Johnny St. Cyr, a banjo player with Louis Armstrong and Joe King Oliver, was born this day in New Orleans in 1890.
Pianist Derek Smith was born this day in 1931 in London. A busy sideman and leader, he spent seven years as pianist in Johnny Carson's late night television big band.
Bass player Buster Williams, one of the finest soloists on the upright bass, was born this day in 1942 in Camden, N.J. His first major gigs were with Jimmy Heath and the quintet co-led by tenor greats Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt. Later collaborations came with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and the quartet Sphere.
Vibes player Warren Chiasson was born this day in 1934 in Cheticamp, Canada. He toured with pianist George Shearing from 1958 to 1961 and again in the early 1970s, then with trumpeter Chet Baker. He now leads his own groups in and around New York.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
Fans of the best in jazz clarinet, regardless of stylistic differences, have something to look forward to come June. Tony Scott and Buddy DeFranco will share a week at Iridium in New York with the Bill Mays trio in what's being billed as "Legends of the Clarinet." They will be joined by a succession of special guests during the June 17-22 engagement at Iridium. Those guests are clarinetists Don Byron, Kenny Davern, Marty Ehrlich, Ronny Odrich, Perry Robinson and Sweden's Putte Wickman.
New Jersey natives Scott and DeFranco came to prominence during the 1940s and 1950s. Both have won numerous polls and awards, recorded with all the greats and are recognized as both masters and innovators on their instruments.
Scott has lived in Rome since the 1970s and has had a successful career recording and performing throughout Europe.
DeFranco is credited with leading the way for jazz clarinetists from the exciting era of swing to the exhilarating age of bebop. His biography, "A Life in the Golden Age of Jazz," has just been published by Parkside Publications.
On the New York jazz scene... the James Cotton blues band with special guest Joe Louis Walker is at the Blue Note tonight and Friday. Peter Bernstein Plus 3 featuring Brad Mehldau, Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart is at The Jazz Standard this week. The Don Byron sextet is at the Village Vanguard. Clark Terry's quintet is at Birdland tonight through Saturday.
The Mike Stern Band with special guests Richard Bona and Terri Lyne Carrington is at Iridium tonight. Trombonist Brett Sroka's quintet is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. The Hector Martignon quartet is at The Zinc Bar tonight. The Joe Cohn quartet with special guest Harry Allan is at SWING46 tonight. Trombonist Chris Washburne's SYOTOS Latin jazz band is at the Nuyorican Poets Café on Thursdays. The New Reed Quartet with saxophonists and clarinetists Perry Robinson, Mark Whitecage, Rozanne Levine and Matt Snyder is at The Uptown in Kingston tonight.
In the Boston area tonight... Gato Barbieri is at Scullers jazz club through Saturday. Kenny Barron's "Canta Brasil" band with Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca and Anne Drummond is at The Regattabar in Cambridge through Saturday. McGill, Manring and Stevens are at Ryles in Cambridge tonight. The Jazz Mandolin Project is at the House of Blues in Cambridge tonight and Friday.
The Berklee College of Music's Guitar Department continues its Guitar Week series of concerts and clinics today with the Back Bay Guitar Trio, a classical guitar chamber group directed by Dave Newsam, and a jazz and blues guitar showcase, directed by Garrison Fewell and Curt Shumate, featuring some of Berklee's finest student guitarists at the Berklee Performance Center.
In Philadelphia tonight... drummer Mickey Roker's band plays the music of Duke Ellington at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus. The Bobby Zankel quartet is at Chris's Jazz Café.
Juan de Marcos' Afro-Cuban All Stars are at the Carpenter Center for the Arts in Richmond, Va., tonight.
In greater Chicago... the Ron Friedman quintet is at Andy's. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. Alan Gresik's Swing Shift Orchestra is at the Green Mill tonight. Tim Tobias is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight.
The John Brumbach quartet is at Katerina's. Jim Clark's Jazz People are at the Landmark Inn in Northbrook. The Petropolous Organ Trio is at Pete Miller's Steakhouse in Evanston tonight. John Wright is at Philander's in Oak Park. The Dan Cray trio is at Pops for Champagne.
In New Orleans... the Improvisational Arts Council is at the Blue Nile tonight. Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. Evan Christopher and Tom McDermott are at Donna's. Loren Pickford is at Dos Jefes. Evan Howard and Maurice Brown are at the Funky Butt. The Soul Rebels Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule.
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers are at Lounge Lizards. Lloyd Washington and the Crescent City Joymakers are at the Palm Court. Dave Bartholomew leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall. The Charles Neville quartet is at Snug Harbor.
On the California jazz scene... saxophonist Lee Konitz is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles this week. The Ernie McDaniel-Frank Wilson-Tateng Katindig trio is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight. The Cal State Fullerton big band is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. Doug MacDonald's Brass and Woodwind Coalition is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks.
The SFJAZZ spring season presents the Chucho Valdes quartet featuring Joe Lovano and the Gonzalo Rubalcaba trio tonight at Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. Soul Sauce Latin jazz band is at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco tonight. The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday. Pianist Taylor Eigsti's trio is at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz tonight.
The Dave Holland quintet is at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle tonight...
Ugetsu, co-led by saxophonist Jon Bentley and drummer Bernie Arai, is at The Cellar in Vancouver, British Columbia, tonight.