The longtime First Lady of Jazz singers, Ella Fitzgerald, was born this day in 1918 in Newport News, Va. Fitzgerald died in 1996, but left a splendid musical performance and recording legacy.
Alto saxophonist and arranger Earl Bostic was born this day in Tulsa, Okla., in 1913. He played in several territory bands before making his first recording with Lionel Hampton in 1939. Sidemen who passed through Bostic's band included Jaki Byard, John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Blue Mitchell and Stanley Turrentine. Bostic died in 1965.
Looking at today's hip happenings...
On the New York jazz scene... Jazz at Lincoln Center presents a special Jazz Jamboree tonight featuring the Wynton Marsalis septet with special guest Joe Lovano, the Dave Holland quintet, and the Michael Brecker quartet, at Avery Fisher Hall. The ensembles will perform separately and in rarely seen special combinations.
Saxophonist Dave Liebman's big band is at Birdland through Saturday. The Jimmy Smith quartet is at Iridium through Sunday. Reuben Wilson and the Masters of Groove are at the Jazz Standard through Sunday. Carol Sloane is at the Village Vanguard through Sunday. Diane Schuur is at the Blue Note this week.
The Lonnie Plaxico quintet is at The Jazz Gallery tonight. The Crescent City Maulers are at SWING46 tonight. The Kendra Shank trio, with Dean Johnson and Tony Moreno, is at the 55 Bar tonight. Orquesta Aragon is at Town Hall tonight. The Louis Hayes All-Stars with Gary Bartz, Vincent Herring, John Hicks and Gerald Cannon are at Smoke tonight and Saturday. The Eddie Allen trio is at the Lenox Lounge tonight and Saturday.
Saxophonist Houston Person's quartet is at Trumpets in Montclair, N.J., tonight and Saturday.
The Omar Sosa trio is at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Conn., tonight. Juan de Marcos Gonzalez and the Afro-Cuban All Stars are at Wesleyan University's Crowell Concert Hall in Middletown, Conn.
In the Boston area... the Michel Camilo trio is at The Regattabar in Cambridge tonight. Eguie Castrillo presents a tribute to Tito Puente at Ryles in Cambridge.
Guitarist John Scofield's Uberjam is at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art's Hunter Center in North Adams tonight.
In the Philadelphia area... Diane Monroe is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Café Degas tonight. The Michael Hoffman quartet performs tonight in the Jazz at Bucks concert series at Bucks County Community College in Newton. Carl Grubbs is at Chris's Jazz Cafe tonight. D For is at Zanzibar Blue.
The Billy Taylor Jazz Festival in Greenville, N.C., continues tonight at the Greenville Convention Center with a concert by the East Carolina University Jazz Ensemble.
In northeastern Ohio tonight... the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is at Case Western Reserve University for a free evening show. The Eddie Baccus organ quartet is at the Cleveland Sight Center tonight.
In the Chicago area... the Ira Sullivan quartet is at the Jazz Showcase this week. The Chris Lega-Pat Mallinger quintet is at Andy's tonight. Judy Roberts is at The Chicago Firehouse. The Jim Trompeter quintet featuring Tim Hagens and Rick Margitza are at the Green Mill tonight and Saturday.
Skinny Williams is at Joe's BeBop Cafe and Jazz Emporium tonight. King Fleming is at Philander's in Oak Park tonight. The Dee Alexander quartet is at Pops for Champagne tonight.
New Orleans is one of the world's most vibrant music cities -- and bubbles even stronger with music over the next two weeks during JazzFest, the 34th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which runs through May 4. Not for the timid or faint of heart, it features literally hundreds of bands on its dozen stages scattered around the New Orleans Race Course's 75-acre infield, and draws anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000-plus visitors a day.
Headliners today include the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bob Dylan, Galactic, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Cyrille Neville, Chico Hamilton, The New Orleans-Chicago Express featuring Franz Jackson and Sammy Rimington, the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Trombone Shorty, Gregg Stafford, Leroy Jones, Butch Thompson and Duke Robillard. Tonight's evening concert features Crosby, Stills and Nash at Morris Jeff Municipal Auditorium in Louis Armstrong Park.
Elsewhere in New Orleans... Earl Brown is at Cafe Sbisa. The Herlin Riley quartet is at Donna's. Dr. Bone and the Hepcats are at Dos Jefes. Devin Philips is at the Funky Butt tonight. Dr. John plus Duke Robillard are at the House of Blues tonight with the Charlie Hunter trio and the Russo-Benevento duo in the club's Parish Room.
There's a brass band blowout at Howlin' Wolf tonight featuring the ReBirth, Forgotten Souls and Li'l Rascals brass bands. The ReBirth Brass Band is at Le Bon Temps Roule. The Rob Wagner trio is at Loft 523. The Ernie Elly Slickshots with Thais Clark are at the Palm Court tonight. Leroy Jones leads tonight's band at Preservation Hall.
Johnny and Stanton's New Thing featuring Mark Mullins, Tony Dagradi and Brian Coogan plus Damien are at the Shim Sham Club tonight. Ellis Marsalis is at Snug Harbor tonight. Jessie McBride is at the Steak Knife. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe is at Tipitina's. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is at TwiRoPa.
On the California jazz scene... Elvin Jones Jazz Machine is at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles through Sunday. Saxophonist Don Menza is at Charlie O's in Valley Glen tonight and Saturday with the John Heard trio. Tierney Sutton is at Steamers Jazz Cafe in Fullerton tonight. The Al Viola quartet is at Spazio in Sherman Oaks.
Susie Hansen is guest artist tonight with the Maurice Weiss Big Brothers Big Band at Overland Elementary School in West Los Angeles. It marks the L.A. debut of David Stout's big band arrangements of three selections from Hansen's first two CDs. Singer Abbey Lincoln is at Yoshi's in Oakland through Sunday.
Alto saxophonist Jon Gordon's trio is at the Sunset jazz club in Paris tonight and Saturday. The Franck Avitable trio is at Duc des Lombardes in Paris tonight and Saturday.