is at The Foundry at Fox Valley Mall. Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra is at the Green Mill.
Tim Tobias and Erwin Helfer and the Chicago Boogie Ensemble are at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium. The John Brumbach quartet with Selina Baker is at Katerina's. Alphonse Ponticelli and Swing Gitan are at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston. John Wright is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Bradley Williams trio with Gingi Lahera is at Pops for Champagne. Steve Ditzell is at Pops of Highwood tonight.
In New Orleans... the Improvisational Arts Council with special guest drummer Electric Jazz is at the Blue Nile. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Lenny McDaniel is at Cobalt. Evan Christopher and Tom McDermott are at Donna's. Loren Pickford is at Dos Jefes. Jeremy Davenport is at the Ritz Carlton's French Quarter Bar. Ryan Burrage and the Rhythm Makers are at Fritzel's.
Evan Howard is at the Funky Butt. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule. Astral Project is at the Maple Leaf. Heather and the Monkey King are at O'Flaherty's Irish Pub. Lloyd Washington and the Crescent City Joymakers are at the Palm Court. Dave Bartholomew leads the band at Preservation Hall tonight. Greg Piccolo and Heavy Juice are at Snug Harbor.
The annual Lionel Hampton Festival is underway through Saturday at the University of Idaho campus in Moscow, Idaho. There's a special tribute to jazz great Ray Brown tonight featuring John Clayton, George Mraz, Hank Jones, Jeff Hamilton, Bucky Pizzarelli, Russell Malone, Lewis Nash, Kenny Barron, Dee Daniels, Benny Green, Monty Alexander, John Pizzarelli, Clark Terry, David "Fathead" Newman and Roberta Gambarini.
In California... Patricia Barber is at Catalina's Bar & Grill in Hollywood tonight through Sunday. Mose Allison is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles tonight through Sunday. The Banda Brothers are at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton. The Phil Norman Tentet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks. The Ernie McDaniel-Frank Wilson-Tateng Katindig trio is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen. The James Carter trio is at Yoshi's in Oakland with special guest David Murray.